ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR in Wood Biodegradation and Protection
Grad.Dip.Sci., MSc. (ANU)
A considerable amount of my research interest centers on the fundamentals of characterizing defined types of biodegradation of timber products, untreated wood and biocide-treated wood materials, with specialization in Basidiomycete and soft rot fungal decay, sapstain and mould problems in sapwood timbers (mainly rubberwood and ramin) as well as the durability of both the commercial and lesser-known Malaysian woods to subterranean Coptotermes termites. The emphasis in such studies is to develop or identify suitable wood protecting chemicals, linked also to developments in suitable laboratory and field protocols for evaluating wood durability under different types of biological hazard conditions, particularly ground-contact and above-ground contact exposures of wood materials.
A major part of my work analyzing wood biodegradation factors have involved the examination of the role of inherent wood chemistry (such as cell wall lignification, mineral elements, phenolic levels, extractives contents and solubilities, available sugar levels and wood acidity) and wood structure (wood density, fibre dimensions and anatomical variations via microscopy) as relative determinants of wood durability, as well as to determine the cellular distributions of conventional wood preservatives in wood materials using the novel Oxford proton-induced X-ray emission system.
Extending from relevant research experience, I am developing aspects of wood preservation systems with health, safety and environmental impacts to the wood preservation industry in Malaysia in mind, given the growing awareness of the fate of hazardous wood protecting chemicals to the surrounding environments here, and particularly abroad. In this regard, I am currently also involved in the development of a national quality control system for timber roof structures treated with copper-chromium-arsenic formulations, have produced a guideline on safety and health in the use of wood preservatives, and am developing practical guidelines on the safe operation of wood treatment facilities found in Malaysia beneficial to local environmental supervision authorities.
Selected publications - Refereed Journals
Wong, A.H.H. and Wilkes, J. 1988. Association of tissue characteristics with susceptibility to decay in the sapwood of Pinus radiata. Holzforschung 42:399-402.
Wong, A.H.H., Koh, M.P. and Mohd. Shapiei, J. 1990. Fungal resistance of densified ammonia-impregnated oil palm stem. Holz als Roh- und Werkstoff 48:138.
Wong, A.H.H & Pearce, R.B. 1997. Soft rot decay and variable preservative retentions in copper-chrome-arsenic treated Malaysian hardwood utility poles. Journal of Tropical Forest Products 2:216-226.
Wong, A.H.H. and Singh, A.P. 1998. Degradation of the normal fibre walls of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) by the tropical blue-stain fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae. The International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 98-10286.
Wong, A.H.H. and Sabri, A. 2000. Variation in infection rates of blue-stain, mould and white rot tropical fungi on mixed light hardwoods. The International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 00-10334.
Wong, A.H.H., Kee, S.C. and Grace, J.K. 2001. Laboratory evaluation of termite resistance of five lesser-known Malaysian hardwoods used for roof and ceiling construction. The International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 01-10398.
Kirton, L.G. & Wong, A.H.H. 2001. The economic importance and control of termite infestations in relation to plantation forestry and wood preservation in Peninsular Malaysia - an overview. Sociobiology 37:325-349.
Singh, A.P., Kim, Y.S., Park, B.D., Chung, G.C., Wong, A.H.H. (2003). Presence of a distinct S3 layer in mild compression wood tracheids of Pinus radiata. Holzforschung 57, 243-247.
Singh, A.P., Kim, Y.S., Chung, G.C., Park, B.D., Wong, A.H.H. (2003). TEM examination of surface characteristics of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) HTMP fibers. Holzforschung 57, 579-584.
Wong, A.H.H., Grace, J.K. (2004). Resistance of borate-treated rubberwood chipboard to the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Sociobiology 44, 519-525.
Wong, A.H.H., Morsing, N., Henriksen, K.H., Salmiah, U. (2004). Aboveground microbial decay test of biocide treated and untreated wood exposed to Danish and humid tropical climates. International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 04-20306, 13pp.
Singh, A.P., Wong, A.H.H., Kim, Y.S., Wi, S.G. (2004). The relationship of fiber cell wall ultrastructure to soft rot decay in Kempas (Koompassia malaccensis) heartwood. International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 04-10541, 22pp.
Ling, W.C., Wong, A.H.H. (2005). Tropical in-ground durability of structural Sarawak hardwoods impregnated to high retention with CCA-salts, CCA-oxide and FCAP after 20 years exposure. International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 05-30384, 13pp.
Wong, A.H.H., Kim, Y.S., Singh, A.P., Ling, W.C. (2005). Natural durability of tropical species with emphasis on Malaysian hardwoods – variations and prospects. International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 05-10568, 33pp. (keynote paper)
Wong, A.H.H. (2005). Performance of two imidacloprid-treated Malaysian hardwoods in an accelerated aboveground termite test. International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 05-30389, 8pp.
Kim, Y.S., Singh, A.P., Wong, A.H.H., Eom, T.J., Lee, K.H. (2006). Micromorphological and chemical characteristics of Cengal (Neobalanocarpus heimii) heartwood decayed by soft rot fungi. Journal of the Korean Wood Science and Technology 34, 68-77.
Wong, A.H.H., Lai, H.C., Lim, N.P.T. (2006). Laboratory leaching tests to study the effects of post-treatment storage periods on CCA leachability and fixation in treated permeable and refractory Malaysian hardwoods. International Research Group on Wood Preservation Document No: IRG/WP 06-50240, 20pp.
Selected publications - Proceedings
Wong, A.H.H., Pearce, R.B., Grime, G.W. & Watt, F. 1996. Macrodistribution of copper-chrome-arsenic preservatives in Malaysian hardwoods determined by PIXE imaging. Recent Advances in Wood Anatomy (Proceedings of 3rd Pacific Regional Wood Anatomy Conference, 20-24 November 1994, Rotorua, New Zealand), New Zealand Forest Research Institute, pp. 255-257.