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Jo Middleton

Jo Middleton BSc MRes MRSB

Research Fellow
T: 07795 521952
Location: Department of Primary Care and Public Health Medicine; NIHR Global Health Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Watson Building, Falmer BN1 9PH

Areas of expertise: Parasitology (particularly acarine: scabies. Lyme disease etc.); planetary health; sustainability; outbreak research; disease ecology; zoonotic diseases; Rapid anthropological Assessment Procedures for health; systematic reviews; remote pre-hospital care; Papua New Guinea.

Research areas: Infection and immunology; primary care and health services.

Other relevant positions: BSMS institutional liaison with the Planetary Health Alliance; Convener, Planetary Health Research Theme, Sussex Sustainability Research Programme Centre of Excellence; Member, International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission; Associate Editor, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases


Jo is jointly appointed in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health and the NIHR Global Health Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases. Their research and teaching crosses interrelated scales: parasites (specifically mites and ticks) and planetary health (safeguarding both human health and the natural systems underpinning it). Before BSMS Jo worked in emergency care and taught courses for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals staff and those travelling to remote areas. They have a long-term commitment to biodiversity conservation, with a particular focus on forest preservation and indigenous health in Oceania.



  • PI: Controlling scabies outbreaks and understanding dermatoses of public health concern in care homes, refugee/migrant settings and other semi-closed institutions. Funder: NIHR ARC KSS
  • PI: Novel diagnostic tests, infection control, and vaccination regimes in residential and home care for the elderly. Funder: NIHR ARC KSS
  • PhD Supervisor and Research Fellow: NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases at BSMS. Funder: NIHR Global.
  • Co-I: Supporting integration of conservation and public health in the upland forests of Bougainville and the lowlands forests of Sepu, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Funder: Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP). 


  • Co-I and lead author (50% intellectual share of 4 Co-Is): Integrating conservation and health in PNG's vulnerable rainforests. Funder: DEFRA
  • Co-I: Epidemic modelling and statistical support for policy: sub-populations, forecasting, and long-term planning. Funder: UKRI
  • Co-I: Improving food security and protecting rainforest biodiversity and carbon stocks in indigenous communities recovering from COVID-19 in PNG. Funder: SSRP.
  • Co-I: Mapping COVID-19 impacts on PNG conservation and building a collaboration between ecology, arts, and the humanities to help preserve forests and indigenous land rights. Funder: GCRF
  • Co-I: Surfaces: an interdisciplinary project to understand and enhance health in the vulnerable rainforests of PNG. Funder: SSRP
  • Ecology of Lyme disease. Funders: British Ecological Society; Royal Society of Biology; British Deer Society, Nineveh Charitable Trust
  • Scabies Outbreaks in Residential Care. Funders: Public Health England; British Skin Foundation; ESRC.


PhD and BMBS research supervision and examination

  • PhD supervisor; Independent Research Project supervisor and examiner, Bachelor Medicine Bachelor of Surgery, BSMS
  • External PhD examiner, University of Melbourne 

Course teaching

  • BSMS: Bachelor Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (inc. course leader, Parasites and Us); MPH Public Health; MSc Global Health
  • University of Sussex: BSc Ecology & Conservation; MSc Conservation Biology; MA Environment Development & Policy

Selected publications

Richardson NA… Middleton J. 2023. Scabies outbreak management in refugee/migrant camps in Europe: a retrospective qualitative interview study of healthcare staff experiences and perspectives. BMJ Open 13: e075103.

Middleton J, et al. 2023. Scabies Management in Institutions. In Fischer & Chosidow (eds.) Scabies. Berlin: Springer Nature. ISBN 978-3-031-26069-8. 

Middleton J, et al. 2023. Health service needs and perspectives of a rainforest conserving community in Papua New Guinea’s Ramu lowlands: a combined clinical and rapid anthropological assessment with parallel treatment of urgent cases. BMJ Open, 13 (10). e075946.

Middleton J. (2022) Can ivermectin mass drug administrations to control scabies also reduce skin and soft tissue infections? Hospitalizations and primary care presentations lower after a large-scale trial in Fiji. The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific22:100454.

Middleton J, Cooper I, Rott AJ. (2021) Tick hazard in the South Downs National Park (UK): species, distribution, key locations for future interventions, site density, habitats. bioRxiv.

Middleton J, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Jennings J, Hazell R and Stewart AJ (2021) Mapping evidence on integrated conservation and health projects worldwide. The Lancet Planetary Health, 5 (6). e335.

Middleton J, Abdad MY, Beauchamp E, et al. (2020) Health service needs and perspectives of remote forest communities in Papua New Guinea: study protocol for combined clinical and rapid anthropological assessments with parallel treatment of urgent cases. BMJ Open 10:e041784.

Middleton J, Casell JA, Colthart G, et al. (2020) Rationale, experience and ethical considerations underpinning integrated actions to further global goals for health and land biodiversity in Papua New Guinea. Sustainability Science 15:1653-1664. 

Middleton J, Walker SL, House T, Head MG and Cassel JA (2019) Ivermectin for the control of scabies outbreaks in the UK. [] The Lancet, 394 (10214). pp. 2068-2069. ISSN 0140-6736

Middleton J, Cassell JA, Jones C, Lanza S, Head MG and Walker SL (2018) Scabies control: the forgotten role of personal hygiene- Authors reply. [] The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 18 (10). pp. 1068-1069. ISSN 1473-3099 

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