Neville Lovett Community School (1988-1993), Fareham College (1993-1995)
University of Brighton: BSc (Hons) Sports Science (1995-1998), PhD Exercise Physiology (1998-2001).
2001-2002: Lecturer, exercise physiology and biomechanics, University of Brighton. 2002-present: Lecturer, exercise physiology, Aberystwyth University
Senior Lecturer, Exercise Physiology.
I was born in Portsmouth in 1977, weighing in at a hefty 4 lb 4 oz (that’s about 2 kg). I have a twin sister born 8 minutes after me and she has been trying to beat me at everything else since. I grew up in Fareham and then went to university in Eastbourne (which is where the University of Brighton run their sports-related courses). I left there with a PhD.
My PhD looked at how the body responds to “warm up” exercise. To do this, I measured how the body takes up oxygen breath-by-breath and found that one of the effects of warm up is to increase the amount of oxygen the body can use. I also discovered that this is because the body gets more muscles working after a warm up than it did before.
Since my PhD I have studied a thing called “critical power”. Critical power explains why running slowly is easy and running fast is hard. We can also measure how the muscles become fatigued when you exercise hard, by stimulating the muscles with electricity and measuring what is inside the muscles before, during, and after exercise.
To help keep in touch with other scientists, I belong to the Physiological Society, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and the American College of Sports Medicine. I also do a lot of what scientists call “peer review” where I read papers and decide whether they are good enough to be published. I am on the Editorial Board of two journals: the Journal of Applied Physiology, and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
My Typical Day:
A typical day would involve teaching students in a lecture theatre or lab class, sending emails to various people all over the world, and trying to write and review research papers.
What I'd do with the prize money:
I’d like to use the money to develop a smartphone application aimed at introducing people to the science underpinning sport.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Modest comedy genius
Were you ever in trouble at school?
When about 8 or 9 years old my friends and I played with fire a lot. One day we accidentally set fire to a Napoleonic fort. We called the fire brigade before it got out of hand, but the police were not happy.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be happy, to be healthy, and to be inspired. These sound a bit rubbish but they are all you need to be an effective scientist.
Tell us a joke.
What is black and white and eats like a horse? A zebra.