Favourite Thing: Conducting Science Experiments with People to make a positive difference to our health and well-being!
Callington Community College (1995-2002), Cardiff Metropolitan University (2002-2005 & 2006-2009)
GCSES, A-levels, BSc (hons), PhD, PGCHE
Boots Plc, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Loughbourough University
Senior Lecturer in Health & Exercise Physiology/Prescription
Kingston University London
Me and my work
I am an Exercise Physiologist & Biochemist who investigates the human body’s response to exercise, nutrition and behavioural change at Kingston University, London.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Health and Exercise Prescription and Physiology specialising in the concepts of exercise physiology, nutrition and the cellular effects these have on the body. I look at the immune system and cellular signalling that takes place (biochemistry) in the body in response to various environments.
I look at the types of exercise we perform including ultra-endurance events which are when people run longer than marathon distances like 100 miles!, I also look at the environments we exercise in (hot or humid, high altitude etc) and also thinking about the influence of food and nutrition has on our bodies as well as when we are exercising in these environments.
This is me in the lab performing an exercise test:
I am also interested in the importance of physical activity and nutrition on health, for example how it can help people with conditions such as diabetes, some forms of cancers, heart disease, and respiratory conditions like asthma.
I am a Theme Leader for the Sport, Exercise, Nutrition and Public Health Research Group at Kingston University, London. My current research is on the recovery of muscle damage and inflammation and the association to clinical conditions such as diabetes, lymphoma and obesity as well as the application to extreme environments and ultra-endurance events.
For example, I am interested in whether stretching before and after exercise is important and what benefit it has, whether cold-water immersion is useful whether we should wear compression garments and lots lots more.
I am also the STEM Outreach Champion for Life Sciences, Pharmacy & Chemistry, I visit schools and colleges as well as host visits to our campus to learn about Being a Sport Scientist, or Life Sciences. If your school is interested come and check out what we have on offer: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/schools-and-colleges/book-activities/
I am a member of the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) The Physiological Society and International Society of Exercise and Immunology (ISEI). I have presented my research internationally at various conferences.
I also enjoy playing netball, road cycling, rock climbing, and hiking.
My Typical Day
The exciting stuff -Giving lectures, inspring the future scientists, in the labs demonstrating or collecting data. The less fun tasks of the day: responding to emails, lecture prep, attending meetings
Teaching and lecturing to University students as well as visits from schools and colleges.
Researching in the lab working with human samples such as blood, muscle and saliva. I get to look at the molecular aspects – conducting biochemistry assays and looking at the immune responses.
What I'd do with the money
Invest in an interactive project to inspire children into behind Science in Human Performance
I would like to purchase more equipment that is suitable for Children and Teenagers. In our labs we use lots of big expensive equipment to test adults fitness and health but the devices are too big for many children and teenagers. I would love to make our labs more friendly and approachable for children and teenagers to use so that when they come and visit, they can have a go also at some of the tests and experiments.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Bubbly, Outgoing, Loud
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Incubus, Brandon Boyd, bands like Slipknot,
What's your favourite food?
Anything that’s Thai / Sushi
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Hiking in Yosemite National park, California, USA
What did you want to be after you left school?
A scientist or a teacher in Science/ Sport
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No – unless the whole class got made to stay behind because of someone else!
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Inspire others and have fun in the labs
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My interest in the topic and the degree I studied at University
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Teacher or Gardener
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Own my own house with a big garden 2. Have pets (at least a kitten and chickens) 3. Do something with my work that has a big positive impact on others
Tell us a joke.
How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? One, but the lightbulb has to WANT to change
One of my earliest inspirations in exploration, science and life was when I followed Sir Ranulph Fiennes at a young age on his journey to the North Pole. One of my most memorable experiences was the opportunity to meet and work with him last year in preparation for his 2015 Challenge- The Marathon des Sables
This is the Human Performance lab at Kingston University, this is where most of the research is conducted:
Our Body composition Suite- this is the Bodpod!
This is the Biochemistry Lab Suite I set up to help us process samples and analyse bloods:
This is our Sim Man- he is our patient simulator that can display neurological symptoms as well as physiological changes. We will be using him to take out to Schools or when we have schools visit our STEM Outreach Centre:
This is our physiology lab when we helped Susie Chan- an ultra-endurance runnner beat the current world record for the longest distance completed by a female on a treadmill in 12 hours. She managed to run 68.5miles and only stopped briefly to go to the toilet. You can see her running the world record on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sydAvQhmH8o):
This is my desk at work where I will be chatting to you from. My friend on my desk is ‘Luke Oycte’, my white blood cell.