Prof Ron Maughan (Chair of the Program Committee)
Ron Maughan obtained his BSc (Physiology) and PhD from the University of Aberdeen, and was based in the Medical School there for almost 25 years before moving to England. He is now Visiting Professor in the School of Medicine at St Andrews University.
He spent much of his career trying to understand the physiological responses to exercise and the nature of fatigue, but has included many digressions along the way.
He chairs the Nutrition Working Group of the Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee. He is a director of the IOC Diploma programs in Sports Nutrition, Sports Medicine, Sports Physical Therapies, Mental Health in Elite Sport and Drugs in Sport.
Prof Louise Burke
Louise is a sports dietitian with 40 years of experience in the education and counselling of elite athletes. She worked at the Australian Institute of Sport for thirty years, first as Head of Sports Nutrition and then as Chief of Nutrition Strategy. She was the team dietitian for the Australian Olympic Teams for the 1996-2012 Summer Olympic Games. Her publications include over 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and the authorship or editorship of several textbooks on sports nutrition. She is an editor of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Louise was a founding member of the Executive of Sports Dietitians Australia and is a Director of the IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her contribution to sports nutrition. Louise was appointed as Chair in Sports Nutrition in the Mary MacKillop Institute of Health Research at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne in 2014 and took up this position in a full-time capacity in 2020.
Prof Philip Atherton
Philip was awarded a BSc (1st class) in 2002, PhD in 2005 and a government fellowship in Molecular Physiology (2007). Thereafter (2012), he was promoted to Associate Professor and full Professor (2016), at the University of Nottingham. Philip has been PI/Co-I on grants >£15M from UK research councils, charities, industry (pharma/nutritional) and EU sources. He has published ~300 peer-reviewed articles (H-index 67 (Google Scholar), with ~22,000 citations (~3000/year), an i10 index of 155, and 7 invited book(s) chapters. Philip is Senior Editor for Nutrients, Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism and founding Editor-In-Chief of Physiologia. He is on the Medical Research Council (MRC) Population & Systems Medicine Board (PSMB). Philip’s work combines clinical physiology with the application of stable isotope tracers, OMICs, and in vivo/vitro molecular biology – to discover predictors of, the mechanistic basis for, and means to mitigate health declines in ageing and disease(s).
Prof Brian Carson
Brian is an Associate Professor at the University of Limerick in Ireland where his research focuses on the interaction between exercise and nutrition in support of metabolic adaptation with a particular focus on human skeletal muscle. Brian employs a combination of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experimental models to establish the impact of various protein sources in combination with exercise on mitochondrial and myofibrillar protein synthesis. His research has been supported by funding from the national technology centre Food for Health Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and the Marine Institute, as well as several industry partnerships. At the University of Limerick he is chair of the Physical Education and Sport Sciences Research committee and theme lead for Lifestyle and Health to the Health Research Institute. In addition to his academic role, Brian is the Head of Science and Innovation at the lifestyle supplement company Whole Supp, and has also held performance lead roles with elite Gaelic football teams including Clare and Limerick.
Prof Graeme Close
Graeme is a professor of Human Physiology at Liverpool John Moores University where he combines his academic research with nutrition and physiology consultancy to some of the worlds leading sporting organizations.
Graeme is currently the head of performance nutrition for England Rugby, the Head of Performance Nutrition to The DP World Tour Golf and European Ryder Cup Team and consults to several Premier League Football clubs and players. Graeme is the Deputy Chair of the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) and is a fellow of both The European College of Sport Science (ECSS) and The British Association Of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). Academically, Graeme’s research is focussed upon muscle damage and repair with a specific interest in Vitamin D and most recently cannabidiol (CBD). Graeme has published over 140 research publications and regularly delivers keynote conference presentations in sport nutrition throughout the world.
Chris is currently the Head Nutritionist for the Men’s National Squad for the Welsh Rugby Union which he’s held for Three years and was part of the 2021Six Nations Championship winning team.
Before his current role, Chris was Pathway and Academy nutritionist within the Welsh rugby union for Six years. His roles included, helping with the physical development of key academy players from the ages of 16-20 before transitioning up to the senior teams, Overseeing the nutrition for Wales under 20s, under 18s and the Men’s Sevens Programme.
Outside of the Welsh Rugby Union Chris has consulted to Wasps rugby from 2015-2019 while they were London and then moving onto Coventry. Chris also consulted to Bristol City Football Club from 2016-2019 and is currently the Performance nutritionist for Leicester City Football Club which he has held since 2017.
Dr David Dunne
David Dunne is a sports nutritionist with 10+ years of applied experience supporting elite athletes and organisations. Throughout this period he has worked with Ryder Cup Team Europe, Harlequins Rugby and British Canoeing, as well as a range of NBA, Premier League, Super League, World Tour Cycling and Professional Boxing athletes.
Academically, David is a proud alumnus of IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition and has recently completed his PhD in Behaviour Change, Design Thinking and Technology Innovation in Sports Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University. He has accelerated the translation of his research to practice by co-founding a technology start-up called Hexis with a multidisciplinary group of PhD’s in exercise physiology, computer science, data science and behavioural science. David is now the CEO and Head of Product at Hexis where he is actively published on the development of the technology, whilst continuing to develop and grow the technology.
Emma is the Head of Nutrition at the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), where she leads a team of 12 performance nutritionists across the IRFU national and provincial systems and is performance nutritionist to the senior men’s national rugby union team.
Prior to working with the IRFU, Emma was a Senior Performance Nutritionist at the English Institute of Sport for 10 years. Emma has worked with both Olympic and Professional sports including Northampton Saints Rugby and the Great Britain Women’s Hockey team who had Olympic Gold success in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and bronze in Tokyo 2020.
