Maite de Troya


Hello! I will briefly tell you my life in a few sentences, so I hope you do not get bored!!


Daughter of an engineer father, and a mother with a vocation in Medicine, born in Andalusia, chance caused me to be born in Africa (I do not give you the date because I'm coy, but I'm younger than Jöran Jermer, and older than Magdalena Kutnik). I spent my childhood and adult life in Salamanca and especially in Madrid, enjoying my holidays in Cadiz and Seville where my roots are, maybe that's why I'm so cheerful and a bit of a joker .... I married, divorced, annulled ... but I have two wonderful children Carlos and Cristina who are the motor of my life..

Education and Career

I studied Biological sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid, and immediately began my research career in the Wood Protection Laboratory of INIA with Angeles Navarrete through various scholarships, two of which allowed me to train and specialize in wood protection. One of them at the centre technique Du Bois and centre technique Forestier Tropical, Paris, France, and another in the Biodeterioration Department of Building Research Establishment (Princes Risborough), and Timber Technology of Imperial College of Science and Technology of London, U.K. There I met endearing people including Daniel Dirol, Maurice Fougerouse, Tony Bravery and David Dickinson. The truth is that my stay in France was more of a training opportunity as I had recently graduated with my degree, but in England where I was as an academic visitor, not only did I work well and a lot, it was a great personal experience which I spent "like a little kid", in fact years later, I still maintain contact with friends I made there.
On a professional level, although I started as a mycologist working with xylophagous fungi (hence my thesis), I later had to learn everything in relation to the world of wood protection (although every day I think I know less), which is why I give so much attention to those charming little bugs which are missed in Northern Europe ... the termites. I even think they secretly call me "Lady Termite."
I have collaborated in more than 22 national research projects, and 7 projects financed by the European Union, being the principal investigator in many of them. The theme of all of them has been very varied and based on the needs of the industrial sector at the time.
I have carried out research on new products treatments with companies within the sector including EMPETROL (now Repsol), or on the use of residues as biocide from the olive oil industry with Egmasa, or about new active ingredients, such as metabolites of biological origin, or using phytosanitary products as biocides, although many have not been patented due to the lack of interest by companies in the sector as it is deemed to be so expensive to register new products ... I hope that someday it will more affordable for companies ...
Due to the temperate Spanish climatology, another field of research has been the identification of blue stain fungi, as well as treatment systems, a field that I shared through a European project directed by David Dickinson.
I have carried out many research topics during these years, and I have always thought that as a civil servant I have to work for the interest of society and in line with the needs of the sector, therefore now I am conducting a somewhat parallel line to our world in which I have tried to apply my knowledge of the chemistry of protection not only to xylophagous organisms, but also against quarantine organisms such as the Pine Wilt Nematode.
In parallel to these investigations I have actively collaborated as an expert in various national and international thematic networks, such as the cost actions financed by the European Union: cost E2, E22, E37, and more recently FP1303. My training in the field of protection has led me to be a national expert, a merit that was recognized as I was chosen as a national technical representative and expert in the different working groups, WG 22, 24 and 28, of the European Committee for Standardisation. Likewise, I direct Sub-Committee 4 "Wood Protection" of the Technical Committee of Normalization 56 "wood and cork" of AENOR.
Currently the lines of research that I direct are the optimization of physical and integrated treatments in front of this nematode, as well as producing protocols and action guides for the intervention in buildings with wooden structures, together with the Ministry of Public Works and groups specializing in wood architecture.


I started attending IRG in 1988, the year that IRG19 was organized in Madrid. Since then I have been faithful to the annual appointment except for the years when my kids were small .... I am proud to say that thanks to IRG I have friends from all over the world, and I don't want to forget anyone, but I do want to mention people who are special to me including: Lina Nunes, Magdalena Kutnik, Jöran Jermer, Marcelino Alba, Jack Norton, Don Ewart, Michael and Martha Barnes, Roland Gründlinger, Marcela Ibáñez, Dennis Jones, Jeff Lloyd, Joris Van Acker, Radu Cracium, Todd Shupe, John Ruddick, Francisca Latorre, Antti Nurmi, Hannu Viitanen, Alain Jermannaud and all the French group, Elena Conti, Sabrina Palanti, Jeanette Drysdale and Alastair, Marko Petric ...., and of course, the person who invited me to do this bio, Alan Preston!. If I have not specially named someone, please forgive me, because with names I am a disaster!!

Real Life

However, my life has not been easy, although now I am "the boss" I spent many years as a scholarship holder and with temporary contracts, and after the death of my father (I was very young 24 years old), I had to take charge of the responsibilities of the household, a fact that led me to my second vocation, teaching at the private University San Pablo CEU. Since 1984 I have taught various subjects (Microbiology, Damage Diagnostics and Conservation of Historical Artistic Heritage, etc.) in bachelor's degrees (Pharmacology) and PhD courses, as well as conferences in postgraduate courses in other universities.

Today I direct the CIFOR Timber Protection Laboratory at INIA, where we have a biology laboratory with xylophagous and chromogenic fungi and two culture facilities for termites and the house longhorn beetle, a treatment laboratory and field stations. I collaborate with working groups from universities, technological research centers, national patrimony, cultural heritage, and preventive and curative protection companies, both national and foreign.

Those who know me know that I have a lot of enthusiasm in my work and in life, therefore I invite all those who are reading this brief history of my life, not only to collaborate with me, but more importantly .... Be my friends!!!!


This bio was written for the August 2017 IRG Newsletter.