Graduate Student Profiles

Catherine Doheny
Catherine Doheny

I am working with Dr. Anna Wallingford investigating cultural controls of Spotted-Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in no-spray blueberry systems. I completed my Bachelor of Science in sustainable agriculture and food systems, with an emphasis on food access and community health, at UNH.  

Outside of UNH, I act as the treasurer for Mid-New England Seacoast Association, a local chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition. I also enjoy reading, hiking, biking and skiing. I am currently living and working on the unceded ancestral lands of the Abenaki, Penacook and Wabanaki Peoples past and present who have stewarded the land through generations.  

Elaina Enzien MS student
Elaina Enzien

Research Topic: Ruminant Nutrition

Colter Flynn
Colter Flynn

Research Topic: Development of underutilized crop species for use in human agriculture

Lilly Hartman
Lilly Hartman

I am a graduate research assistant working in the Agroecology Lab with Drs. Dave Mortensen and Rich Smith. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in biology from Earlham College, where I researched a variety of population and community ecology questions. Since then, I have worked in vegetable, herb and flower production on various small farms in New Hampshire and Maine. I am interested in how we can use our understanding of ecological interactions within agricultural systems to best adopt practices that are both environmentally sustainable and feasible for farmers. I live and work on Pennacook, Abenaki and Wabanaki land.

Adam Konopka
Adam Konopka

My name is Adam Konopka, and I am a master’s student here at UNH. I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in animal science focusing on production. I am glad to be a part of such a forward thinking animal science program that focuses on various environmental concerns in relation to the dairy industry. I am excited to start my research focusing on dairy nutrition. I hope to take the knowledge I acquire here and apply it to the dairy industry to benefit farmers, their animals and the environment.

Atikur Rahman
MD Atikur Rahman

I graduated from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) with a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry. I also participated in the Community College Initiative Program, and studied animal science at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids Iowa. During my time at BAU as a research assistant I was involved with several research projects that investigated insect protein (earthworm meal, black soldier fly meal) as an alternative protein source for animal feed. Currently, I am a graduate research assistant under the supervision of Dr. André Brito, and I am working to complete my M.S. in agricultural science (dairy cow nutrition). My research is focused on the N utilization of dairy cows and comprehensive assessment of GHG mitigation strategies through dietary intervention. I am really excited to be a part of the agricultural science program and looking forward to helping the dairy farmers through my research.  

Ag Sci PhD Chandrakala Annasamy
Chandrakala Annasamy

I am a graduate assistant working in the Plant Physiology Lab under Dr. Marta Lima.  My research, which is supported by a grant from the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station (NHAES), focuses on the physiology and biochemistry of cold-hardy table grapes growing at UNH's Woodman Horticultural Research Farm. I am working with these table grape cultivars growing on two different training systems, their biochemical, physiological parameters, and their resistance towards biotic and abiotic stresses.

Liza DeGenring Profile Photo
Liza DeGenring

Research Topic: Biocontrol of Pythium Disease in Greenhouse Production of Strawberries and Tomatoes

Madeline Hassett
Madeleine Hassett

I am a graduate research assistant in the Plant Pathology Lab under Dr. Anissa Poleatewich. My research focuses on testing wood-peat substrate blends and their impact on root rot disease in edible and floriculture crops. I earned my master’s in microbiology working in the Plant Pathology lab, during which time I compared soil microbiomes in managed and abandoned apple orchards and how those microbiomes could affect plant resilience to stress. I grew up just down the road from UNH in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. I studied plant biology at the University of Vermont, worked as a lab technician at UVM, then left academia and worked as an environmental educator in Alabama, a forestry technician for the Forest Service covering all New England, and a botany technician for the Bureau of Land Management in California. I eventually made it back to New Hampshire and realized that UNH was the perfect place to jump back into academia and the field of plant pathology. When I am not in the lab, you can find me hiking up in the Whites, kayaking up at my camp or hanging out with Moe (my horse!).

Mamta Kajal
Mamta Kajal

Being a native of Punjab, I was always curious about crop cultivation. This led me to pursue Bachelor of Science in biotechnology from the best agricultural university in India, Punjab Agricultural University. I had 6 months in-house project training on tissue culture of fruits like date palm, pomegranate, mango, strawberry and citrus. I then got admitted to Master of Science in biotechnology program at the same university and did research on mapping of yellow vein mosaic virus disease resistance in okra. However, I was always eager to explore and learn new things and admired UNH for its good research. I joined UNH as an agricultural sciences doctoral student, and my research focuses on strawberry transgenics in the Davis lab. I am also thankful to the ANFS department for my graduate teaching assistantship.

