Graduate Research Conference showcases scholarship, creativity

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Overview of Whittemore Center with research posters

UNH’s annual celebration of student scholarship and creativity launched April 11 with the Graduate Research Conference in the Whitt. More than 200 students from all academic disciplines shared research posters — and an obvious passion for discovery — with their peers and guests.

Jayne Knott, a Ph.D. student in civil engineering, is researching the effects of rising groundwater on New Hampshire roadways.

“I’m not exactly your typical grad student,” said Jayne Knott, who’s pursing a Ph.D. in civil engineering after several decades of work as an engineer. “But I really wanted to get involved in this climate change and infrastructure work, and I was intrigued with what’s happening at UNH with the ICNet [Infrastructure and Climate Network].”

Knott’s poster showcased how the increased rainfall and sea-level rise predicted as our climate changes will change groundwater levels. “We talk about coastal flooding and surface flooding. Groundwater is often out of sight, out of mind,” she said.

Maps and charts on her poster show roadway flooding from rising groundwater that will help government transportation managers identify vulnerable areas, like the I-95 offramp into the Portsmouth Traffic Circle. Hear Jayne talk about her work.

Two people look at a research poster

Roadways figure into Rory Carroll’s research on New Hampshire’s bobcat population, too, albeit in a very different way. Carroll, a Ph.D. student in the natural resources and Earth systems science program, did genetic analysis on about 250 samples from accidentally captured or killed (generally by traffic) bobcats.

He found two genetically distinct populations of bobcats, one in the southwestern part of the state and one in the northeast. “There’s this major division that largely follows Route 89,” he said, tracing the interstate on a map on his poster. What researchers don’t know yet, he added, is whether the highly mobile cats can’t cross I-89, or whether the habitat on each side of the roadway is different enough to support two distinct populations.

Associate dean of the graduate school Cari Moorhead presented seven graduate student awards. The Graduate Student Research/Scholarship/Creativity Awards went to Elizabeth Moschella ‘15G (Ph.D., psychology) and Colin Joyce (Ph.D., physics). Graduate Student Teaching Awards went to Jovana Milosavljevic (master’s, English), Samantha Werner ’14 (master’s, natural resources), Sara Clarke-Vivier (Ph.D., education) and Matthew Cheney (Ph.D., English); Ben Brewer (master’s, economics) received honorable mention. Moorhead also announced 15 students who received competitive dissertation year fellowships for support in the final year of their Ph.D. programs.


Graduate Research Events This Week

Don’t miss it! The School of Marine and Ocean Engineering Graduate Student Symposium takes place Thursday, April 21, at Holloway Commons.

And, 24 masters and Ph.D. students will participate in the 3-Minute Thesis competition in MUB Theatres I & II on Thursday 1 – 4 p.m.

Hear more UNH graduate students describe their work from the 2016 Graduate Research Conference! Soundcloud







Jeremy Gasowski | UNH Marketing | | 603-862-4465