Amy Adkins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Psychology & Director of Student Engagement, College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute
(804) 828-4344

B.S. in Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2005
Ph.D in Human & Molecular Genetics, VCU, 2012


Research Interests
My primary research interests focus on understanding genetic and environmental risk factors underlying risky alcohol use and related problems. More globally, I am interested in the etiology of college behavioral and emotional health outcomes. Through my work with the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute (, I seek to integrate research findings into prevention/intervention programming and university policy. I also love teaching and enjoy working with a team of undergraduate researchers each semester.


Recent Courses
Spit for Science: Conducting and Understanding Research (undergraduate)
Genes, Environment & Human Behavior (undergraduate)
Science of Happiness (undergraduate)


Selected Publications

Barr, P., Thomas, N.S., Hottell, D., Adkins, A., & Dick, D. The influence of student engagement, behavioral and emotional health on college student retention over time. JCSD. (Accepted.)

Hancock, L., Su, J., McGann, A., Alshagra, M., Ericson, R., Niazi, N., Dick, D.M. & Adkins, A. Evaluating the impact of a Campus-wide Social Norms Marketing Intervention on Alcohol Use Perceptions, Consumption, and Blackouts. (2018).  J Am Coll Health. 66(3): 219-224. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2017.1382500.

Adkins, A., Hack, L.M., Bigdeli, T.B., Williamson, V.S., Mamdani, M., Edwards, A.,  Aliev, F., Chan, R.F., Bhandari, P., Raabe, R., Alaimo, J.T., Blackwell, G.G., Moscati, A.A., Patterson, D.G., Walsh, D., Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism Consortium, Whitfield, J.B., Zhu, G., Montgomery, G.W., Henders, A.K., Martin, N.G., Heath, A.C., Madden, P.A.F., Frank, J., Ridinger, M., Wodarz, N., Soyka, M.,  Zill, P., Ising, M., Nöthen, M.M., Kiefer, F., Rietschel, M., The German Study of the Genetics of Addiction Consortium, Gelernter, J., Sherva, R., Koesterer, R., Almasy, L., Zhao, H., Kranzler, H.R., Farrer, L.A.,  Maher, B.S., Prescott, C.A.,  Dick, D.M., Bacanu, S.A., Mathies, L.D.,  Davies, A.G., Vladimirov, V.I., Grotewiel, M., Bettinger, J.C., Webb, B.T., Miles, M.F., Kendler, K.S., & Riley, B.P.  (2017). Genomewide Association Study of Alcohol Dependence in a Homogeneous Irish Sample Identifies Risk Loci Supported by Model Organism Studies and Convergent Functional Evidence. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 41(5):911-928. doi: 10.1111/acer.13362.