US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Rakesh Minocha

Plant Physiologist / Biochemist
271 Mast Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 603-868-7622

Current Research

Current research:
  • My research is focused on the physiological response of trees to injury, infection, and environmental change. Sources of injury may be obvious such as those from fire, storms, pests, pathogens and human activity. Significant, yet less obvious change may come from perturbations in soil chemistry due to acid rain.

Current research examines:

  • As a part of various interdisciplinary research teams, I examine wood and foliar chemistry (including inorganic cations, polyamines, amino acids, soluble proteins, and chlorophyll) at various sites in the Northeastern USA, Europe and Asia to determine the correlation between these parameters and other data on root, soil, and soil solution chemistry collected by our cooperators and collaborators. So far, putrescine, a polyamine, and arginine, an amino acid have shown the potential to be used as early indicators of physiological stress under field conditions.
  • The applicability and limitations of dendrochemistry to provide markers of environmental change.

Research Interests

  • Keep working on the current research focus and add new indicators to our currently existing list that can predict changes in forest productivity.
  • Using molecular techniques, study the effects of environmental changes such as excess of nitrogen on microbial population intensity and/or diversity and ecosystem functions.
  • Develop new techniques or optimize existing techniques that can help us analyze tree samples for additional physiological indicators.
  • Write articles in trade journals or magazines of general public interest to transfer this technology on to environmental scientists and scientists belonging to other disciplines. This transfer will help the public understand the value of our research.

Why This Research is Important

Stress from mechanical injury, subsequent infection, and environmental change are facts of life for wild, rural, and urban trees. This stress often impacts the diverse goals of forest management, wildlife conservation, high-quality wood products, or the desire for safe and healthy trees in our communities. Maximizing the benefits of trees for forests and communities requires understanding how these goals are linked to tree biology and early detection of tree response to environmental change.


  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, Ph.D. . Biochemistry, 1985
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, M.S. Zoology, 1978
  • Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, M.Sc. (Honors) Zoology, 1976
  • Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, B.Sc. (Honors) Zoology, 1975

Professional Organizations

  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • Ecological Society of America
  • International Society of Environmental Bioindicators

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights


Project SMART: Educating and Motivating Talented High School Students in Math and Science

Forest Service funding from the Northern Research Station's Civil Rights Diversity Committee's Special Project Funds and Conservation Education' ...


Last updated on : 10/16/2014