04/11/2022 - 09h30

Professor from the School of Health and Life Sciences is a visiting professor at the University of Oxford

Júlio César Bicca-Marques is working in partnership with leading professors in the areas of Primatology and Anthropology

Photo: Mariana Haupenthal

Júlio César Bicca-Marques, a Professor from PUCRS School of Health and Life Sciences, is working as a senior visiting professor abroad at the University of Oxford, UK. The professor will remain in the position for a period of six months through the PUCRS CAPES-PrInt Program, under the priority theme Technology and Biodiversity: Sustainability, Energy and Environment.

The opportunity to work as a Visiting Professor at the British university arose from the objective of enabling a project developed by the researcher, the writing of a scientific paper launching the area of multidisciplinary research and innovation Single Health Biomimetics. According to the professor, Single Health Biomimetics aims to integrate information on the health, ecology, and behavior of non-human primates with information on human health, farm animals and ecosystems to identify research targets for the application of the medicinal properties of plants consumed by non-human primates as a source of new drugs against infectious agents that also affect people and/or livestock.

Bicca-Marques explains that the consumption of medicinal plants and self-medication behaviors in non-human primates are research topics in the “Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution” laboratory, coordinated by Professor Susana Carvalho, his host at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the world’s leading expert on the subject, Professor Michael A. Huffman, from the Kyoto University, Japan.

Participation in courses and lectures

Among his professional and academic activities, the professor was invited to give lectures and collaborate in two courses at the University of Oxford. In October, the researcher will be responsible for the lecture “Lessons from howler monkeys on the causes and consequences of primate adaptation to fragmented landscapes” in the Institute of Human Sciences “Primate Conversations” series. In November, Bicca-Marques will present the lecture “Primate Conservation in the Face of Misinformation and Sensationalism: Infectious Diseases and the Role of Scientists” at the weekly seminar of the Master’s Program in Primate Conservation at the Oxford Brookes University, another British educational institution.

In the course “Human-primate interface: past and present” of the Archeology/Anthropology and Human Sciences bachelor’s degree program, the professor will contribute with classes discussing the themes of “trade, diseases and exploitation of resources”, “ethnoprimatology, reintroduction, translocation and the role of zoos” and “education for conservation”, while in the subject “Principles of Evolution and Behavior” of the Master’s Program in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, he will contribute to discussions on the theme of “natural history and self-medication”.

Potential Partnerships

As a visiting professor, the researcher seeks to contribute to the partnership between the University of Oxford and PUCRS through the development of research projects in collaboration with Professor Susana Carvalho’s team.  According to Bicca-Marques, from these interactions, it will be possible to apply for United Kingdom and the European Union research funds for the development of research activities in Single Health Biomimetics at PUCRS and other national and international institutions joining the project during its development.

“Working for these months in such a traditional institution as the University of Oxford and living in a scientifically vibrant British city are also very rewarding experiences that add a high value to the CAPES-PrInt/PUCRS Program”, completes the professor.



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