Dr Melissa Parker BA DPhil

Reader Medical Anthropology


I am a member of the Anthropology, Politics and Policy Group in the Department of Global Health and Development. My research builds on a multi-disciplinary training in Human Sciences and a DPhil (which combined methods and approaches current in social and biological anthropology) from Oxford University. Research questions have typically emerged from extensive periods of ethnographic fieldwork, and engage with global health policies and practice. Topics investigated include mental health and healing in war zones, health-related quality of life in Kenya, female circumcision in northern Sudan, HIV/AIDS and sexual networks in the UK, and biosocial approaches to the control of neglected tropical diseases in Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. In October 2014, I established the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform with colleagues from the Institute of Development Studies and the Universities of Sussex, Exeter and Njala, Sierra Leone.




Melissa Parker teaches on the modules 'Principles in Social Research' and 'Medical Anthropology and Public Health'. She is a tutor on the MSc 'Public Health for Development' and has PhD students working on Biosocial Anthropology, Neglected Tropical Diseases and the impact of Ebola on health systems in West Africa.




Research areas

  • Conflict
  • Disease control
  • Ethics
  • Ethnography
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence use
  • Global Health
  • Health care policy
  • Health inequalities
  • Health policy
  • Health systems
  • Helminths
  • Impact evaluation
  • Implementation research
  • Inequalities
  • Infectious disease policy
  • Medicines
  • Mixed methods
  • Outbreaks
  • Parasites
  • Public health
  • Public understanding
  • Research : policy relationship
  • Risk
  • Science policy
  • Social and structural determinants of health
  • Violence


  • Anthropology
  • Development studies
  • Social Policy
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Emerging Infectious Disease
  • Infectious disease
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Mental health
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  • Pandemic diseases
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Trachoma
  • Tropical diseases
  • Vector borne disease
  • Zoonotic disease


  • Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)


  • Kenya
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Anthropology Of Science And Policy
  • Contact Tracing
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • International Development
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