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Timothy Johns

Timothy A. Johns, PhD (Michigan)
Professor, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition
Honorary Fellow, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), Rome

Research interests

Ethnobotany, with emphasis on traditional uses of cultivated and wild plants.

One major perspective is the importance of indigenous plant biodiversity to food security, nutrition and health; another is in relation to issues of environmental integrity and sustainable use. Most of the fieldwork we carry out is in tropical countries, particularly Africa and Latin America. This is typically followed by experimental studies on key plants, for example the laboratory analysis of nutrient or phytochemical properties, or studies on plant systematics and domestication.

Select Publications

Bélanger, J. and T. Johns. 2008. Biodiversity, dietary diversity and eye health in developing country populations: establishing the evidence-base. EcoHealth. Available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-008-0180-2

Helson, JE, TL Capson, T Johns, A. Aiello and DM Windsor. (in press). Ecologically-guided bioprospecting: the use of aposematic insects as potential guides to plants from tropical rain forests with activity against disease. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Fraser, M.-H., A. Cuerrier, P.S. Haddad, J.T. Arnason, P.L. Owen, T. Johns. 2007. Medicinal plants of Cree communities (Québec, Canada): Antioxidant activity of plants used to treat Type 2 Diabetes symptoms. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 85:1200-1214.

McCune, L.M. and T. Johns. 2007. Antioxidant activity relates to plant part, life form and growing condition in some diabetes remedies. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 112:461-469.

Johns, T. and P.B. Eyzaguirre. 2007. Biofortification, biodiversity and diet: a search for complementary applications against poverty and malnutrition. Food Policy. 32:1-24.

Johns, T. 2007. Agrobiodiversity, diet and human health. In Jarvis, D.I., C. Padoch, D. Cooper (eds). Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Ecosystems. Columbia University Press, New York.

Johns, T., I.F. Smith and P.B. Eyzaguirre. 2006. Agrobiodiversity, Nutrition and Health. Brief 12. Hawkes, C and M.T. Ruel. (eds.) Understanding the Links Between Agriculture and Health. 2020 Focus 13. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington.

McCune, L.M., P. Owen and T. Johns. 2006. Flavonoids, xanthones and other antioxidant polyphenols. In Soumyanath, A. (ed.) Traditional Medicines for Modern Times: Antidiabetic Plants. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Johns, T and P. Maundu. 2006. Forest biodiversity, nutrition and population health in market-oriented food systems. UNASYLVA. 224. 57/2:34-40.

Dalle, S.P., S. de Blois, J. Caballero, T. Johns. 2006. Assessing the success of community-based forest conservation: dynamics of forest and agricultural land-uses and influence of local institutions. Forest Ecology and Management. 222(1-3):370-383.