Faculty Scholars

Faculty Scholar Matthew Browning, Ph.D. at Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

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 mhb2@clemson.edu

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.

For more information, see his Department Profile and lab website. A complete list of his scientific articles can be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

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

Health Research Expertise Keywords

Environmental determinants of health, Digital health interventions, Mood disorders, Health equity, Green/blue space exposure