Understanding tree growth in relation to environmental factors – this is my passion! Dendrochronology (tree ring research) sounds like a very specific discipline, but it can be widely applied on trees in temperate, boreal, arctic, and tropical ecosystems and for answering fundamental and applied questions ranging from mechanism of water transport in trees and shrubs to effects of climate change on tree growth and wood quality.
The DendroLab of FEM is my arena to conduct research together with colleagues of various research disciplines and teach students about mechanisms and dynamics in wood formation in response to climate as well as to unravel environmental information (climate, flooding, burial) stored in tree-ring width and wood structure.
Examples of questions we addressed in International as well as student projects are: How Spanish was the Spanish Armanda? (Provenancing of ship timber from Iberian shipwrecks) What is the age of tropical giants and arctic dwarfs shrubs? (Age detection and growth trajectories of tropical tree species and Arctic shrubs). “Trojan horses – bark beetles invading the Netherlands (dating exit holes made by invasive insects); Pope in trouble – no regeneration in Frankincense forests in Ethiopia (Population dynamics of Boswellia papyrifera).