Lloyd Donaldson



Dr Lloyd Donaldson is a leading microscopist specialising in plant anatomy and ultrastructure, and has pioneered techniques in confocal fluorescence imaging of wood and biomaterials.


  • DSc (Wood Science) University of Canterbury, NZ -2002
  • MSc (Hons) (Botany) University of Canterbury, NZ -1986
  • BSc (Botany) University of Auckland, NZ -1980

Research capabilities

  • Anatomy of pine needles in relation to foliar disease
  • Anatomy of cone and bud development in relation to gene expression in various conifer species
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy of wood in relation to cell wall porosity
  • Microscopy of transformed tissue/plants for phenotype evaluation
  • Microscopy of biomaterials
  • Light & electron microscopy
  • Digital image processing & analysis
  • Wood identification

Career highlights

  • Visiting Scientist Wood Ultrastructure Research Centre, Uppsala, Sweden (2001)
  • Fellow International Academy of Wood Science (2003-)
  • Associate Editor/Editorial Board International Association of Wood Anatomists Journal (2004-)
  • President Microscopy New Zealand Inc (2007-2012)
  • 8th Place, Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition (2009)
  • Charles Fleming Senior Scientist award (2011)
  • Visiting Scientist Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China (2012)
  • Visiting Scientist Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, University of Belgrade, Serbia (2013)
  • Visiting scientist, INRA, Reims, France (2014-15)
  • Secretary – International Academy of Wood Science (2017-2022)
  • Co-editor in Chief, IAWA Journal (2019-)

Selected papers

Donaldson LA. 2020: Autofluorescence in plants. Molecules 25(10) 2393.

Mitrovic A, Bogdanovic Pristov J, Simonovic Radosavljevic J, Donaldson L, Radotic K. 2019: Serbian spruce (Picea Omorika [Pancic] Purkyne) – endemicity and advantages. Biologica Nyssana 10: 65-75.

Donaldson LA. 2019 Wood cell wall ultrastructure – The key to understanding wood properties and behaviour. IAWA J. 40: 645-672.

Donaldson LA, Singh A, Raymond L, Hill S, Schmitt U. 2019: Extractive distribution in Pseudotsuga menziesii: effects on cell wall porosity in sapwood and heartwood. IAWA J. 40: 721-740.

Donaldson LA, Cairns M, Hill SJ 2018: Comparison of micropore distribution in cell walls of softwood and hardwood xylem. Plant Physiol. 178: 1142-1153.

Chabbert B, Terryn C, Herbaut M, Vaidya A, Habrant A, Paës G, Donaldson L 2018: Fluorescence techniques can reveal cell wall organization and predict saccharification in pretreated wood biomass. Ind. Crops. Products 123: 84-92.

Donaldson L, Williams N, 2018: Imaging and spectroscopy of natural fluorophores in pine needles. Plants 7, 10.

Donaldson LA, Vaidya A. 2017: Visualising recalcitrance by colocalisation of cellulase, lignin and cellulose in pretreated pine biomass using fluorescence microscopy. Scientific Reports 7:44386.

Hogg A, Gumbley W, Boswijk G, Petchey F, John Southon J, Anderson A, Roa T, Donaldson L. 2017: The first accurate and precise calendar dating of New Zealand Māori Pā, using Otāhau Pā as a case study. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 12: 124–133.

Dickson A, Nanayakkara B, Sellier D, Meason D, Donaldson L, Brownlie R. 2016: Fluorescence imaging of cambial zones to study wood formation in Pinus radiata D. Don. Trees 31(2), 479-490.