Dennis McKenna's research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brasilian Amazon.
His doctoral research (University of British Columbia,1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo- koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna. From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on Ethnopharmacology and Plants in Human affairs as an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford.
See Dennis McKenna Ph.D. at the Extraordinary Future.