US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Alex C. Wiedenhoeft

Alex C. Wiedenhoeft

Research Botanist and Team Leader
Center for Wood Anatomy Research
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
United States

Phone: 608-231-9384
Fax: 608-231-9508
Contact Alex C. Wiedenhoeft

Current Research

Botanical wood anatomy

  • Evolution of wood anatomical diversity in Croton
  • Wood anatomical flood response to seasonal inundation
  • Characterization of wood phenotype in naturally occurring tree mutants (Populus, Prunus, Acer)
  • Cambial activity of cerrado species in relation to climate and ecology
  • Micromechanical investigation of pit membranes in conifers
Forensic wood science
  • Machine-vision wood identification (with John Hermanson, FPL)
  • Standardize macroscopic imaging of wood
  • Enhanced quantitation of traditional wood anatomical techniques (Acer, Swietenia)
  • Anatomically informed DNA optimization of DNA extraction from wood
  • Further develop organellar microcapture for trace evidence
  • Develop bulk DNA extraction protocols applicable to a range of wood products
Biocentric wood science
  • The effect of scale on wood electrical properties and moisture relations from the ultrastructural to the growth ring level
  • Practical methods to determine dimensional change coefficients for the flooring industry
Other interdisciplinary cooperations or projects
  • Product claim verification in forest products supply chains and improved monitoring and determination of best practices
  • Isolation and quantification of tree-ring nitrogen
  • Climate reconstruction of the Younger Dryas period
  • Identification and dating of the wooden cultural patrimony of the Taino people

Research Interests

  • Elucidate the evolutionary interplay between ecology and phylogeny in wood anatomy as determinants of structure-function of trees, shrubs, and lianas.
  • Conduct foundational research and develop tools and methods to improve the ability of the wood industry to comply with - and law enforcement to apply - laws governing illegal logging.
  • Improve the use and utility of wood as a material by researching the biological origins of fundamental wood properties at the mesoscale and how they influence wood behavior in a range of contexts.

Past Research

  • Systematic wood anatomy
  • Traditional wood identification
  • Anatomical aspects of early wood colonization by wood decay fungi
  • Wood-finish and wood-adhesive interactions


  • University of Wisconsin at Madison, B.S. Department of Botany 1997
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison, M.S. Department of Botany 2001
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison, Ph.D. Department of Botany 2008

Professional Experience

  • Professor Estrangeiro, Universidade Estadual Paulista - Botucatu, Departamento de Botanica
    2014 - Current
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison Department of Botany
    2013 - Current
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
    2012 - Current
  • Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Botany
    2008 - 2013

Professional Organizations

  • Wraith - Wood Research Against Illegal Timber Harvest, an Iawa Task Force, Chair (2015 - Current)
  • International Association of Wood Anatomists, Exceutive Council Member (2012 - Current)
  • International Association of Wood Anatomists, Editorial Board Member (2012 - present)
  • International Association of Wood Anatomists, Member (2012 - present)
  • International Association of Wood Anatomists, Associate Editor (2003 - present)

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general publ ...


Machine Vision Wood Identification of Endangered Tropical Woods

Field identification of wood (screening) is the first step in a forensic workflow to combat illegal logging. Similarly, industries interested in ...


The Xylotron: A Field-Deployable Machine-Vision Wood Identification System

The Xylotron is a machine-vision-based wood identification system that uses a custom-designed wood imaging device (the Xyloscope), image analysi ...


Last updated on : 12/10/2019