Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Are you interested in conducting research? There are many opportunities in the college for working with faculty on various research projects. This site is intended to help you learn about the areas of research that our faculty are engaged in, and to learn about potential opportunities for working in their labs.

COLSA faculty have a long history of providing exciting research experiences for our undergraduates. There are also opportunities to apply for research funding through the Hamel Center. If you are interested in working with any of the faculty listed on this site you should contact them directly. Note also that during some semesters a faculty member will not have positions available. That information is provided on this site as well so that you can focus on approaching faculty who have openings in their lab.

Happy Researching!!

  • Shadi Atallah

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Hourly
    • Thesis Project
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    The opportunity is ideal for students interested in any of the intersections among: economics, agriculture, ecology, food policy, computer science, and applied mathematics.

    You would be building fun models to:

    • Simulate the behavior of humans and wildlife in a state park (e.g., ATV disturbance to golden eagle in Idaho) and compare recreation management strategies that maximize recreation satisfaction while minimizing wildlife disturbance;
    • Simulate climate adaptation strategies and measuring the net economic value of the resulting changes in ecosystem services (e.g., shade-grown coffee in Colombia);
    • Simulate the spread of a disease, pest, or invasive species in agriculture or forestry (e.g., grapevine leafroll disease in California and New York vineyards) and find the economically optimal control strategy;
    • Simulate localization of a food system to analyze the economic (e.g., increase production costs of Eastern broccoli) and environmental impacts (e.g., reduced food-miles) of localization.

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Animals
    • Business and Economics
    • Conservation
    • Ecology
    • Environment
    • Forestry
    • Natural Resources
    • Plants
    • Sustainability
    • Tourism
    • Wildlife
  • André Brito

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Hourly
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Dr. André Brito is an Associate Professor in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) at UNH. He teaches Ruminant Nutritional Physiology (ANSC 708/808) and Principles of Animal Nutrition (ANSC 609). He is currently conducting research focused on nutrient use efficiency and the environmental impact of organic and conventional dairy systems. Dr. Brito travels around the Northeast surveying organic dairy farmers about their research and extension needs and use this feedback to develop integrated research and extension projects. Undergraduates interested in dairy nutrition and management research are encouraged to contact Dr. Brito via email to receive more information on research opportunities. Current research tasks for undergraduates include preparing diets and feeding cows. Research activities also include sampling feeds, blood, feces, urine, milk, and rumen  Beyond sampling, undergraduates may be involved in processing samples and laboratory and data analysis. Research with Dr. Brito presents multi-fold opportunities such as hands on large animal experience, working directly with graduate students and their research, preparing for and presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference, and much more.

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Nutrition
  • Xuanmao Chen

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    We have a couple of research opportunities for undergraduates to acquire research expertise and experience in the field of neuroscience. The experimental approaches include electrophysiology, mouse behavioral analysis, immunohistochemistry, imaging, and molecular and cellular biology. We are dedicated to revealing the mysteries of primary cilium. Primary cilia have long been considered as remnant organelles but recently have emerged as a novel research field with great potential and broad therapeutic implications. They have a wide spectrum of physiological functions varying from cellular locomotion, sensations and development to energy balance and mechanosensation. Defects of primary cilia lead to a range of diseases that include sensory defects, obesity, diabetes, infertility, polycystic kidney disease, liver disease, developmental abnormality, intellectual disability and mental disorders (collectively coined ciliopathies). Currently our lab focuses on studying the cAMP signaling in neuronal primary cilia. We first aim to determine how type III adenylyl cyclase (AC3) at neuronal primary cilia affects neuronal function and tease out how defects of AC3 lead to major depression and obesity. We are also interested in unraveling the contributions of primary cilia in neurodegeneration and brain aging. 

    Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Mao Chen by phone: 603 862 4542 or email: Xuanmao.Chen@unh.edu.

