Elisabeth Root

Ohio State University


Elisabeth Root (PhD, Geography, UNC Chapel Hill) is an associate professor in the Geography Department (College of Arts and Sciences) and the Division of Epidemiology (College of Public Health) at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. She is also affiliated with OSU’s Institute for Population Research. Dr. Root's research explores geographical patterns of health and disease using quantitative spatial methodologies. She is particularly interested in the complex interactions between demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors that influence human health and how we can quantify these factors and interactions to better understand health outcomes. Her work relies on spatial statistical analysis, geographic information systems and remote sensing to explore the dynamic human-environment interactions that affect disease processes. Dr. Root currently has active research projects in Honduras, Bangladesh, and the Philippines funded through the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Most recently she began working with the Ohio State Department of Health to build their "data lake" which integrates administrative data sources from health, education, public safety, and the judicial system. This "big data" resource will help the state with a variety of surveillance activities and to target local health programs. Her work has appeared in journals such as PNAS, Social Science & Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, and Health & Place.