Undergrad Research Resources

Undergrad Research Resources

A photo of faculty member Adrienne Kovach (center) working with UNH students on studying salt marsh sparrows

Undergraduate research is a valuable learning opportunity available to COLSA students. Participation in research can be helpful in pursing graduate studies, developing professional relationships with faculty, gaining insight to potential career paths, and learning how a real lab operates. We encourage any students who are interested to reach out to faculty members about getting involved in research.

 

Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research

The labs listed below are actively seeking student researchers and we encourage any interested students to reach out to the faculty contacts about these opportunities. This email template can serve as a guide for students unsure of how exactly to take that first step. When emailing faculty about research opportunities, it may also be helpful to attach a resume to the email. For students who don’t currently have a resume, the St. Martin Career Exploration Office can help with building one.

Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research

For students interested in getting involved with research that isn’t actively recruiting undergraduates, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to the faculty lead about potential opportunities anyway. Talking to a professor after class, visiting office hours, or sending an email are all good ways of going about this.

Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research

When it comes to compensation, there are many options available for student researchers. These include hourly pay, work-study, class credit, fellowships, and more. We encourage students to discuss these options when exploring research opportunities with faculty members.

Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research

The Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research provides resources and financial support for the research, scholarly, and creative projects of UNH students. One-hundred percent of the funding for research awards and fellowships comes from donor gifts. Visit their webpage to learn more.

Student Research Stories

Hear from the student researchers themselves about their experiences.

A photo of undergraduate researcher Kostandina Bicja

"When I enrolled at UNH, I knew there would be endless opportunities to extend my education past the classroom. I have always been interested in applying my knowledge in a way that matters. With UNH being an R1 school, research is encouraged and very easy to get involved with." Kostandina Bicja '23

Undergrad Research Opportunities

A headshot of Carlota Dao, COLSA researcher

Maria Carlota Dao, Carlota.Dao@unh.edu
 Lab webpage,  Dao lab on Facebook

Research focus and opportunities: Investigate the relationship between diet, gut microbes, and human health. 

Research locations:

We are also interested in identifying population-specific psychosocial and biological determinants of obesity and chronic disease for the development of tailored dietary interventions that address health inequities.

The opportunities below are available. To learn more and apply, please email Carlota.

  • Data management and analysis
  • Literature reviews
  • Laboratory biomarker assessment (limited)
  • Clinical and epidemiological assessments (limited)
  • Community engagement activities
A headshot of Serita Frey, COLSA researcher

Serita Frey, Serita.Frey@unh.edu
 Lab webpage,  Serita Frey on Twitter

Research focus and opportunities: Research focuses on how human activities are impacting terrestrial ecosystems, with an emphasis on soil biota and nutrient cycling processes. 

Research locations:

  • Lab: James Hall, 114

 We are specifically interested in how anthropogenic stressors (e.g., climate change, nitrogen deposition, agricultural management, invasive species) affect the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities and microbial-mediated carbon and nitrogen cycles. We work at the interface between ecosystem science, microbial ecology and global change biology, combining microbiological methods with stable isotope analysis and a variety of soil physical and chemical approaches to examine structure-function linkages.

We routinely employ undergraduates to assist with our field and lab research. There are positions during the academic year as well as over the summer. Undergraduates also engage in independent research, capstone projects, and senior theses. I welcome inquiries from potential graduate students who are motivated, have prior research experience, and are interested in working at the interface between ecosystem and microbial ecology. If you are interested in applying to work with Serita, please email her your CV and a brief description of your background and research experience and interests.

Additional information on lab opportunities available on the Frey Lab website.

A headshot of Jeff Garnas, COLSA researcher

Jeff Garnas, jeff.garnas@unh.edu
 Lab webpage,  Jeff Garnas on Twitter

Research focus and opportunities: Field and lab research on various insects and fungi of forest health concern. 

Research locations:

  • Office: James Hall, 162
  • Field lab: Spaulding Hall, G31
  • Molecular lab: Rudman Hall, 135

Positions are varied and range from primarily field-oriented (working with Emerald ash borer, Southern pine beetle, Browntail moth, beech bark disease, etc.), lab-focused (fungal culturing, DNA extraction, insect trap sorting and identification), or both.  Come join a dynamic team of students and postdocs doing interesting work related to the health of New England’s forest ecosystems!

