Nita Bharti

Huck Early Career Professor; Assistant Professor of Biology

Nita Bharti

Research Summary

The Bharti lab investigates the underlying links between humans, pathogens, and the environment. We work to identify the mechanisms that give rise to heterogeneities in host disease burden and risk across scales, across spatial and temporal scales. We study the dynamics of host-environment interactions that drive movement and contact patterns as they relate to to pathogen transmission and access to health care.

Huck Affiliations


Publication Tags

Niger Satellite Imagery Fluctuations Nigeria Measles Immunization Population Imagery Vaccination Population Density Public Health Population Dynamics History Fluctuation Rain Lighting Health Vaccines Epidemiology Disease Outbreaks Epidemics Demography Vegetation Light Infection

Most Recent Papers

Quantifying the impacts of Australian bushfires on native forests and gray-headed flying foxes

K. Baranowski, C. L. Faust, P. Eby, N. Bharti, 2021, Global Ecology and Conservation

Lessons from managing a campus mumps outbreak using test, trace, and isolate efforts

Nita Bharti, Cara Exten, Valerie Fulton, Robin Oliver-Veronesi, 2021, American Journal of Infection Control on p. 849-851

The influence of vector-borne disease on human history

Tejas S. Athni, Marta S. Shocket, Lisa I. Couper, Nicole Nova, Iain R. Caldwell, Jamie M. Caldwell, Jasmine N. Childress, Marissa L. Childs, Giulio A. De Leo, Devin G. Kirk, Andrew J. MacDonald, Kathryn Olivarius, David G. Pickel, Steven O. Roberts, Olivia C. Winokur, Hillary S. Young, Julian Cheng, Elizabeth A. Grant, Patrick M. Kurzner, Saw Kyaw, Bradford J. Lin, Ricardo C. Lopez, Diba S. Massihpour, Erica C. Olsen, Maggie Roache, Angie Ruiz, Emily A. Schultz, Muskan Shafat, Rebecca L. Spencer, Nita Bharti, Erin A. Mordecai, 2021, Ecology Letters on p. 829-846

Linking human behaviors and infectious diseases

Nita Bharti, 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Transient disease dynamics across ecological scales

Yun Tao, Jessica L. Hite, Kevin D. Lafferty, David J.D. Earn, Nita Bharti, 2021, Theoretical Ecology

Application of reflectance ratios on high-resolution satellite imagery to remotely identify eucalypt vegetation

Kelsee Baranowski, Teairah Taylor, Brian Lambert, Nita Bharti, 2020, Remote Sensing on p. 1-18

Investigating persistent measles dynamics in Niger and associations with rainfall

Alexandre Blake, Ali Djibo, Ousmane Guindo, Nita Bharti, 2020, Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Controlling the coronavirus narrative

Nita Bharti, 2020, Science on p. 780

How to maintain physical and mental health during coronavirus

Nita Bharti, 2020, The Conversation

Fluctuations in anthropogenic nighttime lights from satellite imagery for five cities in Niger and Nigeria

Nita Bharti, Andrew J. Tatem, 2018, Scientific data

Most-Cited Papers

Approaching the limit of predictability in human mobility

Xin Lu, Erik Wetter, Nita Bharti, Andrew J. Tatem, Linus Bengtsson, 2013, Scientific Reports

Explaining seasonal fluctuations of measles in Niger using nighttime lights imagery

N. Bharti, A. J. Tatem, M. J. Ferrari, R. F. Grais, A. Djibo, B. T. Grenfell, 2011, Science on p. 1424-1427

Mapping populations at risk

Andrew J. Tatem, Susana Adamo, Nita Bharti, Clara R. Burgert, Marcia Castro, Audrey Dorelien, Gunter Fink, Catherine Linard, Mendelsohn John, Livia Montana, Mark R. Montgomery, Andrew Nelson, Abdisalan M. Noor, Deepa Pindolia, Greg Yetman, Deborah Balk, 2012, Population Health Metrics

The epidemiology of rubella in Mexico

C. J.E. Metcalf, O. N. Bjørnstad, M. J. Ferrari, P. Klepac, N. Bharti, H. Lopez-Gatell, B. T. Grenfell, 2011, Journal of Hygiene on p. 1029-1038


