Dr Gary I Stafford

Dr Gary I Stafford

Senior Lecturer Plant Science
Section: Medicinal Plant Science

Office: Plant Sciences Complex 3-15
Tel:  +27 (0)12 420 3224
Email: gary.stafford[AT]up.ac.za


Research interests:

Dr Gary Stafford has been conducting research on various aspects of African Traditional Medicine since starting his MSc (NU) in 2002. As an ethnobotanist and ethnopharmacologist his main research interests have been on the utilization, production and development of plants used in indigenous medicine in South Africa, but he is also interested in policy development, chemotaxonomy, chemical ecology, plant systematics and evolution. His current research explores three main areas:

  • The evolution of plant secondary metabolites through studies of potential correlations between phylogeny (evolutionary history), population genetics, and biological interactions, such as herbivory or endosymbionts, on the quantity and quality of natural products (chemical functional traits). This study forms part of a larger project investigating the biotic and abiotic factors contributing to plant chemistry, in particular secondary plant metabolites, at various stages of growth (e.g. seasonality) and ultimately postharvest and under different preparation methods (e.g. drying, aging fermentation).

  • The ethnobotany, chemistry and biological activity of plant-derived smoke.

  • The ethnobotany, chemistry and biological activity of plants used to treat central nervous system-related ailments, such as epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.


Google Scholar:          http://scholar.google.co.za/citations?user=nVII59gAAAAJ&hl=en

ResearchGate:           https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gary_Stafford2/

ORCID Number:         0000-0003-0198-0955


Some recent publications:

  1. M Leonti, GI Stafford, M Dal Cero, S Cabras, ME Castellanos, L Casu, CS Weckerle, 2017. Reverse Ethnopharmacology and Drug Discovery. J Ethnopharmacol, 198, 417–431
  2. GI Stafford, MJ Wikkelsø, L Nancke, AK Jäger, M Möller, N Rønsted, 2016. The first phylogenetic hypothesis for the southern African endemic genus Tulbaghia L. (Amaryllidaceae, Allioideae) based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences. Bot J Linn Soc, 181, 156-170.
  3. P Krejčová, P Kučerová, GI Stafford, AK Jäger, R Kubec, 2014. Antiinflammatory and neurological activity of pyrithione and related sulfur-containing pyridine N-oxides from Persian shallot (Allium stipitatum). J Ethnopharmacol, 154, 176-182.
  4. GI Stafford, C Birer, B Brodin, S Brøgger Christensen, AH Eriksson, AK Jäger, N Rønsted, 2013. Serotonin transporter protein (SERT) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) binding activity of montanine and coccinine from three species of Haemanthus L. (Amaryllidaceae), South African Journal of Botany, 88, 101-106.
  5. N Ronsted, MRE Symonds, T Birkholm, SB Christensen, AW Meerow, M Molander, P Mølgaard, G Petersen, N Rasmussen, J van Staden, GI Stafford, AK Jäger, 2012. Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of Amaryllidaceae. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12, 182
  6. AK Jäger, GI Stafford, 2012. Quality assessment of Tulbaghia rhizomes. S Afr J Bot, 82, 92-98
  7. AR Ndhlala, GI Stafford, JF Finnie, J van Staden, 2011. Commercial herbal preparations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: The urban face of traditional medicine. S Afr J Bot 77, 830-843
  8. GI Stafford, PD Pedersen, AK Jäger, J van Staden, 2007. Monoamine oxidase inhibition by southern African traditional medicinal plants. S Afr J Bot 73, 384-390.
  9. GI Stafford, AK Jäger, J van Staden, 2005. Activity of traditional South African sedative and potentially CNS-acting plants in the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor assay. J Ethnopharmacol 100, 210-215.
  10. GI Stafford, AK Jäger, J van Staden, 2005. Effect of storage on the chemical composition and biological activity of several popular South African medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 97, 107-115.
  11. CW Fennell, ME Light, SG Sparg, GI Stafford, J van Staden, 2004. Assessing African medicinal plants for efficacy and safety: agricultural and storage practices. J Ethnopharmacol 95, 113-121.
  12. CW Fennell, KL Lindsey, LJ McGaw, SG Sparg, GI Stafford, EE Elgorashi, OM Grace, J van Staden, 2004. Assessing African medicinal plants for efficacy and safety: pharmacological screening and toxicology. J Ethnopharmacol 94, 205-217.
Published by Petunia Degashu

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