COLSA Research Directory

COLSA scientists conduct research on a wide array of issues in areas of human and animal health, sustainable food production and nutrition, natural resource and wildlife management, and environmental quality. Learn about the research that’s pushing the scientific frontiers that will help overcome challenges and capture critical opportunities to improve the lives and livelihoods of communities in New Hampshire and beyond.

Please note: This directory launched August 2022 and it is not yet a comprehensive list of research work performed across COLSA. You can find a more complete inventory of research conducted by COLSA researchers on the COLSA FindScholars webpage and on the biography webpages of individual faculty members.

Do you have content that you'd like to publish within this directory? Fill out our Research Spotlight intake form. You can contact Nick Gosling or Sarah Schaier with any questions.

A photo of a large bail of alfalfa grass
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station
Research has shown that dairy cows fed legume silages consumed more dry matter (DM) and produced more milk than those receiving grass silages. However, across northeastern U.S. dairies, legumes only contributed to 26% of grazed forage. Research to improve legume persistence while closing knowledge gaps about which legume-grass mixtures are best suitable for producing profitable milk (i.e., higher butterfat and protein) is needed to make organic and conventional dairies in New England more competitive in the long run.
Topic(s): Dairy Science, Farm Management
An image of a field of purple clovers. In the back left corner is a black and white cow grazing. Above the cow is a light blue sky partially covered by white clouds.
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, Natural Resources and the Environment, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
In farming, a ‘summer slump’ refers to the periods of the growing season when traditional forage plants—eaten by livestock—don’t grow well or aren’t readily available. Scientists with the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station are helping identify what forage crops could be grown to supplement traditional forages during these seasonal ‘slumps.’
Topic(s): Climate Science, Farm Management, Resilient Agriculture
A photo of cows eating grass in a field
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Until recently, the organic grass-fed (OGF) management systems have had little research directed to identifying best practices for higher milk production. Andre Brito, a scientist with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and associate professor in the Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems department, was one of several Northeast scientists to contribute to a paper in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems journal that studied management techniques of OGF dairy farmers.
Topic(s): Dairy Science, Farm Management
An image of baby lumpfish in a tank and being cared for by aquaculture researchers at COLSA.
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, Biological Sciences, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Aquaculture researchers at the UNH College of Life Sciences & Agriculture are investigating new and innovative methods of sustainable fishing, reducing prevalence of aquatic animal disease, and leveraging the many ecosystem services that marine life can provide.
Topic(s): Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Aquaculture
A photo showing a bunch of oysters in a tray
Biological Sciences, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
New research on the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) show that both farmed and wild oyster filter nitrogen from the water, processing the element in their shells and soft tissues and helping reducing cases of eutrophication. In a recent paper, scientists showed that oysters and other shellfish can help complement land-based nutrient management practices, such as upgrades to wastewater treatment plants around New Hampshire’s Great Bay estuary to reduce nitrogen output.
Topic(s): Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Aquaculture
A photo of a tan bobcat, peppered with black spots, poised on a rock. The bobcat has a white underbelly, ears pointed straight up, looking off in the distance, while standing crouched on all four legs. Grey tree trunks are in the background.
Biological Sciences, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
The bobcat, New Hampshire’s official state wildcat and a critical contributor to the sustainability of the state's forest ecosystem, may be being stressed out by human activity in residential and agricultural areas.
Topic(s): Ecosystem Services, Genetics and Genomics
A photo of strawberries (on the left) and ornamental strawberry flowers (right) for the Inspired Horticultural Report
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station
With over 700,000 pounds produced and $2.3 million in farm sales, strawberries are an important crop for New Hampshire farmers. But improving the cultivated strawberry through breeding is particularly challenging. The cultivated strawberries has four times as many chromosome sets as humans, animals and most other crops, which significantly increases its genomic complexity. Research to untangle the plant's genetic structure will enable scientists to more quickly and effectively develop cultivated strawberry varieties that help New England farmers be more resilient and successful.
Topic(s): Genetics and Genomics, Resilient Agriculture, Specialty Crops
A New England cottontail hiding in its native shrubland habitat
Biological Sciences, Natural Resources and the Environment, New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
An unintended impact of land-use changes over the past century has been a more than 86 percent decrease in the range of the New England cottontail. Ongoing habitat restoration efforts will help the survival of the New England cottontail, and new research by COLSA researchers finds that these efforts will also benefit at least 12 shrubland-obligate bird species with which the cottontail shares its habitat.
Topic(s): Ecosystem Services, Genetics and Genomics
An image from a microscope showing cells stained with immunofluorescence. The cells are brightly colored greens, purples and blues with red streaks between them.
Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
UNH researchers are one step closer to understanding why autism is four times more common in boys than in girls after identifying and characterizing the connection of certain proteins in the brain to autism spectrum disorders.
Topic(s): Molecular Biology
An underwater photo showing two sea sponges in the foreground. The foremost sponge is reddish-brown and has a wide-open top. The farthest sponge is darker in color and has a wide-open top. Behind both sponges is a scuba diver in the background.
Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Sponges in coral reefs are among the earliest animals on the planet. Research from UNH examines coral reef ecosystems with a novel approach to understanding the complex evolution of sponges and the microbes that live in symbiosis with them.
Topic(s): Ecosystem Services, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology