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Up to 50-90 percent of tropical timber is still illegally harvested. To expose illegal timber trade, we need independent methods to verify timber origin, based on the intrinsic properties of the wood. New promising techniques have become easier and cheaper to conduct over the last years, including chemical and genetic methods. With the Timtrace project (www.timtrace.nl) we combine both methods to determine timber origin on a concession scale (10-100 km).
My research focus are the chemical analyses, using stable isotopes, trace elements and rare earth elements to improve the spatial resolution of chemical timber tracing. Using mass spectrometry, I aim to distinguish between locations based on their specific chemical profile using > 60 elements such as barium, rubidium, iron, manganese, etc and 5 stable isotopes.
Before starting at Wageningen University in March 2019, I completed both my BSc and MSc at Utrecht University with internships on forest ecology and forest restoration in French Guiana and Panama.