Palash Mandal
Palash Mandal

I was born into and brought up in a farming family in Bangladesh. I received Bachelor of Science in agriculture and Master of Science in agronomy at Sylhet Agricultural University in Bangladesh. I earned a second master’s degree in plant sciences from Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. As a teaching assistant, I support ANSC 698 – Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM). As a doctoral researcher, I am working on investigating phytoestrogens concentration in forage legumes. In my free time, I enjoy fishing and gardening. I chose UNH’s Agricultural Sciences PHD program because it complements my background, and I would like to build my career in academia after completing the program.

Diana Reyes Gomez
Diana Reyes Gomez

Tess Stahl
Tess Stahl

Research Topic: Dairy Nutrition: Sodium butyrate and Monensin supplementation to postweaned dairy calves

Sonja Carlson
Sonja Carlson (MSDI)

I graduated from the University of Arizona and received my bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences with an emphasis in dietetics. I then decided to move to the East Coast to pursue my master’s and dietetic internship here at UNH. I have been enjoying my time in New England and am excited to take advantage of all that UNH has to offer. In my free time I enjoy running, hiking and mountain biking and am eager to explore the beautiful scenery and outdoors here in New England.

Nicole Culligan
Nicole Culligan (MSDI)

I earned my bachelor’s in nutrition: dietetics here at UNH, but I didn't fully discover my interest in nutrition until my first Intro to Nutrition course. It was then I knew what path I was going to take. I am currently unsure what area of nutrition I want to focus on but I really enjoy clinical because I love being able to interact with people one-on-one and do everything I can to help them feel better. Everyone needs food, so helping people understand what will make them feel their best while still getting to enjoy eating is a great feeling!

Christopher Guarino
Christopher Guarino

I am currently pursuing a thesis-based master’s degree in nutritional sciences. Prior to coming to UNH, I earned a four-year nutrition degree with UNH’s esteemed didactic program in dietetics, for which I currently work as a teaching assistant. During my undergrad, I gained valuable experience in data collection and interpretation through the nutrition program’s College Health and Nutrition Assessment Survey (CHANAS) and applied my learning at an internship with Seacoast Eat Local, which administers SNAP benefits to the local community. I also earned my certification as a personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). My goal in grad school is to find out which dietary patterns are predictive of dementia, a disease that devastates families around the world including my own, and inform habits that can protect our loved ones from developing it.  

Chelsey Hayes-Marino
Chelsey Hayes-Marino (MSDI)

I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition: dietetics which solidified my passion for the field of dietetics. I am currently a graduate student in the master of nutritional sciences and dietetic internship program at UNH. Prior to my internship, I worked as a dietetic technician at Maine Medical Center where I was responsible for the initiation of nutritional care plans for patients and providing nutrition education. I worked closely with registered dietitians to ensure that my patients’ nutritional goals were being met while they were in the hospital. My main professional goal is to become a registered dietitian, with a focus in eating disorders and help people improve their lives through nutrition. I want to promote to the public accurate nutrition information that can help people live healthier and happier lives.  

Erica Jones
Erica Jones (MSDI)

I graduated with my B.S. in food and nutrition science from California State University, Chico. I hope that in my career I can help heal people through food and heal people’s relationship with food. I am grateful to be part of a program that will give me the tools and resources I need to help my community in a compassionate and sustainable manner. Currently, I am researching eating competence in first-generation students.

Brooke Kelleher
Brooke Kelleher

I am a graduate research assistant in Dr. Carlota Dao’s lab, pursuing a master’s in nutritional sciences. I most recently worked for UNH Extension, teaching SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs, and providing Policy, Systems and Environmental (PSE) support to NH communities. Prior to that, I spent two years as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member, supporting healthy food access in limited-resource elementary schools. I also hold a B.S. in medical biology with a minor in nutrition from the University of New England. My graduate research centers around the Dao lab’s Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, focusing on stakeholder engagement and community partnerships. I’ll be assessing the various barriers and opportunities for fiber consumption in New Hampshire Hispanics and partnering with community-based organizations toward multi-level interventions. I deeply believe in the power of community and am excited to harness collective impact to support food justice, sustainability and public health efforts.

