Please Join UF Psychology in Welcoming Our New Faculty for the Fall 2019 Semester

In the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester the UF Psychology Department has added 7 new members to our Faculty. This has added 1 Lecturer, 1 Clinical Assistant Professor and 5 Assistant Professors to UF Psychology.





Dr. Matt baldwin

Dr. Baldwin is an assistant professor in social psychology and the director of the Self Mind Society (SMS) Lab. Dr. Baldwin earned a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Kansas and then spent four years in Germany as a post-doc at the University of Cologne’s Social Cognition Center. The SMS Lab is interested in how psychological phenomena, such as identity, comparison, and politics, are products of dynamic interactions between the individual and her social, temporal, and physical surroundings. More information about Dr. Baldwin, the lab’s members and ongoing projects can be found at



dr. erin westgate

Dr. Westgate is a social psychologist studying boredom, interest, and thinking (and why it’s so hard for so many of us!). Originally from southeast Texas, Dr.Westgate received a PhD in social psychology from the University of Virginia in 2018, and a BA in psychology from Reed College in 2010. Much of Dr. Westgate’s work has examined why people don’t enjoy being alone with their own thoughts. More recently, she has branched out to the larger question of why people become bored, developing a new model of boredom that explains what boredom is, why we experience it, and what happens when we do. Dr. Westgate spends her free time looking at fish in her many fresh and saltwater aquariums and — when lucky — while scuba diving Florida’s springs and beaches.


dr. Steven weisberg

Dr. Weisberg is an assistant professor in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience area. He also directs the Spatial Cognition and Navigational Neuroscience (SCANN) lab. Dr. Weisberg received his BA in psychology from the College of William and Mary before returning to his home town, Philadelphia, to earn his PhD from Temple University. He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. The SCANN lab uses a range of methods, including behavioral studies in immersive and desktop VR, and structural and functional MRI to discover the behavioral and neural principles that support spatial navigation. Discover more about our work at the SCANN lab website.


 Dr. Peter Kvam

Dr. Kvam is an assistant professor in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience area, focusing on developing quantitative methods like computational models of decision-making. He received his BS/BA in Psychology, Mathematics, and Sociology from Indiana University, and made detours to the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin as well as the University of Tasmania in Australia while pursuing his PhD in Psychology from Michigan State University. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University and The Ohio State University, examining how people make decisions when they have a large number or a continuum of response options available. The Cognition & Decision Modeling Lab works on linking together different measures to form a more complete picture of each individual and how they make choices.


 Dr. Brian Odegaard

Dr. Odegaard is an assistant professor in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience area and PI for the Perception, Attention and Consciousness lab. Dr. Odegaard received his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at UCLA, and completed his post-doc under the supervision of Dr. Hakwan Lau.  His research interests include the study of multisensory integration, metacognition, attention, peripheral vision, and consciousness.  A link to Dr. Odegaard’s lab website can be found here:




Dr. Amanda Lawson-Ross

Amanda Lawson-Ross, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor for the University of Florida’s Counseling Psychology program in the Department of Psychology. She earned her undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology from the University of Florida and her masters and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Akron. She previously worked as a clinician and faculty for university counseling centers and ran the University of Florida’s mental health ambassador program, called AWARE, which was dedicated to mental health prevention and outreach.  She is also a licensed psychologist with a private practice. She is a proud Latinx member of the LGBTQ+ community and is an advocate for social justice. Her areas of professional interest include strength-based psychology (e.g., bolstering resilience), supervision and training, diversity and multiculturalism, and helping people work toward self-awareness, growth, and acceptance. She has published on diversity-related issues in the counseling process.  She received the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues fellowship and participated in the Minority Fellowship Program through the American Psychological Association and has received the University of Florida’s Division of Student Affairs Superior Accomplishment Faculty Award. 


Dr. Shari Schwartz
Dr. Schwartz is an Instructor teaching undergraduate courses on the Psychology of Pseudoscience (PSY4625) and Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PSY4930). She is a Forensic/Legal Psychologist with special expertise in capital mitigation, sentencing advocacy, victim outreach, and trial consulting. Dr. Schwartz has published journal articles on co-witness effects/memory conformity, biased lineup instructions, she has authored/edited four college textbooks on the topics of the intersection of psychology and law, the psychology of criminal behavior, introduction to corrections, and on juvenile justice issues. Dr. Schwartz is a frequently invited lecturer at judges’ and attorneys’ trainings and has spoken at numerous conferences on issues regarding criminal behavior, death penalty, mitigating circumstances, victim outreach, judicial decision-making, and many other criminal justice topics.