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Evolutionary Perspectives on Medicinal Plant Use

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

This project encompasses 1. evolutionary aspects of medicinal plant use and 2. authentication. You will collect DNA sequence data at the level of a whole flora and at the level of a genus. Both will be used to reconstruct a phylogenetic hypotheses, and the latter to identify barcodes for the identification of the traded plants at species level. You will also use published data to identify the ethnobotanical uses of the species and genera and the extent to which they are characterised in terms of phytochemistry and pharmacology. Phylogenetic metrics will be used to identify and relate patterns of use and patterns of pharmacological and phytochemical study. This project would suit a student with interests in the following: phylogenetics, DNA barcoding and plant taxonomy and identification, ethnobotany and anthropology, natural products and bioprospecting. It is less well suited to students with interests in carrying out pharmacological laboratory work, or research into horticultural production.

Please see the web link below:

Funding Notes

Funded projects may be advertised in the future. Presently I am inviting applications from self-funded students, and students applying for fellowships or grants.

Eligibility requirements: MSc degree


Recent publications in this area, see my google Scholar profile, link below: Medicinal plants used by women in Mecca: urban, Muslim and gendered knowledge; Treating infants with frigg: linking disease aetiologies, medicinal plant use and care-seeking behaviour in southern Morocco; Defining ‘ethnobotanical convergence’; Comparison of herbarium label data and published medicinal use: Herbaria as an underutilized source of ethnobotanical information; An ethnomedicinal survey of a Tashelhit-speaking community in the High Atlas, Morocco; Evolutionary approaches to ethnobiology; The evolution of traditional knowledge: environment shapes medicinal plant use in Nepal; Phylogenies reveal predictive power of traditional medicine in bioprospecting

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