Paul McLean, PhD

Research Scientist

Paul McLean


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5960

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Paul joined Forest Research in June 2013. He specialises in the functional biomechanics of trees, biometrics and the growth of trees for forest products. Paul obtained a PhD  from the University of Glasgow, (Scotland) in 2007, in conjunction with Forest Research, carrying out research into the effects of tree breeding on wood properties of Sitka spruce. He then worked with tropical tree biomechanics at the University of Montpellier, (France) and at EcoFoG (French Guiana). He next worked at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, on a project run by the New Zealand School of Forestry that aimed to dramatically reduce the age of selection for radiata pine breeding programmes. He returned to Scotland at the end of 2011 to work at the Forest Products Research Institute (Edinburgh Napier University), where he led projects examining the growth and utilisation of domestic timber in Great Britain.

Current role

Research Scientist

Paul currently leads  the Tree and Wood Properties project

Current programmes

Tree and Wood Properties

Other affiliations and responsibilities

Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO 5.01.08 "Understanding Wood Variability"

Research Areas

  • Impacts of spieces choice, tree breeding, silviculture and the natural environment on tree growth and wood properties
  • Wood properties models in decision support systems and GIS
  • Developing measurement techniques for tree growth and wood properties
  • The movement of moisture through trees and wood.

Main recent publications

M Sharma, L A Apiolaza, S Chauhan, J P Mclean, J Wikaira (2015). Ranking very young Pinus radiata families for acoustic stiffness and validation by microfibril angle. Annals of Forest Science (published online, awaiting issue).

J P McLean, J R Moore, B A. Gardiner, S J Lee, S J. Mochan, M C Jarvis (2015). Variation of radial wood properties from genetically improved Sitka spruce growing in the UK. Forestry (published online, awaiting issue).

J P McLean, G Jin, M Brennan, M K Nieuwoudt, P J Harris (2014) Using NIR and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy to rapidly detect compression wood in Pinus radiata. Canadian Journal of Forest Research; 44 (7)

M Brennan, J P McLean, A Klingberg, C Altaner, P J Harris (2013). Pyrolysis gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) to identify compression wood in Pinus radiata saplings. Holzforschung, 68(5)

M Brennan, J P McLean, C M Altaner, J Ralph, P J Harris. (2012). Cellulose microfibril angles and cell-wall polymers in different wood types of Pinus radiata. Cellulose, 19, 1385-1404.

J P McLean, O Arnould, J Beauchêne, B Clair. (2012). The effect of the G-layer on the viscoelastic properties of tropical hardwoods. Annals of Forest Science, 69, 399–408.

J P McLean, T Zhang, S Bardet, J Beauchêne, A Thibaut, B Clair, B Thibaut. (2011). The decreasing radial wood stiffness pattern of some tropical trees growing in the primary forest is reversed and increases when they are grown in a plantation. Annals of Forest Science, 68, 681–688.

J P McLean, R Evans, J R Moore. (2010). Predicting the longitudinal modulus of elasticity of Sitka spruce from cellulose orientation and abundance. Holzforschung (2010) 64:495-500.

M Royer, D Stien, J Beauchene, G Herbette, J P McLean, A Thibaut, B Thibaut. (2010). Extractives of the tropical wood wallaba (Eperua falcata Aubl.) as natural anti-swelling agents. Holzforschung (2010) 64:211-215.

C M Altaner, E N Tokareva, J C T Wong, A I Hapca, J P McLean, M C Jarvis. (2009). Measuring compression wood severity in spruce. Wood Science and Technology (2009) 43:279-290.

J P McLean. (2007). Wood Properties of four genotypes of Sitka spruce. Doctoral Thesis (2007). University of Glasgow.