Applied Sport and Exercise Science Research Group

The Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences Group was established in 2008 to bring together colleagues whose research demonstrates an application to improving or optimizing athletic or health-related performance. The Group’s research continues to be driven and informed by applied practice from within the field of sport and exercise, and attempts to provide scientifically robust solutions to real-world problems faced by sport and exercise practitioners. The multidisciplinary group comprises specialists in the areas of human physiology, movement analysis, biomechanics, human nutrition and statistics. The Group’s broad research focus has centred mainly on the movement, physiological and skill demands of rugby, and the mechanisms of fatigue and recovery during and after high intensity exercise. More recently, the Group has extended its research interests to include the movement and physiological demands of boxing, foot mechanics during running, exercise regulation and perceived exertion and physical activity and health of young people.

Coupled with the provision of scientific support, a key purpose of the Group’s research activity has been to inform applied sport and exercise practice. Accordingly, main non-academic users of the research have been elite rugby league clubs (St Helens RFC and Warrington Wolves RLFC) and the governing bodies of the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union, as well as a variety of sporting organizations including the English Handball Association, the English Institute of Sport and the England Touch Association. Relationships between the Group and these high-profile organizations have lead to several funded and co-funded projects to support PhD, MPhil and MRes students.

All informal enquiries to study for an MPhil/PhD in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences should be directed to Dr Craig Twist:, el: 01244 513441.

Members of staff

Craig Twist image   Dr Craig Twist (Group Leader)
Applied physiology of rugby, fatigue and recovery in team sports, effects of exercise-induced muscle damage on human performance.
Jamie Highton image Dr Jamie Highton
Team sport physiology and fatigue, post-exercise recovery and sports nutrition.
Kevin Lamb

Dr Kevin Lamb
Perceived exertion, post-fatigue performance recovery, movement analysis, sports-specific simulation protocols.

NicolaMcWhannell-web Dr Nicola McWhannell
Pediatric physical activity, body compisition and bone health, physical activity interventions, physical education and school sport.
Gracie Smith image Dr Grace Smith
Biomechanics of sports performance, sprinting and dynamic sports manoeuvres, evaluation of footwear.
Edd Thomson image Edd Thomson
Amateur and professional boxing performance, judging decisions in sport, internal and external demands of sports competition.
Paul Worsfold image Dr Paul Worsfold
Foot contact mechanics, athlete-equipment/environment interactions, GPS movement and impact assessment, sports performance analysis.