MS Grad Sophie Kenny
Sophie Kenny

I received a B.S. from UNH in nutrition: nutrition and wellness in May 2019 and completed the didactic program in dietetics graduate certificate program in May 2020. I am currently pursing a M.S. in nutritional science with a thesis and working in Dr. Sherman Bigornia’s lab researching dietary fatty acids and how they impact cognitive function. When I complete my program, I hope to complete a dietetic internship and become a dietitian so I can work with people to better not only their physical health but also mental health.

Lauren Kieffer
Lauren Kieffer (MSDI)

I am from Glendale, Arizona. I earned a degree in nutritional sciences with a minor in women and gender studies and a certificate in food system sustainability from Arizona State University. Due to my interest in nutrition and sustainability, I chose to pursue my graduate degree at UNH. I enjoy being part of the large community here and look forward to applying the skills I’m learning. In the future, I hope to become a registered dietitian nutritionist and pursue a career in public health or teaching. In my spare time, I love to cook, compost and explore the fun, new places New Hampshire has to offer!

Marissa Luciano
Marissa Luciano (MSDI)

I received my bachelor of science in nutrition: dietetics at UNH and am currently a graduate student in the nutritional sciences with a dietetic internship program. I enjoy learning about how specific nutrients impact our health, and I also love eating, cooking, and trying new recipes. The perfect career path for me would be teaching others the importance of nutrition and showing them how to incorporate this knowledge into their own cooking. Using food as medicine, I hope to work in the community setting with vulnerable populations to prevent chronic disease. I also hope to foster a food positive environment where all foods fit, and we can make the most of our nutrients while enjoying every bite. 

Rebecca Maida
Rebecca Maida (MSDI)

I am a recent graduate of Long Island University where I received a B.S. in nutrition and dietetics and a minor in environmental sustainability. I am currently completing my master's in nutritional sciences with dietetic internship and look forward to getting my RDN when I graduate. I have experience in recipe development and cafe management, and I hope to work in nutrition education both in community and academic settings. When I'm not thinking about food and nutrition I am probably thinking about skateboarding and music. I love listening to hardcore, experimental electronic and indie, and I love to play and write my own music.

Alisa Martel
Alise Martel (MSDI)

I am originally from a small town in the northwest corner of Connecticut where I earned my Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Saint Joseph. Finding the field of dietetics was not an easy task for me, and I attempted five different career paths prior to nutrition. I am currently a graduate student in the combined masters of dietetics and dietetic internship program. My goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist and work within a field that provides diverse and changing opportunities because of my inability to stay in one place doing the same tasks. I first discovered the field of agriculture and sustainability during my time WWOOFing in Vermont, and I sought out a program with similar focuses. WOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and provides hands on experience and education in sustainable agricultural practices through volunteering on farms (locally or all around the world) in exchange for things like food, housing, travel, experiences, etc., and can be anywhere from a weekend to months long! This is what brought me to the University of New Hampshire, and I am grateful to be learning in such a welcoming and supportive environment.

Tess Masci
Teresa Masci (MSDI)

I attended Keene State College and received a bachelor of science in health science with a specialization in nutrition from Keene State College in 2020. Currently, I’m a graduate student in the MSDI program here at UNH with plans to become a registered dietitian. I’m a big sports fan, an experimental cook, and puzzle fanatic. In the future, I hope to be able to use my passion for nutrition to help children or athletes in a clinical or community setting.

Madison McCurdy
Madison McCurdy (MSDI)

I graduated with my B.S. in dietetics from Montana State University, Bozeman in 2021. I am currently pursuing a M.S. with the dietetic internship (MSDI) option. I am most excited to gain new experiences in the seemingly endless world of occupations as a dietitian. Based upon my belief that a nutritious lifestyle grows from the ground up, I want to support people in finding their own appreciation for positive food environments, feeling confident in their food choices and strengthening their healthy habits throughout their lives. Using my love of gardening, cooking and assisting others in cultivating their own sustainable nutrition habits and my skills and knowledge as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I hope to one day create an educational community farm.

