College of Health and Human Performance

Meredith Berry Wins UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors

May 10, 2024

The University of Florida has recognized Meredith S. Berry, Ph.D., with the 2024 Excellence Award for Assistant Professors — one of the university’s top awards for a junior faculty member.

As an experimental psychologist, Dr. Berry has several primary areas of research including 1.) using behavioral theory to develop novel treatments for opioid and substance use disorders and underlying comorbidities such as pain and depression, 2.) the evaluation of drug misuse liability and behavioral and cognitive effects of various drugs, 3.) the intersection of human and environmental health, benefits of nature exposure, and environmental conservation. Closely related to her work on the intersection of human and environmental health, she is exploring novel applications of the benefits of nature exposure to issues of drug misuse. Her current focus on clinical drug misuse research stems from a foundation of preclinical and clinical training in behavioral pharmacology, and basic and translational behavioral research in decision-making and behavioral economics.

Before joining UF's Department of Health Education and Behavior in 2018, Dr. Berry completed postdoctoral training in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in forest and conservation sciences at the University of Montana, a M.S. in experimental psychology from Utah State University, and a B.S. in psychology from UF.

Dr. Berry is the recipient of numerous early-career awards including the competitive and meritorious B.F. Skinner Foundation New Researcher Award. This national award from the American Psychological Association, recognizes innovative and important research conducted within the first 10 years of receiving a doctorate. Dr. Berry is the PI of several NIH/NIDA grants, and her research is frequently covered in popular press news outlets such as NBC News, Scientific American, Pacific Standard Magazine, Fast Company Magazine and the Huffington Post. Dr. Berry continually engages in professional service including serving on the executive committee and program chair for Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Use) of the American Psychological Association. She also serves on the Board of Editors or ad hoc reviewer for more than 30 academic journals spanning preclinical and clinical research topics of behavior analysis, decision-making, behavioral economics, behavioral pharmacology, substance use and misuse, risky sexual behavior, conservation, and conservation psychology.

Previous award winners from the college include six assistant professors: Zheng Wang, Ph.D. (2023), Nichole Scaglione, Ph.D. (2022), Ashley Smuder, Ph.D. (2021), Terence Ryan, Ph.D. (2020), Stephen Coombes, Ph.D. (2014) and Leonardo Ferreria, Ph.D. (2012). 

Read more about the university-wide award.

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