I work to understand how plants function by means of anatomical investigations to answer questions framed in an ecological perspective.


Most of my research activities have a strong input of anatomical observations along the stem of herbs, shrubs, trees, and lianas to investigate the hydraulic, mechanical, and/or other roles of different stem tissues. With regard to habitats I include plant from an alpine-to-low-land, subtropical-to-arctic and wet-to-dry range spanning the majority of Northern Hemisphere woody plant biomes.


I consider timber species as a small commercially-oriented selection of plant stem material: the number of species producing wood is obviously much higher than the number of species actually traded. Therefore, studies on wood physical and mechanical properties are biased by the initial human-based selection of species. I am convinced that investigating wood quality of potentially all woody species, we can better understand wood as raw material and log properties of importance for end users. In this area, I’m particularly interested in wood density, shrinkage ans swelling, in production of reaction wood in different taxa and plant size; the effect of micro-site growing conditions on wood quality, and the ecological significance of wood natural durability.