John T. Arnason


John T. Arnason
Distinguished Professor

BSc Carleton University (1970)
Ph.D. Carleton University (1976)

GNN 270

Office: (613) 562-5262

Work E-mail:

John T. Arnason


Our laboratory specializes in the phytochemistry and biological activity of plant biodiversity. As part of a team grant on aboriginal medicine, we have undertaken studies on the efficacy and safety of Northern Cree traditional medicines used for type 2 diabetes. Over the past decade, the laboratory has also studied the ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology of Maya medicines from tropical forests in Mesoamerica. Ongoing projects include medicinal, crop and bioactive biodiversity, ranging from Ontario ginseng and soya germplasm, Nunavik Rhodiola and Vacciniums to neotropical Marcgraviaceae and Piperaceae, which have activity as anxiolytics, neuroprotectants, antiglycation agents, biofilm inhibitors, and insecticide synergists. New metabolomics methods are revolutionizing our research.

Selected publications:
  • Shang, Nan, Ammar Saleem, Lina Musallam, Brendan Walshe-Roussel, Alaa Badawi, Alain Cuerrier, J. T. Arnason, & Pierre S. Haddad. 2015. Novel Approach to Identify Potential Bioactive Plant Metabolites: Pharmacological and Metabolomics Analyses PloS one 10, no. 8: e0135721
  • Regnault-Roger, C, Vincent, C, and Arnason, JT. Essential Oils in Insect Control: Low-Risk Products in a High-Stakes World. Annual Review of Entomology 57: 405-424, 2012
  • Mullally M, Kramp K, Cayer C, Saleem A, Ahmed F, McRae C, Baker J, Goulah A, Otorola M, Sanchez P, Garcia M, Poveda L, Merali Z, Durst T, Trudeau VL, Arnason JT. Anxiolytic activity of a supercritical carbon dioxide extract of Souroubea sympetala (Marcgraviaceae). Phytotherapy Research 25(2):264-70, 2011
  • Guerrero-Analco JA, Martineau L, Saleem A, Madiraju P, Muhammad A, Durst T, Haddad P, Arnason JT. Bioassay-guided isolation of the antidiabetic principle from Sorbus decora (Rosaceae) used traditionally by the Eeyou Istchee Cree First Nations. J Nat Prod. 73(9):1519-23, 2010
  • Awad R, Ahmed F, Bourbonnais-Spear N, Mullally M, Ta CA, Tang A, Merali Z, Maquin P, Caal F, Cal V, Poveda L, Vindas PS, Trudeau VL, Arnason JT. Ethnopharmacology of Q'eqchi' maya antiepileptic and anxiolytic plants: Effects on the GABAergic system. J Ethnopharmacol 125(2):257-64, 2009

Fields of Interest

  • Phytochemistry
  • Ethnobotany
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Natural health products
  • Drug discovery
  • Botanical pesticides
  • Chemical ecology
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