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Asher Y. Rosinger
Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health
Director of Water, Health and Nutrition Lab
Summary Statement

Dr. Rosinger's overall research program is designed to understand how humans meet their water needs, how this relates to perception, environmental resources, and water insecurity, and the resulting health, hydration, and disease consequences.

  • Biobehavioral Health - BBH
  • Water, Health and Nutrition Lab
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  • University of Georgia, PhD, Anthropology, 2015
Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Office Address
110 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
  • Water and dietary intake and hydration status
  • Water insecurity
  • Environmental and lifestyle transitions
  • Global health
Professional Experience

Asher Rosinger is a human biologist. Upon completion of his doctorate, Dr. Rosinger was selected as only one of two anthropologists to serve as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There, he led field projects related to Zika virus in Puerto Rico and published papers related to national surveillance on dietary water intake and sugar sweetened beverage consumption, obesity, and cholesterol. Dr. Rosinger examines how humans respond to changing nutritional and economic environments through water and dietary intake and the significance of mismatches in these relationships for short- and long-term health, nutrition, and disease. His overall research program is designed to understand the range of human variation in water intake and how this relates to perception, environmental resources, water insecurity, and health, hydration, and disease risk. In particular, he examines these issues in the Bolivian Amazon among indigenous Tsimane’ forager-horticulturalists, in Kenya among Daasanach agro-pastoralists, and in the US using complex survey data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). He explores the consequences of these strategies, states of health and behaviors, and of different diseases on hydration status using biomarker data. He is also a co-investigator in the Household Water Insecurity Experiences Scale (HWISE) consortium, which is working to cross-culturally validate a measure of water insecurity:

Grants and Research Projects

Active grants:

  • CNH2-S: Long Term Perspectives on Water Security, Food Security, and Land Management Among Pastoralists Experiencing Change. National Science Foundation.
    • Co-PI (Recommended for funding), 10/2019–23
  • Collaborative Research: REU Site: Past and Present Human-Environment Dynamics, National Science Foundation.
    • PI (Status: Recommended for funding), 09/2019–2022
  • Water (In)Security: Health Impacts and Drinking Water Wells in Pennsylvania. Center for Security and Education Research, Penn State University  
    • Co-PI (Status: Ongoing), 2020-2021
  • Human Health and the Environment Seed Grant Program. Water Insecurity, Stress, and Hydration (WISH): A cross-cultural exploration of psychological and biological consequences of water-related stressors. Penn State University  PI, 2018-2021
In the Media


§  Penn State News. Water borrowing: an invisible, global coping strategy for household water issues: 9/09/2020:

§  Penn State News. A new way to research water: 1/15/20:

§  Penn State News. Hydration may affect cognitive function in some older adults: 12/15/19:

§  NPR All things considered. Philadelphia Promotes Tap Water Amid National Distrust. 10/12/19:

§  Penn State News. Biobehavioral health professor named Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor. 8/05/2019:

§  WebMD. Not Just One Reason Kids Don't Drink Enough Water. 7/29/2019:

Additional Information
Selected Media coverage of Dr. Rosinger's research:

Listen to Circle of Blue podcast interview with Dr. Rosinger on trust in drinking tap water in the US.

Watch webinar with Dr. Rosinger on water insecurity, flooding, and health outcomes.