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

Recent papers

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; doi:10.3390/plants7010010.

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 | DOI: 10.1038/srep44386

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.

Vaidya AA, Donaldson LA, Newman RH, Suckling ID, Campion SH, Lloyd JA, Murton KD. Micromorphological changes and mechanism associated with wet ball milling of Pinus radiata substrate and consequences for saccharification at low enzyme loading. Bioresource Technology 214: 132-137.

Savić A, Mitrović A, Donaldson L, Simonović Radosavljević J, Bogdanović Pristov J, Steinbach G, Garab G, Radotić K. 2016: Fluorescence detected linear dichroism of wood cell walls in juvenile Serbian spruce. Estimation of compression wood severity. Microscopy & Microanalysis 22: 361-367.

Singh T, Vaidya AA, Donaldson LA, Singh AP. 2016: Improvement in the enzymatic hydrolysis of biofuel substrate by a combined thermochemical and fungal pre-treatment. Wood Science & Technology 50: 1003-1014.

Bridson JH, Kaur J, Zhang Z, Donaldson L and Fernyhough A. 2015: Polymeric flavonoids processed with co-polymers as UV and thermal stabilisers for polyethylene films. Polymer Degradation & Stability 122: 18-24.

Donaldson LA, Nanayakkara B, Radotić K, Djikanovic-Golubovic D, Mitrovic A, Bogdanovic J, Simonovic J, Kalauzi A. 2015: Xylem parenchyma cell walls lack a gravitropic response in conifer compression wood. Planta 242: 1413-1424.

Recent book chapters

Donaldson LA, Singh AP. 2016: Reaction wood. In “Biology of wood”, Kim YS, Singh AP (eds). Elsevier. Pp 93-110.

Wagner A, Donaldson L. 2014: Metabolic engineering of wood formation. Applied Plant Cell Biology 22: 369-391.

Donaldson LA, Singh AP 2013: Structure and formation of compression wood. In “Cellular aspects of wood formation”, J Fromm (Ed.). Plant Cell Monographs, Springer pp. 225-256.

Wagner A, Donaldson L, Ralph J 2012: Lignification and lignin manipulations in conifers. Advances in Botanical Research 61: 37-76.

Donaldson L.A. 2011: Delamination of wood at the microscopic scale: Current knowledge and methods. In V. Bucur (ed). Delamination of wood. Springer, Heidelberg. Pp 123-144.