    Research Areas

    • Animals
    • Behavior
    • Biochemistry
    • Genetics
    • Neuroscience
  • Russel Congalton

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Hourly
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Dr. Congalton is the director of the Basic and Applied Spatial Analysis Lab (BASAL) in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment.  He is also the director of New Hampshire View.  The BASAL lab is dedicated to the use of geospatial technologies including remote sensing, GPS, and GIS to solve natural resource and environmental problems.  Students with basic skills in these technologies looking to do some real work in this area are encouraged to apply for numerous paid and/or voluntary internships that are available in the lab. Send any relevant experience including coursework completed with grades to Dr. Congalton by email and then set up an appointment to discuss openings.

    Research Areas

    • Environment
    • Forestry
    • Natural Resources
  • Kevin Culligan

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    My lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of cellular responses to DNA damage, employing biochemical, genetic and genomic approaches in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Research Areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular and Molecular Science
    • Genetics
    • Genomics/Bioinformatics
    • Plants
  • Elizabeth Fairchild

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Hourly
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    My interests are applied fisheries ecology and management, and aquaculture of commercially important species. Current research projects in which undergrads can participate include white worm production for use as a live feed in aquaculture. Students will assist in maintenance of worm cultures, experiments to increase worm production, improving worm harvesting techniques, and data entry. Most research occurs at the UNH Coastal Marine Laboratory in New Castle, NH therefore reliable tranpsortation is a must!

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Freshwater/Estuarine biology
    • Marine
  • Jeffery Foster

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Volunteer
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    My lab works on microbes, birds, bats, and other taxa, with a focus on the ecology and evolutionary biology of populations. We do lab and fieldwork in disease ecology, pathogen and host evolution, and on Hawaiian ecosystems.

    Find out more

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Conservation
    • Genetics
    • Genomics/Bioinformatics
    • Wildlife
  • Todd Guerdat

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    We have a wide variety of opportunities for research and participation in our integrated agricultural production system research. We are currently looking at the integration of recirculating aquaculture systems for food fish production and hydroponic food plant production systems. The result is a recirculating aquaponic production system. 

    We are currently accepting interested researchers for working with the fish, plant, and water treatment systems. The agricultural engineering research program is a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems relating to agricultural production. We welcome students from all colleges as we cover everything from system design to microbiological processes, and economics to education. There is a role for everyone. 

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Aquaculture
    • Plants
    • Sustainability
  • Carrie L. Hall

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    My research focuses in two areas, 1) population and community ecology, and 2) biology education.  Students in my laboratory may focus their research in either of these areas, and can even draw captivating connections between the two areas!

    Research Areas

    • Animals
    • Behavior
    • Community
    • Conservation
    • Ecology
    • Environment
    • Forestry
  • Daniel R. Howard

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    I am broadly interested in the evolutionary patterns and causal mechanism associated with animal behavior, with a more specific interest in communication behavior and mating systems; as such I find the use of insect models ideal for the questions that drive my investigations. The techniques used in my lab draw from the fields of bioacoustics, neuroscience, classic ethology, field ecology, electrical and mechanical engineering, and spatial modelling. I am looking for undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience in the context of an Honors Thesis, Capstone, or Independent Study experience. Contact me with questions.

    Research Areas

    • Animals
    • Behavior
    • Conservation
    • Ecology
    • Neuroscience
  • Estelle Hrabak

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    The Hrabak lab uses the model plant Arabidopsis to study responses to environmental stress and the role of lipid modification in protein function.  Techniques that we use include PCR, plant genetic engineering, confocal microscopy, and mass spectrometry.  No prior experience required.  BMCB majors interested in protein modeling are sought for a new project that is just getting started.

    Contact me any time to inquire about research opportunites; new students start at the beginning of the semester.

