Associate Professor Nir Eynon

Victoria University

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Associate Professor Eynon is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow (2018-2021), a former ARC DECRA Fellow (2014-2016), and a group leader, at the Institute of Health and Sport (iHeS), Victoria University. Nir is also an Associate Editor in BMC Genomics, and PLOS ONE Journals, and an NHMRC Grant Review Panel member. He earned his PhD degree with high distinction in 2010 from Porto University, Portugal.


His main area of research is Genetics, Epigenetic and exercise in health and disease, and he is leading the multi-centre Gene SMART (Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Training) study


Nir is currently supervising outstanding post-docs, PhD and honours students (including Dr Sarah Voisin recent recipient of NHMRC ECF (2019-22).


Nir have been successful in securing ~$3.3 million in funding (mostly Category-1), and has published 80 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts in Applied Physiology, Sport Science, Genetics and Clinical journals. He also delivered 35 key-note/invited presentations in international conferences regarding the influence of genetic and molecular factors on exercise.

Associate Professor Simon Green

Western Sydney University

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Simon Green completed his schooling and undergraduate studies in Adelaide during the 1970-80s before completing Masters (UVic, Canada) and PhD (UWA) degrees by the mid-90s. He has held academic appointments in Human Movement Studies and Physiology at universities in Ireland, NZ and Australia. He is currently Associate Professor of Sport and Exercise Sciences and conjoint Associate Professor of Medicine at Western Sydney University (WSU).


At WSU, Simon teaches undergraduate students (Exercise Physiology) and Master of Research students (Advanced Sports and Exercise Science) and supervises several Masters and PhD students. Within his university he is a senior academic mentor and member of a Professoriate Leadership Group. In 2016 he established a partnership with Bankstown City Aged Care – a not-for-profit and community-based organisation – which has resulted in a Wellness Centre with exercise facility, student placement program, and research program for the elderly.


Simon Green’s research has focused on exercise and integrative physiology, with applications to disease and emphasis on development of experimental and analytical techniques. His basic research has focused on muscle metabolism, control of the circulation and heart-lung interactions. In 1999 he was awarded an IOC Prize for Excellence in Biological Sciences Research for his work on interstitial potassium in contracting muscle. His clinical research has focused on exercise limitations in peripheral arterial disease, type 2 diabetes and pulmonary arterial hypertension. His current research is focused on oxygen, heart-lung interactions and the efficacy of oxygen therapy in pulmonary arterial hypertension, eccentric exercise in the elderly, and clinical exercise testing.

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Professor John A. Hawley

Australian Catholic University, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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John is currently Director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research and Head of the Exercise and Nutrition Research Program at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia. He has published over 280 scientific manuscripts, written over 100 articles for technical journals and has authored numerous book chapters for exercise biochemistry and sports medicine texts. He currently sits on the Editorial Boards of many international journals including the American Journal of Physiology (Endocrinology and Metabolism), The Journal of Applied Physiology (U.S.A.), The Journal of Sports Sciences (U.K), Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (U.S.A.), Sports Medicine (New Zealand) and The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (U.S.A.). The focus of his lab’s work includes the interaction of exercise and diet on skeletal muscle metabolism, the molecular bases of exercise training adaptation and the cellular bases underlying exercise-induced improvements in insulin action. He is a frequently invited speaker at both National and International scientific meetings.

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Mr Ben Jackson

University of Western Australia

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Ben is an Associate Professor in UWA’s School of Human Sciences—his research, teaching, and community activity is focused in the areas of health psychology, behaviour change, and health promotion. He is a UWA Innovation Fellow and co-directs the award-winning Psychology of Active, Healthy Living (PAHL) Group. The PAHL group oversees a variety of successful community health promotion programs designed to improve the physical and mental health of people from all walks of life. Ben has produced over 120 peer-reviewed publications, has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology since 2014, and sits on the editorial boards for Psychology of Sport and Exercise, the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, and Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. In 2015, Ben received the UWA Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Investigator Award, and the following year he was named the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity’s (NASPSPA) Early Career Distinguished Scholar. In late 2018, Ben was recognised by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science as the Western Australia Young Tall Poppy of the Year.