M. Elizabeth Halloran, Alessandro Vespignani, Nita Bharti, Leora R. Feldstein, K. A. Alexander, Matthew Ferrari, Jeffrey Shaman, John M. Drake, Travis Porco, Joseph N.S. Eisenberg, Sara Y. Del Valle, Eric Lofgren, Samuel V. Scarpino, Marisa C. Eisenberg, Daozhou Gao, James M. Hyman, Stephen Eubank, Ira M. Longini, 2014, Science on p. 433

Remotely measuring populations during a crisis by overlaying two data sources

Nita Bharti, Xin Lu, Linus Bengtsson, Erik Wetter, Andrew J. Tatem, 2015, International Health on p. 90-98

Measuring populations to improve vaccination coverage

Nita Bharti, Ali Djibo, Andrew J. Tatem, Bryan T. Grenfell, Matthew J. Ferrari, 2016, Scientific Reports

Spatial dynamics of meningococcal meningitis in Niger: Observed patterns in comparison with measles

N. Bharti, H. Broutin, R. F. Grais, M. J. Ferrari, A. Djibo, A. J. Tatem, B. T. Grenfell, 2012, Journal of Hygiene on p. 1356-1365

Fluctuations in anthropogenic nighttime lights from satellite imagery for five cities in Niger and Nigeria

Nita Bharti, Andrew J. Tatem, 2018, Scientific data

Controlling the coronavirus narrative

Nita Bharti, 2020, Science on p. 780

News Articles Featuring Nita Bharti

Australian megafires burn critical habitat of 'Vulnerable' virus-harboring bats

The severe megafires that occurred in eastern Australia during 2019-20 were much larger and more concentrated across the landscape than in previous years, according to a study by researchers at Penn State and the University of New South Wales. The unprecedented fires included the burning of 34% of the foraging habitat of grey-headed flying foxes, which are known to transmit deadly Lyssa and Hendra viruses.

Behavior limits COVID-19 spread between University and community

When universities across the U.S. opted to return students to campus for in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic in the fall of 2020, surrounding communities were understandably concerned that COVID-19 infections rates would significantly increase. In response, several Penn State researchers formed the Centre County COVID-19 Data 4 Action Project (D4A) to conduct anonymous surveys and biological testing for nonstudent residents and Penn State students to document the social and economic impacts of the pandemic in one community.

Vector-borne diseases shaped human history and reveal race disparities

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs), such as plague, malaria and yellow fever, have significantly shaped society and culture, according to an international team of researchers. In a study published in Ecology Letters on Jan. 27, the team used historical evidence interpreted through an ecological lens to illustrate how VBDs have influenced human history, with particular attention to how VBDs have reinforced and exacerbated racism.

Take Note: Epidemiologist Dr. Nita Bharti On Safety And Effectiveness Of New COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccine is slowly rolling out across the country. Some people still have concerns about these new vaccines and their safety.

Can the NBA win its rematch with COVID-19?

As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the NCAA and NFL, the 2020-21 NBA season offers new hopes and fears

Football is back in Happy Valley. The Coronavirus never left.

Not quite a mile form Beaver Stadium, there's an off-the-grid building encircled by a tall metal fence. Surrounded by fields, unmarked on maps, it looks like a tiny jail north of the Penn State campus. The gate is locked.

Heading down to the Linc Sunday for the Ravens-Eagles game? Here’s what you need to know

So you’re an Eagles season ticket holder who opted in for 2020, instead of deferring for a year, and then you secured a “pod” of two to six tickets to Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens — the first game this season in which fans will be allowed at Lincoln Financial Field. What can you expect?

The NFL expects to play a full season despite coronavirus concerns

Training camp amid the pandemic went better than even some of the most optimistic NFL observers would have predicted, with the league’s COVID-19 reserve list dwindling steadily from 66 players at the end of July to fewer than half a dozen as the week of the season openers arrived.

Measles outbreaks in Niger linked to rainfall and temperature, study finds

Rainfall and temperature drive agricultural activity, which, in turn, influences patterns of measles outbreaks in the West African nation of Niger, according to an international team of researchers. The findings may be useful for improving vaccine coverage for seasonally mobile populations within Niger and other countries.

Faculty funded to study how people's movement impacts COVID-19 transmission

Nita Bharti, Lloyd Huck Early Career Professor and assistant professor of biology at Penn State, and her collaborator Anthony Robinson, associate professor of geography at Penn State, have been awarded seed funding from the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State to study how monitoring the movement of people can potentially be used as a predictor or early indicator of COVID-19 transmission and guide health policy decisions.