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Sera Young: Faculty Experts

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Sera Young

Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Global Health
Fellow, Institute for Policy Research


Areas of Focus

  • Water and food insecurity
  • Infant feeding
  • Maternal and child health
  • Pica


  • The role of household water insecurity in societal well-being
  • Impacts of food insecurity on women and young children
  • Food and water insecurity globally
  • Cravings for non-food items, especially during pregnancy


Young has a Ph.D. in international nutrition from Cornell University. Methodologically, she draws on her training in nutrition and medical anthropology to take a biocultural approach to understanding how mothers, especially in low-resource settings, cope to preserve their health and that of their families. Most recently, she has led efforts to develop the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale, a cross-culturally valid tool to measure household water insecurity. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and received funding from NSF, NIH and the Thrasher Research Fund, among others. Awards include an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship (2019) and the Margaret Mead Award for her book about pica, "Craving Earth."