    Research Areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular and Molecular Science
    • Genetics
    • Plants
  • Anita Klein

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    The Klein lab works with a marine red alga Porphyra umbilicalis, a remarkably stress tolerant organism that grows in the high intertidal zone . Porphyra are closely related to the algae used to make nori, the nutrious seaweed wrapper in sushi.   Walker et al. showed that Porphyra could be used to partially replace fish meal in dies for Atlantic Cod (N American J. of Aquaculture 71:39-45 2009). Porphyra can also be used to bioremediate excess nitrogen and phosphorous from recirculating systems finfish aquaculture systems (Day, et al.  J. of Phycology 45:31 2009). Our long term goal is to use genetic approaches to select enhanced cultivars of P. umibilicalis for integrated, multitrophic aquaculture. Research activities will emphasize algal cultures, measured of nitrogen uptake, and analysis of gene expression.

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Genetics
    • Marine
  • Matthew MacManes

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    The MacManes aims to understand the genetic underpinnings of adaptation in a variety of animals including mice, ladybugs, and pigeons. Please contact me if you're interested in working with us on one of these projects. Aside from this, I'm looking for computer savvy students to develop websites and work on genomic data analyses. Find out more >>>

    Research Areas

    • Animals
    • Behavior
    • Cellular and Molecular Science
    • Genetics
    • Genomics/Bioinformatics
  • Sarah Proctor

    Work Type(s):

    • Thesis Project
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    I often work with local animal shelters to investigate epidemiological factors involving shelter animals and pets in the community.  I can advise students and help them design thesis projects using shelter animal data.  

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Behavior
    • Community
  • Stacia Sower

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    • Work-Study
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    My laboratory performs research on molecular and comparative neuroendocrinology on basal vertebrates, lampreys and hagfish. In particular, we study the molecular, biomedical and biochemistry of brain hormones and receptors in lampreys. There are openings for sophomore to junior level biochemistry majors. Experience is required.

    Find out more

    Research Areas

    • Animals
    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular and Molecular Science
    • Health and Medicine
    • Marine
    • Neuroscience
  • Paul Tsang

    Work Type(s):

    • For Credit
    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    Earliest Start Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    The major focus in my laboratory is to study the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors (TIMPs) in regulating corpus luteum architecture and function.

    Recently, a second focus in my laboratory is to study age and growth, reproductive cyclicity and genetics of two skate species found in the Gulf of Maine. This information is vital to the development of a fisheries management plan for these two over-fished elasmobranchs.

    Utilizing the technique of ultrasonography, we also participate in a regional project examining the regulation of follicle development in cattle.

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Animals
    • Cellular and Molecular Science
    • Marine
  • Jesse Stabile Morrell

    Work Type(s):

    • Thesis Project
    • Volunteer
    Earliest Start Date: Monday, February 6, 2017

    My research focuses on understanding lifestyle and environmental factors that promote health and reduce chronic disease risk among young adults.  I am involved in two ongoing projects: 1) the College Health and Nutrition Assessment Survey (CHANAS), an on-going project examining the diet, health, and life style behaviors of UNH students and 2) the Healthy Campus Research Consortium (HCRC), a USDA, multi-state research partnership of 13 land-grant universities.  

    Research Areas

    • Behavior
    • Health and Medicine
    • Nutrition
  • Pitch your idea

    Work Type(s):

    • Thesis Project
    Earliest Start Date: Friday, September 1, 2017

    No research opportunities are available, unless you have a very cool idea of your own that overlaps my interests (philosophy of biology, etc.), and are prepared to take the initiative in pursuing it. If that's the case, please email me so we can find a time to talk.

    Research Areas

    • Agriculture
    • Animals
    • Health and Medicine
    • Marine
    • Philosophy of Biology
  • No Openings

    Earliest Start Date: Friday, September 1, 2017

    Our laboratory studies the  role of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in regulating cyclic nucleotide metabolism during signal transduction. See our lab's web site for additional information.

    Currently, we do not have any openings for undergraduate students.

     

    Research Areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Cellular and Molecular Science
    • Genomics/Bioinformatics
    • Health and Medicine
    • Neuroscience