Marta R. M. Lima, Research Assistant Professor


I have been studying plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses using an interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on metabolomics. Specifically, I have been characterizing molecular and biochemical mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions, plant responses to combined biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as processes involved in plant response to iron deficiency and the impact of legume iron composition on human nutrition. One major aim of my work is to elucidate changes induced by stress on overall plant metabolic pathways and translate that knowledge into practical applications. My current research focuses on the impact of external factors (biotic/abiotic stresses or management practices) on plant physiology and biochemistry, and addresses issues of crop productivity, plant health and nutrient/phytochemical composition of fresh fruit and legume species. The ultimate goal of my research program is to improve crop quality and yield, food security, and human health and nutrition.

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A. S. Chandrakala, Graduate Researcher


A. S. Chandrakala earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (University of Madras – India, 1994), and holds two master’s degrees in Clinical Biochemistry (MSc, University of Madras – India, 1996; MPhil, Bharathidasan University – India, 2006), along with professional certification in Bioinformatics (Gujarat University – India, 2004). For several years, Chandrakala was a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry at various colleges in India. For the past years, at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Chandrakala pursued independent investigations in the areas of plant tissue culture and biotechnology (Minocha lab 2016-2019) and protein expression and purification (Varga lab 2018-2019). She also worked as a research technician in the Minocha lab (2016-2019) and at the USDA Forest Service (2017-2018), in addition to teach Cell and Molecular Biology at Concord Community College (2018). Chandrakala joined the Lima lab at UNH in 2019 as a graduate student to pursue a doctoral degree. Her research project involves the study of phytochemicals, and their roles in grapevine health and nutritional quality of grapes. Chandrakala is concluding her graduate studies at UNH, after Dr. Lima moved to Virginia Tech in Fall 2021.


Palash Mandal, Graduate Researcher


Palash Mandal was born into and brought up in a farming family in Bangladesh. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (2012) and Master of Science in Agronomy (2013) at Sylhet Agricultural University in Bangladesh. In 2018, Palash earned his second Master’s degree in Plant Sciences from Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. At WUR, he studied the function of key developmental transcription factors (PLT3, 5, 7) in Arabidopsis lateral root development; he also investigated root competition under drought stress in intercropping systems. Mandal worked as a junior faculty in Sylhet Agricultural University since 2013, until he joined the ANFS Department at UNH in Spring 2021 as a doctoral student and teaching assistant. As a teaching assistant, he supports NUTR 400 – Nutrition in health & well-being and ANSC 698 – Cooperative for real education in agricultural management (CREAM). As a doctoral researcher Mandal started working in the Lima lab at UNH investigating phytoestrogens in forage legumes and dairy milk. Mandal is concluding his graduate studies at UNH, after Dr. Lima moved to Virginia Tech in Fall 2021.


Former lab members

Undergraduate Researchers

Leah Ford (University of New Hampshire, Fall 2020), Grape post-harvest quality

Madeline Young (University of New Hampshire, 2019-2020), Plant Iron Deficiency Chlorosis

Molly Hanlon (University of New Hampshire, 2019-2020), Post-harvest nutritional quality of cold hardy table grapes produced on different vine training systems

Hannah Siegel (University of New Hampshire, Spring 2019), Phytoestrogens in legume forages

Jessica Hodgkins (University of New Hampshire, Fall 2018), assisted the launch of the research program in the Lima lab