USDA Forest Service    

George D. Aiken Forestry Sciences Lab - Burlington, Vermont

 Biological and Environmental Influences on Forest Health and Productivity
 Ecological Processes: A Basis for Managing Forests and Water Quality in New England
 Integrating Social and Biophysical Sciences for Natural Resource Management
 NED Software

Northern Research Station



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 George D. Aiken Forestry Sciences Lab                        705 Spear Street  South Burlington, Vermont 05403

(802) 951-6771


 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Paula Murakami

Biological Lab Technician

Northern Research Station

705 Spear Street

So. Burlington, Vermont 05403

Phone: (802) 951-6771 x1270



The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, MS Forestry, 1994.

Villanova University, Villanova, PA, BS Biology, 1990.

Job description:

My research focus involves trying to understand why leaves change color, specifically to red, in response to environmental stresses.  I am particularly interested in how anthocyanins may function as foliar antioxidants and why this may be advantageous to overall tree health.  My projectís close collaboration with The University of Vermont (UVM) has afforded me numerous opportunities to work with graduate students and scientific staff there.  On occasion I teach Dendrology at UVM during the fall semester, and currently I serve as the Safety Officer for the Burlington research station.

My duties as a research technician are quite diverse and I must admit that I truly appreciate the variety.  In the laboratory, some of my duties include analyzing foliar and woody tissues for carbohydrates using high performance liquid chromatography.  I also conduct foliar pigment and antioxidant assays using UV/VIS spectrophotometry.  In addition, I have considerable experience using both light and fluorescence microscopy.  In the office, I enter and statistically analyze data, conduct literature searches, and contribute as an author to scientific papers published by my project.  I am likely considered the labís ďexpertĒ in creating scientific posters and am often called upon to demonstrate my creative skills in this manner.  I welcome these opportunities to be creative and have some fun.  Thankfully, my job also includes opportunities for field work, especially during autumn! 

Outside of work, I am a mother of two, active little boys.  I enjoy hiking and playing outdoors with my family.  I hold a private pilotís certificate in hot air ballooning and serve as a member of a creative design team for a local scrapbook store.

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