Julia Melius

Brandy Moser
Brandy Moser

I graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition, a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a minor in public health. With 5 years of organic farming experience, I felt the interdisciplinary nature of the ANFS department at UNH would be the perfect fit. I am currently pursuing a thesis-based Masters of Science in nutritional science and completing the dietetics graduate certificate. My research in the Dao lab is focused on analyzing fiber intake, the human microbiome and the gut-brain axis. When I am not at UNH you’ll find me hiking, cooking or on a farm.

Victoria Overko
Victoria Overko (MSDI)

I graduated from Keene State College and received a Bachelor of Science in public health nutrition in spring of 2021. I am working toward my career goal of becoming a registered dietitian. Currently, I am a part of the master’s degree in nutrition science with a dietetic internship program at UNH. I’m not sure which area of nutrition I want to focus on but I have a strong interest in eating disorders, sports nutrition and community nutrition and would like to explore the addictions field as well.  My passion and interest for nutrition stems from observing the impact that chronic disease has had on my family and the impact that food has had on their health. I hope to make an impact in my professional future as an RD and support people through their food and nutrition journey.   

Rebecca Pirtle
Rebecca Pirtle (MSDI)

I graduated from Saint Louis University with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics on the culinary arts track. I am currently working towards my Master of Science in nutrition with the dietetic internship. My nutrition interests are school food service, nutrition counseling, health at every size, and making the field more accessible to the LGBTQ+ community. When I’m not studying, you can find me spending time with my cat, hiking, cooking and baking, or curled up with a good book and a latte.

Jacob Pottle
Jacob Pottle (MSDI)

I received my B.S. in nutrition: dietetics from the University of New Hampshire and am currently working toward receiving my M.S. in nutritional sciences and completing my dietetic internship. My research involves estimating polyphenol consumption in the U.S. I also enjoy volunteering on campus for the Food Repurposing Project, which cooks and packages food to distribute to the community. 

Mallory Robertson
Mallory Robertson (MSDI)

I earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition: dietetics from UNH and am now continuing my journey here in the master of nutritional sciences with dietetic internship program. I found a passion for nutrition after the diagnosis of a nut allergy forced me to be more aware of what I was putting into my body. Since then, I have gained a variety of nutrition-related experiences at locations including DaVita Kidney Care and Nourishing the Northshore. My current career goal is to work in the clinical setting as a registered dietitian in either infant and maternal health or in the treatment of chronic disease. I strive to help people discover the joy in nourishing their bodies and to communicate that food is not only a fuel source but also a form of medicine.  

MSDI Grad Student Abigail Sarna
Abigail Sarna (MSDI)

I am currently completing a master’s degree in nutrition science with dietetic internship at the UNH. My career goal is to become a registered dietitian nutritionist and work as a food service director in a school district. Before moving to New England, I received a bachelor of science in nutrition from Texas A&M University. I chose to study nutrition because everyone eats. Nutrition gives me a practical way to help clients positively impact their health using something they do every day. In my free time, I am an avid amateur baker, dog mom and puzzle enthusiast.

MSDI Grad Student Marisa Tassi
Marisa Tassi (MSDI)

I graduated from Simmons University in Boston with a degree in nutrition: dietetics. I’ve wanted to be a dietitian since I was in high school because I’ve always loved food and the way it can contribute so much to health. I love trying new foods and learning about different foods around the world. I am currently interested in community nutrition and pediatrics, and I can’t wait to see what opportunities the dietetic internship has in store.

Monica Warren
Monica Warren (MSDI)

Emily Wozer
Emily Wozer

I graduated in May of 2021 with bachelor's degrees in dietetics and dance, and I am currently in my graduate year of the accelerated master's program studying nutritional sciences. I am excited to be working with the Dao lab co-authoring a literature review on the microbiota-gut-brain axis and obesity. In addition to research, I work as an administrative assistant at Coastal Family Nutrition and dance professionally.  I plan to apply for dietetic internships this spring to continue my journey to becoming a registered dietitian. In the future, I hope to pursue pediatric dietetics with goals of integrating nutrition into primary health care and promoting the field of dietetics through higher education.

Courney Yacovelli
Courtney Yacovelli (MSDI)

I’m a graduate student in the master of nutrition sciences and dietetic internship program at UNH. I began my undergraduate career at Simmons University in Boston but graduated with my bachelor’s in nutrition: dietetics from UNH. I love the outdoors as well as spending time learning new recipes and trying new restaurants. In the classroom I enjoy learning about diversity and inclusion in the field, as well as counseling practices.