Elisabeth Dowling Root, PhD

Elisabeth Dowling Root, PhD
Associate Professor
1160 Derby Hall
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-292-1882
Email: root.145@osu.edu
Home College: Department of Geography
Elisabeth Dowling Root, PhD, Department of Geography


My research is situated at the intersection of geography and public health. Using spatial statistical methods and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), I integrates socioeconomic and environmental context into studies of disease processes and health behaviors. The goals of my research are to: 1) better understand geographical patterns of human health across diverse settings, 2) examine how local and regional context drives these patterns of disease, and 3) model the effect of major health and development interventions across these diverse settings. My main approach involves collecting extensive survey and health data and combining these data with areal demographic/economic indicators and environmental data. I then use spatial statistical methods and GIS to quantify and assess the spatial/contextual factors which alter disease processes and programmatic effects. I currently have active research projects in Honduras, Bangladesh, and the Philippines as well as the U.S. My website can be found at: https://u.osu.edu/root.145/

Research Interests:

  • Health and medical geography
  • Population geography
  • Disease ecology
  • Spatial statistics
  • Spatial epidemiology


PhD, Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MA, Geography, University of Maryland at College Park
BA, Anthropology and Public Policy Analysis, Pomona College

Selected Publications:

Root, E.D. and J.L. Humphrey. 2014. Neighborhood Racial Composition and Trajectories of Child Self-Rated Health: An Application of Longitudinal Propensity Scores. Social Science & Medicine 120: 31-39. (doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.006)

Root, E.D., D.S.K. Thomas, E.J. Campagna, E.H. Morrato. 2014. Adjusting for Geographic Variation in Observational Comparative Effectiveness Studies: A Case Study of Antipsychotics Using State Medicaid Data. BMC Health Services Research 14:355. (doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-355)

Root, E.D., M. Lucero, H. Nohynek, P. Anthamatten, D.S.K. Thomas, V. Tallo, A. Tansskanen, B. Quiambao, T. Puumalainen, S. Lupisan, P. Ruutu, E. Ladesma, G. Williams, I. Riley, E.A.S. Simoes, ARIVAC Consortium. 2014. Distance to health services affects local-level vaccine efficacy for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PVC) among rural Filipino children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(9): 3520-5. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1313748111)

Root, E.D. and J.L. Humphrey. 2014. The impact of childhood mobility on exposure to neighborhood socioeconomic context over time. American Journal of Public Health 104(1): 80-2. (doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301467)

Root, E.D., L. Gonzales, D.E. Persse, P.R. Hinchey, B. McNalley and C. Sasson. 2013. A tale of two cities: The role of neighborhood socioeconomic status in spatial clustering of bystander CPR in Austin and Houston. Resuscitation 84(6): 752-759. (doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.01.007)

Root, E.D., J.R. Rodd, M. Yunus and M. Emch. 2013. The role of socioeconomic status in longitudinal trends of cholera in Matlab, Bangladesh, 1993-2007. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 7(1): e1997. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001997)

Sasson, C., D.J. Magid, P. Chan, E.D. Root, B.F. McNally, A.L. Kellermann, J.S. Haukoos. 2012. Association Between Neighborhood Race/Ethnicity and Income and Bystander CPR for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. The New England Journal of Medicine 367(17): 1607-15. (doi:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2013.01.007)