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C.H.I.M.P.P. Group (The Chemo-ethology of Hominoid Interactionsbetween Medicinal Plants and Parasites) (Established 1989)
Director: Michael A. Huffman
Mission: The mission of this group is to investigate 'self-treatment' of illness in nonhuman primates and other animal species. Our current focus is on the behavioral-ecology and parasitology of chimpanzees in relation to the phytochemical and pharmacological properties of medicinal plants and other natural substances ingested by them at the time of illness. Members of the group are active in the testing and evaluation of pharmacological properties of plants and other organic substances in the search for practical applications in human and veterinary medicine.
Principal Research Programs: Currently a multi-site investigation is being developed to test several hypothesis concerning the use of medicinal plants in African great apes for the control of parasite infection. Collaborative field research is now being conducted on chimpanzees at the Mahale Mountains and Gombe National Parks in Tanzania and the Budongo Forest Reserve in Uganda. The main objective of this study is to compare medicinal plant use behaviors between these three sites and to evaluate the impact of these behaviors on parasite infection and health in general. Preliminary research on African great apes at other sites across Africa are now underway. The scopre of investigation has been broadened to include the orangutan, other non-human primates and humans in order to better understand the evolution of self-medicative behavior in the order Primates.
Associated Field Sites: Mahale Mountains National Park, Contact: M.A. Huffman (Inuyama, Japan); Gombe Stream National Park, Contact: Director of Research, Gombe Stream Research Centre (Kigoma, Tanzania); Budongo Forest Reserve. Contact: Vernon Reynolds (Oxford, U.K.) or on-site director (Masindi, Uganda); National Forest Reserve, Bussou-Guinea. Contact: Y. Sugiyama, Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Inuyama, Japan)
Comments: Alternate address: Department of Food Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606
Last Updated: 2000-11-22
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