Warren Grigsby



Dr Warren Grigsby is a chemist with specialised experience in synthetic and polymer chemistry. His research focuses on developing chemicals, composites and wood-based materials based on processing biopolymers and renewables. Warren is leading the development of bio-based adhesive and polymer systems that can be used as substitutes for chemicals derived from petroleum.


  • PhD (Chemistry), University of Waikato, New Zealand – 1993
  • MSc (1st Class, Chemistry) University of Waikato, New Zealand – 1990
  • BSc (Chemistry, with Geochemistry/Earth Sciences) University of Waikato, New Zealand – 1989

Research capabilities

  • Specialist in synthetic and polymer chemistry applications across a range of materials and products
  • Extensive knowledge of polymers, adhesives, resin and coatings in terms of synthesis, characterisation and analysis
  • Processing and manufacture of wood, fibre and composite materials
  • Modification and applications of proteins, polyphenolic lignins and tannins

Career highlights

  • 1997-present Senior Scientist/Research Leader
  • 2016    NZBio New Zealand Biotechnology of Year Award, 2016
  • 2016    Scion Science Impact Award, 2016
  • 2014    Japan Society for Promotion of Science Invitational Fellowship Award
  • 2012    MBIE Programme Leader Performance and scale up of new bioadhesives and their applications
  • 2006-present    International organising committees for the Pacific Rim Biobased Composites Symposium, International Wood Adhesives Conference and Biopolymers and Bioplastics Conferences
  • 2001    Air New Zealand Forest Research Award for Standards of Excellence in Innovative/Pathbreaking Science
  • 1996-1997    Post-doctoral Researcher, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • 1994-1996    Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of California, Davis, USA
  • 1992    New Zealand Royal Society Young Scientist Award
  • 2004-    Member of Surface Coatings Association New Zealand
  • 1989-    Member of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry

Selected papers

Grigsby, W.J., Tohmura, S-C., Miyamoto, K., Evaluating renewable binders as contributors to panelboard volatile organic compound press emissions. Holzforschung, accepted.

Bridson, J.H., Grigsby, W.J., Main, L., One-pot solvent-free synthesis and characterisation of hydroxypropylated polyflavonoid compounds, Industrial Crops and Products 111, (2018) pp529–535. doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.11.028

Kathirgamanathan, K., Grigsby, W.J., Al-Hakkak, J., Edmonds, N.R., Molecular weight fractionation of high polydispersity native celluloses, Cellulose, 2017, 24(11), 5261-5265. DOI 10.1007/s10570-017-1422-7

M. Gaugler, J.  Luedtke, W.J. Grigsby, A. Krause. A new methodology for rapidly assessing interfacial bonding within fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites. Int. J. Adhesion and Adhesives, accepted.

W.J. Grigsby. Simulating the protective role of bark proanthocyanidins in surface coatings: Unexpected beneficial photo-stabilisation of exposed timber surfaces. Journal of Organic Coatings, 2017, Volume 110, pp 55-61. 10.1016/j.porgcoat.2017.03.007

J Jakes, C. Hunt, D. Yelle, S.C. Gleber, S Vogt, W. Grigsby, C. Frihart, Effect of Adhesive Infiltration on Moisture-induced Softening in Wood Cell Walls. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2015, 7 (12), pp 6584–6589. doi: 10.1021/am5087598.

Grigsby, W.J., Bridson, J.H., Lomas, C., Frey, H., An Evaluation of modified tannin esters as functional additives in polypropylene and a biodegradable aliphatic polyester. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 299 (10) pp 1251–1258. DOI: 10.1002/mame.201400051.

Grigsby, W.J., Kadla, J.F., Evaluating poly(lactic acid) fibre reinforcement with modified tannins. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, (2014) Volume 299, Issue 3, pages 368–378. DOI: 10.1002/mame.201300174.

Luo, C., Grigsby, W.J., Edmonds, N.E, Al-Hakkak, J., Rubber-like materials prepared from copolymerization of tannin fatty acid conjugates and vegetable oils. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 2014, Vol 299, Issue 1, pp 65–74. DOI = 10.1002/mame.201300039.

Hill, S.J., Grigsby, W.J., Hall, P., Chemical and cellulose crystallite changes in Pinus radiata during torrefaction. Biomass & Bioenergy, 56 (2013) pp92-98.

Dallmeyer, J.I., Grigsby, W.J., Kadla, J.F., “Electrospinning with condensed tannins: Effects on co-spinning with zein. Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology, 33(3) (2013) pp197-207.

Luo, C., Grigsby, W.J., Edmonds, N.E, Al-Hakkak, J., Novel biobased thermosets reinforced by tannin-lipid formulations. Acta Biomaterialia, 9 (2013) 5226–5233.