PhD defence

Chemical methods for timber tracing

PhD candidate Laura LE (Laura) Boeschoten MSc
Promotor prof.dr. PA (Pieter) Zuidema
Co-promotor dr. UGW (Ute) Sass-Klaassen
dr. M (Mart) Vlam
Organisation Wageningen University, Forest Ecology and Forest Management

Fri 22 September 2023 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia
Room Auditorium


Illegal logging undermines sustainable timber production, therewith threatening ecosystems, economies, and human well-being. To combat illegal timber trade, law enforcers need to be able to check claims of timber origin. However, such independent checks are currently hindered by the difficulty to independently verify timber origin. Therefore, the research in this thesis was focussed on forensic methods that can be used to verify timber origin based on intrinsic wood properties. Two chemical methods were applied for this goal: multi-element analysis and stable isotope ratios. Their tracing potential was tested for several African and Asian timbers.

Through this research, I showed that these tracing methods can indeed be applied to verify timber origin both between countries and within countries. To further develop scientific timber tracing, it will be crucial to focus on the most suitable methods for each region and timber species to maximize their effectiveness and realize their full potential.

For more information, visit: