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Economic, Social and Political Sciences
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Dr Natasha Fothergill-Misbah BSc, MSc, PG Cert, PhD

Lecturer in Gerontology

Dr Natasha Fothergill-Misbah's photo

I am a Lecturer in Gerontology at the University of Southampton with an interest in ageing in sub-Saharan Africa.

My research has focussed on ageing in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically looking at the lived experience of health conditions in older people. I am interested in non-communicable diseases and multimorbidity in later life (and through the life course), access to healthcare services, health inequalities and intergenerational care structures. Much of my research has focussed on Parkinson’s disease in Africa.

I joined the University of Southampton in 2021 after holding a Research Fellow post at Northumbria University and a post as Research Associate in Global Health at Newcastle University. I have also worked on a consultancy basis for the World Health Organization Brain Health Unit.

I studied Biomedical Sciences (BSc Hons), obtained an MSc in Public Health (Global Health) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training Methods all at Newcastle University. In 2017, I undertook a short course in Gerontology at Southampton University on Ageing in Africa. I obtained my PhD in 2020 on the lived experience of Parkinson’s disease in Kenya, also from Newcastle University.

I am a member of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) and the BSG Special Interest Group on Ageing in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and a member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS).

Research interests

My research has focussed on the lived experience of disease in later life, and the impact of chronic disease on ageing and later life. I am particularly interested in ageing in sub-Saharan Africa. My academic background is interdisciplinary, combining biomedical sciences, anthropology, global health, sociology and public health.

Parkinson’s disease in Kenya: My PhD research explored the lived experience of Parkinson’s disease in Kenya using ethnographic methods. I spent 1 year conducting fieldwork across Kenya, exploring how people navigated life with Parkinson’s, from diagnosis through to the end of life. This research involved people with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers, healthcare professionals, as well as herbal and religious healers. The research identified the roles of sociality, improvisation and hope in living with, and managing Parkinson’s disease.

Rollercoaster project: Not related to ageing, I spent 5 months working on a project as a Research Fellow which evaluated a support group for parents/carers of children and young people with mental health difficulties in the North East of England. This project utilised ethnographic methods and a realist approach.

I have published research from my PhD on challenges around diagnosing Parkinson’s in Kenya; the role of support groups in the management of Parkinson’s in Kenya; the potential role of Mucuna Pruriens as an alternative treatment for Parkinson’s; and the experience of Parkinson’s in Tanzania.

I am also interested in translating research into policy and was contracted to write the first Technical Brief on Parkinson’s disease for the World Health Organization.

Primary research group


Personal Academic Tutor (PAT)

Co-Chair of the Gerontology Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

Department Employability Co-ordinator

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Lead convenor for modules:

  • GERO6014 Quantitative Research Methods (DL)
  • GERO6024 Ageing in Africa: Research and Policy (DL)
  • GERO6025 Policy Evaluation for Ageing Societies (DL)

Co-convenor for GERO6013 Researching Ageing Societies (DL)

Dr Natasha Fothergill-Misbah
Reception Building 58 University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 58/4115

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