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Ms Alannah McKay

Australian Institute of Sport

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Alannah McKay completed a Bachelor of Science (Exercise, Health and Sports Science) at the University of Western Australia in 2014. Subsequently, Alannah completed a post-graduate position within the Physiology department at the Australian Institute of Sport, where she was involved in the preparation of many Australian athletes prior to the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic games. Since, Alannah has commenced a PhD in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport, Western Australian Institute of Sport and the University of Western Australia. Her research has investigated how training with altered carbohydrate availability, either acutely or chronically, can impact iron regulation and the immune response to exercise in elite level athletes. Furthermore, Alannah has been involved in projects examining the impact of low carbohydrate high fat diets on a range of health, metabolism and performance parameters, the efficacy of ergogenic aids and strategies to optimise iron stores in athletes.

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Associate Professor Clare Minahan

Griffith University

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Clare Minahan is an Associate Professor at Griffith University, Queensland Australia, and has led the Griffith Sports Science group since 2002. Clare’s interests are in the advancement of human performance via exercise training, as well as dietary and environmental interventions. A key focus of Clare’s research is the unique determinants of performance in the female athlete and their distinct physical, metabolic, hormonal, immunological and cognitive responses to exercise and training. The findings of these investigations and their application allows Clare to appreciate the competing requirements of short-/long-term health and performance optimisation in elite athletes. Clare started her family in 2006, easing to a 0.5FTE academic position until 2019. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles (2220 citations) with a h-index of 25 (Google Scholar). Clare is a Level 2 Sports Scientist (Exercise and Sports Science Australia; ESSA) and a Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association). She is a member of the ESSA Sports Science Advisory Group and is an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Sports & Active Living for the Elite Sports and Performance Enhancement section. Clare has had the pleasure of being a mentor and advisor to a number of post-doctoral fellows and PhD students, and currently supervisors nine post-graduate students embedded in elite-sport environments (Queensland Academy of Sport, National Rugby League Jillaroos, Swimming Australia, Gold Coast Titans) which provides Clare with an avenue for vigorous academic research and applied sports science exchange.

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Dr Louise Naylor

University of Western Australia

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Dr Louise Naylor is a researcher and academic in the University of Western Australia’s School of Human Sciences and also an ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist. She believes exercise is medicine and can be used to treat, prevent or reduce the impact of chronic disease. Her research explores how exercise training can contribute to rehabilitating and improving health outcomes in individuals with, or at risk of, cardiovascular disease, survivors of childhood cancer and children with metabolic conditions.


After completing her undergraduate degree and PhD at UWA, Dr Naylor commenced her research career working with both elite athletes and chronically ill individuals with conditions such as heart failure and obesity. Her research investigated how exercise can improve health and wellbeing, quality of life, depression and anxiety.


In a growing and research-led field, her projects have spanned topics such as understanding how to optimise prescriptions for survivors of cancer, patients with heart failure, ageing men, and patients with diabetes.


Her research further investigates the need for exercise programs to be personalised to be effective, and the difference between different individual responses to exercise programs and why some people don’t respond at all.


Dr Naylor is also involved in basic science research to add further mechanistic insights into the regulation of the cardiovascular system and generate a multifaceted understanding of cardiac and vascular exercise physiology.


As an ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Dr Naylor works as a Senior Exercise Physiologist in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

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Associate Professor Julien D. Périard

University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE)

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Dr. Périard is an Associate Professor at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE). He is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and former Head of Research Operations for the Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre at Aspetar, Qatar. His scientific expertise lies in the area of environmental physiology (i.e. heat and altitude) where he uses an integrative research approach to examine the physiological mechanisms that mediate health and performance. Over the last decade Dr. Périard has studied the pathways via which fatigue develops during prolonged exercise in the heat, along with strategies to mitigate its influence. He has worked with both amateur and professional athletes from various disciplines, along with National and International Federations (e.g. FIFA, IAAF, ITF, ITU and UCI). He has authored over 65 research publications and book chapters, including a textbook on Heat Stress in Sport and Exercise. He has also presented at more than 60 international conferences.

