Independent tools are needed to verify timber origin. We still depend on external tags and documents to check the origin of wood. Unfortunately, both can be falsified. Therefore we need tracing methods that are based on the properties of the wood itself.
This is the goal of Timtrace (www.timtrace.nl): we are developing a fast, accurate and cost-effective forensic tool for tracing the claimed origin of tropical timberwe. We combine genetic and chemical methods to determine timber origin on a concession scale (10-100 km).
My research focus are the chemical analyses, using stable isotopes, trace elements and rare earth elements to improve the spatial resolution of chemical timber tracing. Using mass spectrometry, I aim to distinguish between locations based on their specific chemical profile using > 60 elements such as barium, rubidium, iron, manganese, etc and 5 stable isotopes.