Human Development Scientist Recognized for Early Career Contributions

September 16, 2010

Dr. Denis Gerstorf, assistant professor of human development, received the Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging from Division 20 of the American Psychological Association. The award honors researchers who have made significant contributions to understanding adult psychology and development.

image of Denis Gerstorf receiving APA award

Gerstorf (L) stands with Sheri W. Sussman (R), Senior Vice President Editorial from Springer Publishing Company.

“Denis uses innovative approaches to explore critical issues in gerontology,” says Dr. Steven Zarit, professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “Much of his work has focused on disabilities in very late life, but rather than focusing on one type of problem at a time, which is typical of most research, Denis has devised strategies that allow him to look at how changes in different areas such as cognition and well-being influence each other. This approach gives us a more complete picture of the changes older adults experience and what kind of assistance might be helpful to them.”

Gerstorf’s research, which focuses on psychology across the life span, draws upon statistical analysis to understand the effects of age on cognition, personality, and social behaviors. He received his Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, in 2004, and has been a faculty member in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies since 2007. He is also a research affiliate at the German Institute for Economic Research.


Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or