Wood Biology

We study tropical African trees to contribute to forest ecology and support sustainable wood production in tropical Africa.

Our xylarium is a reference collection with more than 80,000 wood samples from around the world. Our research is based on this xylarium and on fieldwork.

Fields of research are:

  • wood anatomy: we analyse the anatomical structure of wood species
  • dendrochronology: we study tree growth and forest ecology
  • physiology of tropical trees
  • archaeobotany and the history of ancient forests through analysis of charcoal present in the soil.

Congo Basin Carbon

Through this website, we showcase some of our work in Central Africa. The site brings together information on various research and education projects in the Yangambi and Luki Man and Biosphere Reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through these pages we hope to improve project visibility and offer insights on how fieldwork is conducted in the rainforest.


Policy briefs

During the Afriford and Polcartim projects, we developed policy briefs. These briefs summarise major results of our research and make them accessible to a non-scientific public:



Scientific personnel

Technical and administrative staff


Wood analysis

We offer independent expertise services of wood species worldwide through the expertise centre ENFORCE:

  • identification of wood for the wood trade and industry, art history, archaeology, palaeontology, etc. This includes plywoods, particleboards, MDF, charcoal, etc.
  • wood dating via the study of growth rings.
  • wood origin detection

More information, cost and contact details can be found on the website of ENFORCE: https://enforce.africamuseum.be

Maaike De Ridder (https://www.africamuseum.be/nl/staff/884)
Michael Monnoye (https://www.africamuseum.be/nl/staff/2049)
Hans Beeckman (https://www.africamuseum.be/nl/staff/360)