Elizabeth Dunningham



Dr Elizabeth Dunningham is a leader and facilitator of science projects and programmes, both from a conventional science perspective and supporting kaupapa Māori-led work. She is a PRINCE2® qualified project manager, with extensive experience in managing science projects, programmes and contracts. Since 2017, Elizabeth has been working increasing with New Zealand-grown indigenous wood species, such as tōtara, and is interested in supporting the development of indigenous value chains for the benefit of local communities.

Elizabeth has a background as a wood scientist specialising in wood modification. Her experience included research in many aspects of wood and composites performance evaluation, including stability, colour and weathering.


  • Managing Successful Programmes® (Foundation) – 2018
  • PRINCE2® qualified project manager (Practitioner & Foundation) - 2017
  • PhD (Wood Science), University of Wales Bangor, Wales, UK - 2003
  • MSc (Hon) (Chemistry), University of Canterbury, New Zealand - 1988
  • BSc (Chemistry), University of Canterbury, New Zealand - 1986

Research capabilities

  • Science management and implementation, project management
  • Working with two knowledge systems
  • Wood modification
  • Wood product attributes & properties
  • Wood chemistry and treatment kinetics

Selected papers

Dunningham, E. A., Steward, G. A., Quinlan, P., Firm, D., Gaunt, D. J., Riley, S. G., Lee, J. R., Dunningham, A. G., & Radford, R. (2020). Tōtara Industry Pilot project. Final summary report. Available on-line at https://www.totaraindustry.co.nz/_files/ugd/08f36a_4b5268eb869a4363ad99c61702d84da0.pdf

Grigsby, W. J., Kroese, H. W., Dunningham, E. A. 2013. Wood Science and Technology, 47(4), 737-747. Characterisation of pore size distributions in variously dried Pinus radiata. Analysis by thermoporosimetry. DOI 10.1007/s00226-013-0537-8

Dunningham, E. A. 2012 European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 70(6): 857-863. Kinetic studies of the acetylation reaction of small Pinus radiata blocks.

Grigsby, W J; Kroese, H W; Dunningham, E A; 2011. Determining the relative pore sizes of wood. Evaluating of variously dried radiata pine by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Proceedings of Novel materials from wood or cellulose: Annual Meeting of International Academy of Wood Science. August 31 - September 2, 2011, Stockholm, Sweden, pg. 146.

Franich, R A; Singh, A P; Singh, T; Dunningham, E A; 2010. Microscopic and spectroscopic methods for investigation of wood modified with chitosan. The Fifth European Conference on Wood Modification ECWM5 Proceedings, Riga, September 2010. Ed. CAS Hill, H Militz, B Andersons, pp307-312

D.V. Plackett, E.A. Dunningham and A.P. Singh, in Chemical modification of lignocellulosic materials (D.N-S. Hon Ed.), 1996, Marcel Dekker NY. Chapter 11: Weathering of chemically modified wood. Pp277-294

A.P. Singh, E.A. Dunningham, D.V. Plackett Holzforschung 1995 49:255-258 Short Note. Assessing the performance of a commercial wood stain by transmission electron microscopy

D.V. Plackett, E.A. Dunningham and A.P. Singh Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff 50(4) 1992:135-140. Weathering of chemically modified wood. Accelerated weathering of acetylated radiata pine.

E.A. Dunningham, D.V. Plackett and A.P. Singh Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff 50(11) 1992:429-432. Weathering of chemically modified wood.  Natural weathering of acetylated radiata pine: Preliminary results.