Adjunct Associate Professor of Botany
B229 Birge Hall
- PhD (2008) UW-Madison Department of Botany
- Research Interests
- botanical wood anatomy; biocentric wood science; forensic wood science
My lab facilities are located at the US Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory on the west end of campus where I am a Research Botanist and Team Leader for the Center for Wood Anatomy Research. My team and I curate world’s largest and finest xylarium and conduct research on a range of topics related to wood, trees, and forests, including: the evolution of wood anatomical diversity in Croton; organellar microcapture from wood trace evidence; meso-scale characterization of wood properties and behavior; studies of structure-function relationships in wood products; and phenotypic characterization of high-value wood mutations. My lab is part of an interdisciplinary cooperation funded by the US Department of State and the Forest Service to develop an open source field-portable machine vision wood identification system, the XyloTron. XyloTron projects include developing regional identification models for in-country deployment, improvement of feature detection algorithms to automate the acquisition of wood anatomical data for basic scientific research, and data mining the ever-growing data set to improve XyloTron performance.
I typically present guest lectures on wood forensics in Plant Anatomy and Dendrology, and co-teach Principles and Applications of Forensic Botany with Sara Hotchkiss. I give short courses on the state of the art in forensic wood science to US and foreign law enforcement and inspection agencies and on wood science to the wood flooring industry on an as-needed basis. I have an appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Forest Ecology and Management at Purdue University, and I am a Professor Estrangeiro in the Botany Department in the State of São Paulo University – Botucatu, Brazil, where I teach a graduate short course in forensic wood science.