Clemens Altaner

Associate ProfessorClemens Altaner

School of Forestry Rm140
Internal Phone: 95949

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

I am a trained wood scientist with a focus on molecular aspects of plant cell walls. My research includes fundamental and applied projects.
At the fundamental end I am working on a better understanding of the supramolecular architecture of plant cell walls in particular the structure of cellulose fibrils and how this structure determines macroscopic wood properties. This research involves specialised IR and NMR spectroscopy as well as various forms of diffraction.
Most of my current external research funding is for applied research on wood quality attracting funding from several sources. Particularly exciting is my involvement as science team leader of the NZDFI, which envisages New Zealand as a world-leader in breeding ground-durable eucalypts, and to be home to a valuable sustainable hardwood industry based on eucalypt forests, by 2050.
As a biomaterial, wood is highly variable. This variability poses significant problems to the wood processing industry. My work is trying to reduce the variability of wood and by that gaining efficiency in the wood processing industry. The major factor restricting the incorporation of wood properties into tree breeding programmes is the lack of fast but robust analytical techniques. Therefore development of such assessments is a key part of the research, many of which are only available in this field at our world-leading NZ School of Forestry.

Recent Publications

  • Altaner C. and Palmer H. (2021) Producing posts and veneer from durable eucalypt timber. New Zealand Tree Grower (November): 33-37.
  • Govina JK., Apiolaza LA. and Altaner CM. (2021) Variation and genetic parameters of axial resin canal features in clones and families of Pinus radiata. New Forests 52(1): 167-176.
  • Nguyen L., Bayne K. and Altaner C. (2021) A review of kōwhai (Sophora spp.) and its potential for commercial forestry. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 51
  • Thomas LH., Altaner CM., Forsyth VT., Mossou E., Kennedy CJ., Martel A. and Jarvis MC. (2021) Nanostructural deformation of high-stiffness spruce wood under tension. Scientific Reports 11(1)
  • Ferreras Moreno M., Stinson CJ., Shepherd RG., Welsh ID., Altaner C. and Crittenden DL. (2020) Temperature-Dependent Blue Shifting of O-H Stretching Frequencies in Crystalline Cellulose Explained. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 124(24): 4924-4930.

Postgraduate and Honours Students

Doctoral Theses

Frampton, M.A., 2014-2019
Mishra, G. 2014-2018
Li, Y. 2014-2018
Nursultanov, N.A. 2013-2018
Vihermaa, L.A. 2006-2010
Caron, A.C. 2005-2009

Masters Theses

Govina, J. 2016-2017
Davies, N.T. 2013-2014
Becker, V. 2010-2011

Honours Research Projects

Ferguson, H. 2018
Cramer, M.C. 2017-2018
Kuwabara, S. 2017
van Lierde, J. 2012-2013
Payne, B. 2010-2011
Wu, J.C. 2009

In Progress
Doctoral Theses

Davies, N.T. 2014 -
Dijkstra. S.C. 2016 -
Guo, F. 2015 -
Iyiola, E.A. 2018 -
Moreno, M.F. 2017 -
Rajapaksha, C.S. 2018 -

Masters Theses

Tian, L. 2019 -

Honours Research Projects

Nguyen, L. 2018 -