Sports Physiology and Nutrition

Our Sports Physiology and Nutrition Research Group investigates the physiological responses and adaptations to exercise, and determines the efficacy and application of novel training, nutrition and ergogenic interventions to enhance sport performance.

Research themes

If you're interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research with us, contact one of the researchers listed above. More information about the range of research topics within these general themes can be found below.

Our activities and students

Our research team has interest and expertise across a wide range of sport and exercise physiology research areas. Many supervising staff have identified priority research areas and are available to supervise new research students. See below for details and please contact any of the SPaN team if your interests align:

A/Prof Simeon Cairns

Muscle and exercise fatigue, supplementation and performance, high-intensity exercise, electrolytes, carbohydrate, team-sport

Priority areas of interest: Fatigue

Dr Eric Helms

Bodybuilding, weight class, hypertrophy, body composition, strength

Priority areas of interest: Improving strength, altering body composition

Prof Andrew Kilding

Endurance physiology, running economy, female athlete physiology, team sport conditioning, ergogenic aids, strategies to maximise aerobic adaptations and performance, heat stress/acclimation for performance

Priority areas of interest: Running economy, Team sport conditioning, Female athlete physiology

Dr Ed Maunder

Mitochondrial adaptation, durability, substrate metabolism, endurance physiology, heat stress

Priority areas of interest: Mitochondrial adaptation, Durability, Fatty acid metabolism

Dr Dan Plews

Ergogenic aids, micro-nutrient usage, recovery and sustainable training, durability, Carbohydrate restriction

Priority areas of interest: Right Fuel, Right Time training manipulation; Specific CHO supplementation for endurance performance; micro-nutrient usage for recovery, HRV and inflammation in athletes.

Matt Wood

Optimising exercise for health outcomes. Multi-component lifestyle strategies/health delivery models. Responses and adaptations to exercise in clinical populations.

Priority areas of interest: Optimising exercise strategies and health delivery models.

A/Prof Caryn Zinn

Dietary practice and manipulation for performance and health. Carbohydrate-restriction. Special population elite and recreational athletes (T2Diabetes).

Priority areas of interest: Carbohydrate-periodisation; continuous glucose-monitoring (CGM) use.

PhD Candidates

  • SangHoon Yoon
    Potassium-carbohydrate interaction during fatigue induced by high intensity exercise in females and males
    Supervisors: Simeon Cairns, Ed Maunder
  • Kedric Kwan
    Assessing and optimising rapid weight loss strategies for the weight class restricted strength athlete.
    Supervisors: Eric Helms
  • Andrew King
    Acute Carbohydrate Strategies for Resistance Training Performance
    Supervisors: Eric Helm, Caryn Zinn
  • Jessica Erin Bush
    Impact of Resistance Training on the Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System Response in Elite Sprint Endurance Athletes
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding, Paul Laursen, Daniel Plews
  • Frans Van Der Merwe
    The loading demands on youth field hockey players during the competitive season
    Supervisors: Craig Harrison, Andrew Kilding
  • Nicholas Shedd
    Sleep and Physical Performance in Professional Baseball Players
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding, Jordan McIntyre
  • Weston Titus
    Cannabidiol (CBD) use in Athletic Humans: Effects on Exercise and Recovery
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding, Matthew Schubert (Cal State San Marcos)
  • Bryant Byrd
    Effects of ischemic preconditioning on exercise performance in elite athletes
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding, Gary Guilder (Western Colorado University), Lance Dalleck (Western Colorado University)
  • Jeffrey Rothschild
    Effects of Carbohydrate or Protein Ingestion on Adaptations to Endurance Training
    Supervisors: Daniel Plews, Andrew Kilding
  • Tanuj Wadhi
    Using Machine-Learning and IoT Sensors to Assess Athlete Recovery
    Supervisors: Daniel Plews

Master’s Students

  • Kai Homer
    The effect of Carbohydrate Loading on Subjective Bodybuilding Scoring, Muscle Size, and Mood States
    Supervisors: Eric Helms
  • Hubert  Korybut-Woroniecki
    The Cost Of Oxygen Transport and Muscular Oxygenation During Human Locomotion in Heat and Altitude
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding, Franck Brocherie (INSEP)
  • Doreen Zhu
    Effects of carbon running shoes on running economy and performance in triathletes
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding
  • Finn Clearkin
    Time course effects of New Zealand blackcurrant supplementation on fat oxidation in endurance cyclists
    Supervisors: Andrew Kilding
  • Kate Hamilton
    The relationship between athlete durability metrics, the peak fat oxidation rate, and endurance performance
    Supervisors: Ed Maunder, Andrew Kilding