Daasanach Heath & Life History Project

We aim to investigate the effects of lifestyle change on early childhood growth among the Daasanach, a population of semi-nomadic pastoralists living in remote northern Kenya. We further seek to understand the tradeoffs between growth and other competing energy demands (i.e. physical activity and immune function) in a population transitioning towards a more sedentary and market integrated way of life.


Bethancourt, H., Swanson, Z. S., Nzunza, R., Young, S., Lomeiku, L., Douglass, M., Braun, D. R., Ndiema, E., Pontzer, H., Rosinger, A. (2022). The co-occurrence of water insecurity and food insecurity among Daasanach pastoralists in northern Kenya. Public Health Nutrition, 1-30. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980022001689

Rosinger, A. Y.Bethancourt, H. J.Swanson, Z. S.Lopez, K.Kenney, W. L.Huanca, T.Conde, E.Nzunza, R.Ndiema, E.Braun, D. R., & Pontzer, H. (2022). Cross-cultural variation in thirst perception in hot-humid and hot-arid environments: Evidence from two small-scale populations. American Journal of Human Biology346), e23715. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23715

Ford, L. B., Bethancourt, H., Swanson, Z. S., Nzunza, R., Wutich, A., Brewis, A., Young, S. L., Almeida, D., Douglass, M. J., Ndiema, E., Braun, D. R., Pontzer, H., & Rosinger, A. (2022). Water Insecurity, Water Borrowing, and Psychosocial Stress Among Daasanach Pastoralists in Northern Kenya. medRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.26.22269937

Rosinger, A.Y., Bethancourt, H., Swanson, Z. S., Nzunza, R., Saunders, J., Dhanasekar, S., Kenney, W. L., Hu, K., Douglass, M J., Ndiema, E., Braun, D. R., & Pontzer, H. (2021). Drinking water salinity is associated with hypertension and hyperdilute urine among Daasanach pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Science of The Total Environment, 770. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144667

Bethancourt, H. J.Swanson, Z. S.Nzunza, R., Huanca, T., Conde, E., Kenney, W. L., Young, S. L., Ndiema, E., Braun, D. R., Pontzer, H., Rosinger, A. Y. Hydration in relation to water insecurity, heat index, and lactation status in two small-scale populations in hot-humid and hot-arid environments. American Journal of Human Biology, 2020; 33:e23447. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23447