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What is Health and Human Development?

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Asher Y. Rosinger
Associate Professor of Biobehavioral Health
Director of Water, Health and Nutrition Lab
Environmental Health Sciences Program Area Leader
Summary Statement

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

Department
  • Biobehavioral Health - BBH
  • Water, Health and Nutrition Lab
  • Environmental Health
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Education
  • University of Georgia, PhD, Anthropology, 2015
Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Phone
Office Address
110 Biobehavioral Health Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
Interests
  • Human biology
  • 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 adaptation, environmental changes, 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, site PI, and steering committee member of the NSF funded Household Water Insecurity Experiences Scale (HWISE) Research Coordination Network.

Grants and Research Projects

Active grants:

Publications
In the Media

Popular articles:

Scientific American. (Dec 27, 2023). Extreme weather has long-term health consequences; Authorities must take proactive measures to mitigate the damaging effects of extreme weather and climate events on long-term health. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/extreme-weather-has-long-term-health-consequences/

Scientific American. July 2021 Cover story: The Human Thirst: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/human-evolution-led-to-an-extreme-thirst-for-water/

The Conversation. Nearly 60 million Americans don't drink their tap water, research suggests – here's why that's a public health problem. https://theconversation.com/nearly-60-million-americans-dont-drink-their-tap-water-research-suggests-heres-why-thats-a-public-health-problem-158483

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

Listen to Trackin Traits podcast interview with Dr. Rosinger on Water Challenges Across the Globe, 01/07/2024

Listen to The Sausage of Science Podcast as Dr. Asher Rosinger returns to discuss water and thirst!

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

Listen to The Sausage of Science Podcast “When it rains, it floods” Podcast Interview. 09/17/2018

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

§  Penn State News. Water borrowing: an invisible, global coping strategy for household water issues: 9/09/2020: https://news.psu.edu/story/631238/2020/09/09/research/water-borrowing-invisible-global-coping-strategy-household-water

§  Penn State News. A new way to research water: 1/15/20: https://news.psu.edu/story/603604/2020/01/15/research/new-way-research-water

§  NPR All things considered. Philadelphia Promotes Tap Water Amid National Distrust. 10/12/19: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/12/769783763/philadelphia-promotes-tap-water-amid-national-distrust

§  Penn State News. Biobehavioral health professor named Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor. 8/05/2019: https://news.psu.edu/story/582749/2019/08/05/academics/biobehavioral-health-professor-named-atherton-hertzler-early

§  WebMD. Not Just One Reason Kids Don't Drink Enough Water. 7/29/2019: https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20190729/not-just-one-reason-kids-dont-drink-enough-water

§  National Geographic feature story. The Evolution of Diet. 09/2014