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Ruth Kutalek
Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Ruth Kutalek

Center for Public Health (Department of Social and Preventive Medicine)
Position: Associate Professor

T +43 1 40160 34607


Anthropology, Medical

Research group(s)

  • Unit Medical Anthropology and Global Health

Research interests

Anthropological perspectives on infectious diseases and in disaster response, esp. Ebola Virus Disease: psycho-social situation of Ebola survivors, occupational situation of health care workers; health seeking behavior in times of crisis.  

Access to health care for vulnerable populations (specifically migrants, refugees, certain ethnic groups)  

Migration of medical professionals from resource-poor settings (“brain drain”)  

Diversity studies: Development of curricula in resource poor settings; transcultural competence in the medical curriculum  

Ethnopharmacology: geophagy (consumption of clay) and its implications for public health research in Africa  

Techniques, methods & infrastructure

 Qualitative study designs (semi-structured and in-depth interviews; participatory research), Media Analysis, Applied Social Science Methods; Analysis with the software atlas.ti, using  different theoreticel frameworks, such as feminist and socio-political approaches 


  • A Global Social Science Network for Infectious Threats and Antimicrobial Resistance – SoNAR-Global (2018)
    Source of Funding: EU, Horizon 2020
    Principal Investigator

Selected publications

  1. 2018 Mayrhuber, Elisabeth Anne-Sophie, Michel L.A. Dückers, Peter Wallner, Arne Arnberger, Brigitte Allex, Laura Wiesböck, Anna Wanka, Franz Kolland, Renate Eder, Hans-Peter Hutter, Ruth Kutalek* Vulnerability to heatwaves and implications for public health interventions ,
  2. 2018 Kutalek, Ruth; Jirovsky, Elena, Grabovac, Igor: From macro- to micro-factors in health: Social science approaches in research on sexually transmitted infections. PLoS Medicine 15(1): e1002490.
  3. 2017 Mayrhuber, Sophie; Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas, Kutalek, Ruth*: ,
  4. 2017 Gundacker, Claudia; Kutalek, Ruth*; Glaunach, Rosina; Deweis, Coloman; Hengstschläger, Markus; Prinz, Armin: Geophagy during pregnancy: Is there a health risk for infants? Environmental Research 156:145-147
  5. 2015 Kutalek, Ruth; Wang, Shiyong; Falla, Mosoka; Wesseh, Sanford; Gilbert, Jeffrey: Ebola interventions: Listen to communities. Lancet Global Health 22. Jan,