Biobehavioral health professor named Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor

August 05, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Asher Rosinger, assistant professor of biobehavioral health and anthropology and director of the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab, has been named the Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health.

Rosinger’s research seeks to understand how populations without access to clean water fulfill their need for this critical resource. Rosinger currently studies indigenous populations in Bolivia and Kenya.

Populations often use behavioral and nutritional strategies to fulfill this need, which can present different health effects, including risk of dehydration, disease, and increased stress, he said.

Asher Rosinger

Asher Rosinger is an assistant professor of biobehavioral health and anthropology and director of the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab.

IMAGE: Penn State

“I’ve been interested in understanding how hydration status is affected by hydration strategies, but one of the things I haven’t done is pursue a deeper understanding of how water insecurity affects kidney health and chronic health issues," he said. "There are additional biomarkers that we can collect and test, so some of the support the professorship provides will allow me to pilot new research methods in Kenya and Bolivia to branch out and go deeper into the health implications of water problems."

“Receiving this professorship was quite a validation, and it showed me that people really value my work here at Penn State. It recognizes the hard work I’ve put into this research,” added Rosinger, who plans to use funds from the three-year appointment to expand his current studies and implement new methodologies.

According to Thomas Gould, head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health and Jean Phillips Shibley Professor, “Asher’s strong interdisciplinary training in human biology and epidemiology uniquely position him to shed light on the critical topic of water insecurity, with the potential to move the field forward in ground-breaking fashion.”

Rosinger joined the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University Park in 2017. Prior to his appointment, he completed a fellowship as an epidemic intelligence service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He earned his doctorate in anthropology and master’s in public health from the University of Georgia.

The Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professorship in Global Health, along with two other early career professorships in the College of Health and Human Development, were established by the late Ann Atherton Hertzler, who earned her degree in home economics from Penn State in 1957. Hertzler was a professor emerita of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech University. The endowments provide faculty members with funds to support their professional development. Their impact extends to students too, as professors often use such funds to hire undergraduate and graduate students as research or teaching assistants, or to cover students’ independent research or professional travel.

To learn more about the Penn State Department of Biobehavioral Health, visit

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Last Updated August 05, 2019