Opportunities in Faculty Labs

Join the many COLSA undergraduates whose lives have been changed by working side-by-side with faculty on high-level, innovative research. You'll awaken a passion you may not know you had and develop important (and marketable) research skills in the process.

Browse through the options below to learn about what our faculty are doing and how you can get involved, or look into opportunities to apply for funding your own research through the Hamel Center.

Once you find a project that interests you, take the next step and make contact. Faculty are waiting to hear from you.

Please note: Faculty members may not have positions available every semester.


Shadi Atallah

Faculty Profile
Email: shadi.atallah@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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 and Wildlife.

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Hourly
  • Thesis Project
  • Work-Study

 

André Brito, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: andre.brito@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 
WORK TYPE(S):
 
  • For Credit
  • Hourly
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

 

Xuanmao Chen

Faculty Profile
Email: Xuanmao.Chen@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

 

Russell G. Congalton, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: russ.congalton@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

Russel
 

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Hourly
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

 

Kevin Culligan, Ph.D.

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

For Credit, Thesis Project, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Science, Genetics, Genomics/Bioinformatics, Plants

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project

 

Peter S Erickson, Ph.D.

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

Research with dairy calves, cows and heifers to improve their health and performance. Undergraduates add in the feeding, sampling of cattle for blood, milk, feces, and urine samples. Weekly measurements are taken with the aid of students.

RESEARCH AREAS

For Credit, Agriculture

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit

 

Elizabeth A Fairchild, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: elizabeth.fairchild@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Hourly
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

 

Todd Guerdat, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: todd.guerdat@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

 

Carrie Hall, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: carrie.hall@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

Volunteer, Animals, Behavior, Community, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Forestry

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer

 

Daniel Howard, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: daniel.howard@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

 

Estelle Hrabak, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: estelle.hrabak@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer

 

Matthew MacManes, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: matthew.macmanes@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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  on MacMane's Lab Website.

RESEARCH AREAS

Animals, Behavior, Cellular and Molecular Science, Genetics, Genomics/Bioinformatics

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer

 

Jesse Stabile Morrell, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: jesse.morrell@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer

 

Sarah Proctor, MPH, DVM

Faculty Profile
Email: Sarah.Proctor@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

Thesis Project, Agriculture, Behavior, Community

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • Thesis Project

 

Paul Tsang, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: paul.tsang@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Thesis Project
  • Volunteer

 

Jessica Ernakovich, Ph.D.

Faculty Profile
Email: Jessica.Ernakovich@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

Microbial ecology research experience.

Do you wonder how the biology and chemistry of the planet interact to fill your world with the beauty you see? Are you curious about the earth’s cycles work and how humans are impacting them? If so, the fields of biogeochemistry and microbial ecology would interest you!

I am seeking two students to join my lab to work with me on (1) a permafrost microbiome study and (2) molecular work for an agroecosystem soil health study.

  1. The Arctic is experiencing unprecedented changes to the landscape due to climate warming. You and I will work to address changes to Arctic permafrost, or permanently frozen soil, and the microorganisms that inhabit it. Your role (at least initially) will be to assemble and manage a database of microbial genomic data (don’t worry- I’ll show you how). There will be an opportunity to learn bioinformatics and/or advanced statistical methods if desired. Experience or study in microbiology, ecology, or computer science is a plus, but it not required. 
  2. We rely on agroecosystems for our food, clothing, and other resources, so it is important that these systems remain healthy. You and I will work to answer questions about the microbial contribution to soil health by studying local agricultural soils. Your responsibilities will include standard molecular techniques, including making buffers, preparing qPCR standards, and performing PCR. You will also have the opportunity to help me establish a new method for stable isotope probing of microbial biomolecules if desired. Research experience or coursework in microbiology and molecular techniques is required. I will train you for the soils work and stable isotope probing work.

If the students desire, both will also have the opportunity to do local field work. 

RESEARCH AREAS

Ecology, Environment, Genomics/Bioinformatics, Natural Resources

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • For Credit
  • Hourly
  • Thesis Project
  • Work-Study

 

Jessica A. Bolker, Ph.D.

Email: jessica.bolker@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: Monday, August 27, 2018

Pitch Your Idea

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

 

WORK TYPE(S):
  • Thesis Project

 

Rick Cote, Ph.D.

Email: rick.cote@unh.edu

Earliest Start Date: No Openings 

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