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Freya Jephcott

Freya Jephcott

PhD Candidate and Research Assistant in Emerging Infectious Diseases



I completed my first undergraduate degree at the Australian National University (ANU) in medical science, before completing a B.A in sociology and social policy at the University of Sydney. I joined Prof Wood’s lab at Cambridge in 2012 as a master’s student interested in pursuing multi-disciplinary research on zoonosis, and am now pursing a PhD in the same area.

Departments and Institutes

Veterinary Medicine:

Research Interests


I am interested in understanding how international health policy, as delivered through current African domestic public health infrastructure and international collaborations, confers protection on African and international communities against the spread of newly emerging infectious diseases. I study this through the use of case studies, namely a cryptic encephalitis outbreak in rural Ghana. By using a combination of anthropological techniques and shoe-leather epidemiology I aim to tie together an exploration of public health policy with the community-level emergence and spread of infectious diseases as to inform more effective disease control policy and infrastructure.


In addition to my PhD work, I am involved in a cross-disciplinary serosurvey being administered in rural Ghana, directed towards understanding the dynamics of filoviruses and henipaviruses spillover from fruit bat populations into human ones.


  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Epidemic control
  • Anthropology
  • Epidemiology
  • Health-seeking behaviours


  • Zoonoses
  • Emerging viral diseases
  • Communicable disease