Matthew Browning, Ph.D.Assistant Professor & Director, Virtual Reality and Nature Lab
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
Contact: 864-656-9981 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is Dr. Browning?
Dr. Browning's research encompasses three domains (nature, health, virtual reality) and the intersections between them. He is the founding director of the Virtual Reality & Nature lab (2016-present), which has two foci: (1) conducting basic and applied research on the therapeutic effects of simulated natural environments on human health, wellbeing, and community resilience; and (2) enhancing the frequency, richness, and meaningfulness of nature-based connections and interactions. The lab has a strong commitment to the land grant mission and provides no-cost products for community partners (i.e., a virtual tour of the South Carolina Botanical Garden for the Master Gardener Program). The VRN has active research collaborations with over 65 collaborators across 18 countries and 8 Clemson departments. Dr. Browning also has active collaborations with several healthcare industry partners, including Kaiser Permanente and hospital systems in five states.
How Dr. Browning’s research is transforming health care
His collaborative research expands awareness of the protective impact of urban greening on health. Health spending, opioid overdose, and educational/socioeconomic inequity may be lessened through low-cost greening interventions. Working with health care providers and governmental committees is helping these research findings be translated into policy. Also, his Virtual Reality and Nature lab is leading clinical interventions at 3 health care providers to improve inpatient and outpatient quality of life through restorative 360-degree imagery.
News and media related to Dr. Browning’s research
- Washington Post - "Can Virtual Nature Be A Good Substitute for the Great Outdoors? The Science Says Yes"
- U.S. News & World Report - "Forested Counties Have Lower Medicare Costs, Study Finds"
- Conservation Finance Network - "Urban Forests Prune health Care Costs"
- Slate - "Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods"
- Conservation Magazine - "Kids Damage 'Nature Play Areas'"
- Pacific Standard - "New Research Links Green Spaces Lower Medicare Spending"
Health Research Expertise Keywords
Environmental determinants of health, Digital health interventions, Mood disorders, Health equity, Green/blue space exposure