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Ruth Evans

  • Human Geography Research Cluster leader, member of Global Development Research Division Leadership Group and SAGES Research Committee
  • Undergraduate teaching: Spaces of Care and Wellbeing, Research Training for GES, Dissertation
  • Postgraduate teaching: Ethnographic Research Techniques, Participatory Visual Methods; Postgraduate Research Student supervision
  • Co-ordinator of University of Sanctuary working group across the university
  • Co-leader of the Participation Lab

Areas of interest

  • Care, intersecting inequalities and wellbeing in transnational families.
  • Young caregiving and family relations, disability, HIV and chronic illness.
  • 'Bereavement', responses to death and inheritance.
  • Land politics, food security and gender and intergenerational relations in West Africa.
  • Sibling relationships and child- and youth-headed households in East Africa.
  • Geographies of children, youth and families.
  • Social exclusion/inclusion and the participation of marginalised groups in research and policy.

Postgraduate supervision

Ruth is interested in supervising research students on care, migration and transnational families; childhood, youth, intergenerational relations, and intersectionality; responses to death, bereavement and inheritance.

Recent PhD graduates:

  • Atim: Participatory healthcare delivery in post conflict transition in northern Uganda
  • Ottósdóttir: Care and disability in refugee families in the South-East of England (2015)
  • Downing: Disabled young people's socio-sexual networks and transitions in the UK (2015)
  • Adjei-Amoako: Experiences of disability and inclusive development in Ghana: facilitating factors and barriers to participation (2014)
  • Day: Making the Transition to Adulthood in Zambia: A Comparison of the Experiences of Caregiving and Non-Caregiving Youth (2014)
  • Foy-Phillips: Cultures of young parenting, gendered identities and rurality (2014).

Research projects

  • Death in the family in urban Senegal: bereavement, care and family relations
  • Inheritance, access to resources and family relations in Senegal
  • Asset inheritance, poverty and HIV/AIDS: experiences of widows and orphaned youth heading households in Tanzania and Uganda
  • Access to land, food security and the intergenerational transmission of poverty in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana


Ruth's research focuses on geographies of care, childhood, youth, 'family' and intergenerational relations in diverse contexts, including transnational families, bereavement and chronic illness. She is currently leading a project on Care, Inequality and Wellbeing in Transnational Families in Europe.

She recently led a Leverhulme Trust-funded project, Death in the Family in Urban Senegal: Bereavement, Care and Family (2014-16). Download the Research Report and Executive Summary and see the project blog for the press release, Rapport et Résumé (versions français) and more information.

Ruth completed a collaborative research project with colleagues at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana on Access to Land, Food Security and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana (2012-15), including a video here and articles in Geoforum (2015) and Geo: Geography & Environment (2019).

Research has also focused on Inheritance, Access to Resources and Family Relations in Senegal(2011-12), with articles published in Social & Cultural Geography (2014), Gender, Place and Culture (2016) and Emotions, Space & Society (2021). She also conducted research with Geoff Griffiths on Palm Oil, Land Rights and Ecosystems Services in Liberia (2012-13) (reports are available below).

Ruth and Caroline Day led dissemination workshops with young people with caring responsibilities in Zambia in 2014. Watch the video or read more about the research here.

Ruth also completed a study on stigma, gender and generational inequalities in asset inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty in Tanzania and Uganda (with Caroline Day), funded by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (2010-11). Read more about the project here. 

From 2008-2010, Ruth conducted a qualitative, participatory study of young people's caring responsibilities for their siblings within child- and youth- headed households in Tanzania and Uganda, funded by the RGS-IBG and the University of Reading (2008-10). (See Research Report and articles below).

Her book (co-authored with Prof. Saul Becker, 2009, The Policy Press), Children Caring for Parents with HIV and AIDS: Global Issues and Policy Responses draws on findings from an ESRC study of the experiences of children caring for parents and relatives with HIV in Tanzania and the UK, conducted while Ruth was based at University of Nottingham (2006-2007). For more information about the research, read the news article: Children caring for parents with HIV and AIDS or download the Stakeholder Report (PDF 1652KB) and Executive Summary (PDF 539KB).

While based at the University of Hull (2001-2002) and University of Birmingham (2003-2006), Ruth worked on a number of research projects that investigated the social exclusion/inclusion of children and young people and their participation in policy initiatives in the UK. Ruth's doctoral research at the University of Hull (2002-2004) explored the gendered 'street careers' of children and youth and the impacts of HIV in Tanzania.


Professional bodies/affiliations

Ruth is a member of the Editorial Board of the international journal, Gender, Place and Culture.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.


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