A headshot of Becky Sideman, COLSA researcher

Becky Sideman, Becky.Sideman@unh.edu
or call 603-862-3203

 Lab webpage,  Sideman lab on Instagram

Research focus and opportunities: Study growing practices for the New England region (including new varieties, new crops and season extension strategies) to help farmers diversify their offerings, improve yields and improve crop quality. 

Research locations: UNH research farms and greenhouses

Many of our integrated research and extension projects focus on high-value specialty crop production systems and methods of extending the growing season (e.g. season extension). Current projects include those focusing on strategies to produce seedless table grapes and figs in New Hampshire, the production of hydrangea for cut flowers, alternative strategies to overwinter strawberries, and specialty vegetable crop variety evaluation.

We welcome motivated undergraduate and graduate students to join our team. We hire 1-3 research assistants each summer and fall; with most (but not all) work taking place between May-November. In addition to learning about managing and maintaining several types of horticultural crops, you can gain experience with experimental design and layout, data collection, and data analysis. Opportunities also exist to develop individual research projects; several students have conducted research leading to honors theses, independent study projects, and undergraduate research conference presentations.

A photo of Dairy Nutrition scientist Nancy Whitehouse

Nancy Whitehouse, Nancy.Whitehouse@unh.edu
or call 603-862-1349

Research focus and opportunities: The main research focus is amino acids requirements in lactating dairy cows and bioavailability of rumen protected amino acids. 

Research location: UNH Keener Dairy Research Building, O'Kane Road, Durham

Students can be involved in setting up for trials, feeding dairy cows research diets, collecting and processing feed, blood and milk samples. There is also data entry for the trails. This position allows the student to get research experience along with large animal experience. There is also a database project where students involved in that will learn different ration balancing programs and literature searches along with entry data into spreadsheets.

Pay starts at $9.00 but can be higher depending on level experience with large animals.

Are you a COLSA faculty member who wants to list your lab on this webpage or update your listing? Fill out our online form and a member of the COLSA communications team will be in touch!

Meet some of our undergrad researchers!

  • Striving for a better understanding of the brain and its disorders
    Kostandina Bicja is a neuroscience and behavior major and psychology minor from Manchester, New Hampshire. She is also a first-generation college student whose family immigrated to the U.S. shortly before she was born....
    Striving for a better understanding of the brain and its disorders
    Kostandina Bicja is a neuroscience and behavior major and psychology minor from Manchester, New Hampshire. She is also a first-generation college student whose family immigrated to the U.S. shortly before she was born....
  • UNH snare drummer prepares for career searching for life in the universe
    Andrea Pecora is a biomedical science: medical laboratory science major and classics minor who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to conduct research with Professor Lou Tisa.
    UNH snare drummer prepares for career searching for life in the universe
    Andrea Pecora is a biomedical science: medical laboratory science major and classics minor who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to conduct research with Professor Lou Tisa.
  • Undergraduate research, an accelerated master’s and a plan
    Quinn Beek is a biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology major who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research in the lab of Sarah Walker, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and biomedical sciences. 
    Undergraduate research, an accelerated master’s and a plan
    Quinn Beek is a biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology major who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research in the lab of Sarah Walker, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and biomedical sciences. 
  • A strong foundation to address the impacts of climate change
    Megan Wimsatt is an environmental sciences: ecosytems major who has received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research under the guidance of Ruth Varner, professor of biogeochemistry in both the UNH College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and at the...
    A strong foundation to address the impacts of climate change
    Megan Wimsatt is an environmental sciences: ecosytems major who has received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research under the guidance of Ruth Varner, professor of biogeochemistry in both the UNH College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and at the...
  • A focus on fish behavior
    Matthew Scott is a marine, estuarine and freshwater biology major who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research in the lab of Nathan Furey, assistant professor of biological sciences. His research topic is “Modeling the Impacts of Invasive Streamside Plants and...
    A focus on fish behavior
    Matthew Scott is a marine, estuarine and freshwater biology major who received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to conduct research in the lab of Nathan Furey, assistant professor of biological sciences. His research topic is “Modeling the Impacts of Invasive Streamside Plants and...