SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Ruth Simister

BA Classics and English (Oxon), MA Sociology and Social Anthropology (Central European University)
  • Research


Staff Silhouette
Ruth Simister
Email address:
Thesis title:
Mediating Public Health Messaging during the Ebola Crisis in Sierra Leone
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

External Supervisors

Professor Melissa Parker


My research builds on 4 years' professional experience in the international development field, working on media development and behaviour change programmes in London, Moldova and Ghana. It also builds on research for my MA, in which I used photovoice and ethnography to explore the subjective meaning of participation in a sex worker peer education programme in the context of a gendered slum economy.

PhD Research

My research asks how authorised messages developed on the global and 'expert' level were mediated by communications actors and community audiences during the Ebola response in Sierra Leone 2014-16. I will employ ethnographic and archival methods to address this question during multi-sited fieldwork in Sierra Leone. I will work collaboratively with Njala University and seek to contribute to a national museum of Ebola under development in the country.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


  • Public health and crisis communications
  • Informal and creative economies of Anglophone West Africa
  • Transactional sex and sex work in the Global South