tim [dot] johns [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)
- BSc, Biochemistry, McMaster University, 1972
- MSc, Botany, University of British Columbia, 1980
- PhD, Botany, University of Michigan, 1985
- International Society of Ethnobiology
- Society for Economic Botany
My research focuses on the traditional uses of plants for food and medicine in relation to issues of the health of human populations and of the environments in which they live. This has involved field studies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Canada on traditional subsistence systems and ancillary laboratory studies of the nutrient, phytochemical and biological activities of plants identified in the field. Work on the dependence of indigenous patterns of plant use on plant chemistry has a theoretical component concerned with the evolution of human dietary and medicinal behaviours. It has an applied component as it addresses in a participatory research model problems of populations faced with the process of change to a modern life-style and the environmental determinants and consequences of such change. My research program has applications for populations in industrialized countries both in providing cross-cultural insights into disease and in identifying agents with potential for contributing to health of humans in developing and developed countries. In collaboration with Bioversity International, this work has extended to international policy implications related to global concerns for dietary diversity of urban and rural populations in developing countries and the sustainability of traditional food systems.
Download a list of Publications - T. Johns - June 2009