Emma Bunkley, MA, PhD

Emma Bunkley, MA, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Public Health Sciences


Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2021
M.A., The New School for Social Research, 2010
B.A., Northern Arizona University, 2007


Dr. Bunkley is a medical anthropologist interested in women’s health, global health, noncommunicable diseases, and embodiment. Her research focuses on Senegalese women’s experiences with metabolic diseases to better understand changing social networks and kinship relationships. Blending a background in political science with sociocultural anthropological studies, Dr. Bunkley examines top-down structures, such as national level statistic making and global health systems, alongside daily experiences of women in and out of biomedical and traditional health establishments. Thinking critically about the “epidemiological transition,” her work problematizes the idea that sub-Saharan Africa is moving away from infectious and towards noncommunicable disease, but rather will always experience a co-existence of these two categories. Her research also seeks to challenge the conflation of “women’s health” with reproductive and maternal health by highlighting the often-overlooked gendered aspects of chronic illness in both clinical settings and in public health. Dr. Bunkley’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (2015-2020), United States Fulbright IIE (2018-2019), and the University of Arizona Social and Behavioral Science Research Institute (2018) and the School of Anthropology (2014-2021). At Washington University, Dr. Bunkley is working on Dr. Jean Hunleth’s research Caring for Caregivers at a pediatric hospital in Zambia.