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Gasson, Peter E.

Photo of Peter Gasson
Job title: 


Jodrell Laboratory
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Agricultural Botany, Univ. Reading, 1979.
  • PhD, Botany (Timber Technology), Imperial College, 1985.
  • DIC, Imperial College, 1985.
  • Council, International Association of Wood Anatomists, IAWA (1994-99).
  • Hardwood Committee, IAWA (1988-89).
  • Softwood Committee, IAWA (1998-2004).
  • Instructor at PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) wood anatomy workshops (2007, 2010).

Systematic and comparative plant anatomy, especially of wood (secondary xylem).

Research focused on plant anatomy, especially hardwoods (Dicotyledons, particularly Leguminosae, Malpighiales, Myrtaceae and CITES listed species) and softwoods (gymnosperms), in the context of systematics and conservation and often in collaboration with curators and researchers worldwide. Identification of fragmentary plant material for user groups such as archaeologists, palaeontologists, antique dealers, customs and police. Collaboration on an interactive wood identification database with colleagues at North Carolina State University. Some aspects of studies are applied to specific problems of conservation, including sustainable utilization of fuelwoods in arid regions and urban development, such as the influence of urban trees on nearby buildings.

Selected publications: 

Whinder, F., Clarke, K.L., Warwick, N.W.M. & Gasson, P.E. (2013) Structural diversity of the wood of temperate species of Acacia s.s. (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). Australian Journal of Botany 61: 291−301. Available online

Jansen, S., Lamy, J-B, Burlett, R., Cochard, H., Gasson, P. & Delzon, S. (2012). Plasmodesmatal pores in the torus of bordered pit membranes affect cavitation resistance of conifer xylem. Plant, Cell and Environment 35: 1109-1120. (CIF 5.145) Available online

Gasson, P. (2011). How precise can wood identification be? Wood anatomy’s role in support of the legal timber trade, especially CITES. IAWA Journal 32(2): 137-154.

Gasson, P., Baas, P. & Wheeler, E. (2011). Wood anatomy of CITES-listed tree species. IAWA Journal 32(2): 155-197.

Dias Leme, C.L., Cartwright, C. & Gasson, P. (2010). Anatomical changes to the wood of Mimosa ophthalmocentra and Mimosa tenuiflora when charred at different temperatures. IAWA Journal 31: 335-351. Available online