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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Dr Heather Yoeli, PhD (Public Health and Wellbeing), MPH (Public Health), MA (Creative Writing), BA Hons (Religious Studies)

Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology

(email at

Heather’s research focuses upon developing ethnographic, creative, and participatory epistemologies and methods for qualitative health research. In so doing, she seeks to understand the many forms of lay health knowledge and lay health experience, and especially that which comes from women. In particular, Heather seeks to challenge health inequalities. At the moment, she is thinking a lot about how Covid-19 might be transforming how health is experienced and embodied by us all.

Heather is currently an honorary research associate within the Institute for Medical Humanities, where she initially worked with the Singing for Breathing groups participating in the Life of Breath study. She is also now employed as a research fellow by City, University of London on a GCRF funded collaboration with TPO in Nepal, working on a study to co-produce a culturally engaging alcohol intervention with local problem drinkers and lay health workers. In addition, she is working more locally with Blue Cabin CiC and South Tyneside Council on a creatively facilitated co-produced study with children in local authority care.

Heather completed her PhD in Public Health in 2015, using ethnographic and critical discourse analytic methods to explore the experiential and embodied knowledges of UK lay and peer health workers. In the past, she has worked in a range of community engagement roles within faith-based communities, mental health organisations, and other areas of the voluntary sector.

Selected Publications

Journal Article

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