Associate Professor Ben Rattray

University of Canberra

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Ben Rattray is an Associate Professor at the University of Canberra (UC) working with the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE). He teaches across several Exercise Physiology related units at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and contributed to the Australian and New Zealand version of the Power and Howley Exercise Physiology textbook in 2014.


Ben earned his doctoral degree at the University of Sydney in 2009, focusing on mitochondrial and calcium interactions in skeletal muscle. Since starting at UC in 2009, Ben has shifted his focus towards understanding interactions between human movement and the brain, seeking to optimise health and performance. Ben’s research seeks to understand how exercise can impact cognition and how the brain contributes to fatigue in both acute and chronic settings.


His work utilises approaches including perceptual and performance outcomes alongside cerebrovascular physiology, electroencephalography and structural MRI. This work has been applied in a range of contexts including military, occupational, health and high-performance sport settings. In 2016, Ben was awarded UC’s Early Career Research (Science, Health and Technology) prize and has a growing reputation as a leader in the area with collaborations worldwide. Ben now heads the Active Brain research theme within UCRISE.

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Dr Chris Shaw

Deakin University

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Chris Shaw is a Senior lecturer in Exercise Physiology within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University, Australia. Dr Shaw received his PhD in Exercise Metabolism from the University of Birmingham, UK, before completing post-doctoral fellowships in Birmingham and then Victoria University.


Dr Shaw’s research focuses on the metabolic adaptations to skeletal muscle in response to various exercise interventions, and how these adaptations contribute to reducing metabolic disease risk in active and sedentary populations. His work uses a combination of approaches including invasive studies in humans and animal models of metabolic disease to explore the interaction between lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity. He has specific interest and expertise in applying imaging techniques to human muscle biopsies and in exploring muscle fibre type specific differences in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle. He is currently a council member of the Australian Physiological Society and a reviewing panel member of the European College of Sports Science.

Dr Camille Short

University of Melbourne

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Dr Camille Short is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne with experience and training in health psychology, exercise medicine, and public health. She is an advocate for interdisciplinary approaches to exercise promotion, acknowledged by her joint appointment between the Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change in the School of Psychological Sciences and the Department of Physiotherapy in the Melbourne School of Health Sciences. She holds a PhD in Behavioural Medicine, and is widely recognised for her intervention research on exercise and cancer control across primary and tertiary prevention settings. Her main research interest is the use of technology for improving access to high quality, personalised, and multidisciplinary exercise support. She has published 70 peer reviewed publications and is now working closely with consumers and clinicians to translate her research findings into practice.

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Professor Neil A. Smart

University of New England

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Neil has been an exercise physiologist for more than 25 years and has practised in primary and tertiary care centres in the UK, SE Asia and Australia. In his early career Neil gained invaluable experience in exercise testing and prescription, for cardiac patients. Neil has since become an internationally recognised leader in exercise epidemiology and healthy aging, publishing more than 130 peer-reviewed journal manuscripts. Neil’s career research ‘theme’ has been to understand the optimal exercise program prescription for a range of chronic illnesses commonly encountered by accredited exercise physiologists in clinical practice. Neil has systematically synthesized the published literature, with periodic updates, to evaluate the evidence for optimizing exercise prescriptions for a range of chronic diseases, most notably heart and renal failure, diabetes and related metabolic derangements.


Neil has clinical trial experience and expertise conducting meta-analyses of lifestyle and pharmacological treatments for managing chronic illnesses. Neil has recently focussed on the benefits of isometric exercise to manage hypertension. In 2017 the American Heart Association’s guideline paper on hypertension, recognized isometric exercise as a vital treatment strategy, this announcement was in part due to Neil’s contributions to this field.


Since 2001 Neil has been accredited by ESSA (Exercise & Sport Science Australia), as an exercise physiologist. In recognition of his work as Chair of ESSA’s Cardiovascular Special Interest Group and Research Committees, as well as contributions to the National University Accredited Degree Program curricula, Neil was awarded an ESSA Fellowship in 2016. Neil remains chair of ESSA’s national research publications committee.