In 2017-2022 Emma worked for the England & Wales Cricket board where she was lead performance nutritionist for the Senior Men’s England Cricket team, who won the Cricket World Cup in 2019, and the T20 World Cup in 2022.
Emma was part of the Team GB Science and Medicine Teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games.
A graduate in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Birmingham, with two MSC’s in Sport & Exercise Science, and Sports Nutrition respectively, Emma is also a high-performance registrant with the Sport & Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr).
Dr Liam M Heaney
Liam is a Senior Lecturer in Bioanalytical Science based in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. His background includes the study of exercise physiology and he holds a PhD in analytical chemistry where he investigated the impact of differing exercise stimuli on the metabolomics of exhaled breath gases. Following his PhD, Liam worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leicester’s NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre where he specialised in the development and application of mass spectrometry-based assays for clinical chemistry. His role at Loughborough University includes research into high-throughput measurements of small molecule metabolites. He works on projects that span multiple disciplines including nutritional biomonitoring, the gut microbiome and exercise performance/recovery, sports anti-doping analyses, and clinical chemistry. His work is centred around the application of gas chromatography- and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Liam is involved in local, regional and international activities focussed on the application of mass spectrometry-based assays in research. He sits as an elected Committee Member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society and was recently voted onto The Analytical Scientists Top 40 Under 40 for his work in promoting the use of mass spectrometry in sport & exercise science/nutrition.
Prof Malcolm Jackson
Professor Malcolm Jackson was awarded a DSc in 1994 and FRCPath in 1997. He was a Lecturer at University College London in 1982, Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in 1984 and appointed Professor in 1994, Head of the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease from 2010-15 and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact from 2015-21. Malcolm is the Liverpool Site Director of MRC-Versus Arthritis Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA). His primary research interests are in the roles of reactive oxygen species in cell signalling and degeneration, particularly relating to the responses of skeletal muscle to contractile activity and how this is affected by ageing and exposure to microgravity. Current projects include “Close regulation of peroxiredoxin oxidation is essential for maintenance of muscle mass and function in the elderly” (MRC-funded), “HDHL-Combining vitamin E-functionalized chocolate with physical exercise to reduce the risk of protein-energy malnutrition in aged people” (CHOKO-AGE; BBSRC-funded), “MicroAge II: Mitochondria as a key regulator of muscle loss in microgravity and during ageing” (UK Space Agency-funded) and “Mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide as the mediator of skeletal muscle loss under microgravity and ageing” (UK Space Agency and ESA-funded).
Prof Asker Jeukendrup
Professor Asker Jeukendrup is one of the world’s leading sports nutritionists and exercise physiologist who spent most of his career as a professor at the University of Birmingham (UK) (sports sciences). He is currently director of his own performance consulting business “Mysportscience”, and co-founder and CEO of a Nutrition Planning software business (fuelthecore.com) as well as a (visiting) professor at Loughborough University. Asker is also Performance Manager Nutrition for the Dutch Olympic team and Head performance Nutrition for the Jumbo Visma Pro cycling team, The Red Bull Athlete Performance Centre, Red Bull Salzburg and PSV Eindhoven. He is also associated with FC Barcelona and teaches the FC Barcelona Advanced Sports Nutrition course. In his academic career Dr Jeukendrup authored 10 books and over 200 research papers and book chapters. In addition to this he worked with Olympic and World champions, Tour de France cyclists, Champions league football teams, and other elite athletes but he also worked extensively with recreational athletes. His mission, regardless of the level, is to use science to help athletes achieve their goals. Asker practices what he preaches and is competing in Ironman distance triathlons as well as other endurance events. To date he completed 21 Ironman races including 6 time the Ironman world Championship in Hawaii. www.mysportscience.com (twitter @jeukendrup).
Toni is the Lead Performance Nutritionist for the male Pathway at Scottish Rugby. The role see’s Toni leading the nutritional support across the male pathway, from the U16’s to National Team. Toni’s belief is that nutrition is paramount in athlete health, development, and performance. She plays a key role in the curriculum used to develop the next generation of international players, working alongside other departments in the MDT. At the core to Toni’s approach is creating a positive relationship with food & fuelling. It is Toni’s belief that through a progressive skill-based education curriculum, players will be enabled to reach their performance goals.
Previously, Toni worked at Heart of Midlothian Football Club, where she was the Performance Nutritionist of the Men’s 1st team when they were promoted from the Scottish Championship back into the Scottish Premiership. She contributed to the success of athlete development within the Women’s 1st Team, Men’s B team and U18’s.
She is a Graduate from the MSc Sport Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University and BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Stirling.
Dr Carl Langan-Evans
Dr Carl Langan-Evans is the Programme Leader for the MSc in Strength & Conditioning, Head of Performance Sport Nutrition and the former Head of Sport Science Support Services at Liverpool John Moores University. Carl completed his PhD in applied sport physiology and nutrition, undertaking a mixed method approach across a number of investigations examining the effects of weight making and low energy availability among combat sport athletes. Additionally, Carls former post-doctoral research was funded by the sport nutrition company Science in Sport and specifically focused on examining the formulation and modulation of ergogenic nutritional aids for elite sport performance. Carl has published research articles, invited reviews, consensus statements and authored a book chapter, in the fields of applied sports nutrition, physiology and strength & conditioning and is a practitioner member of the Sport & Exercise Nutrition Register, accredited member of the United Kingdom Strength & Conditioning Association, a qualified sports therapist and also holds a Master of Research degree in sport physiology. Alongside his academic roles, Carl consults with a number of Olympic combat sports athletes, alongside others in the UFC, Bellator, Cage Warriors mixed martial arts and professional boxing promotions.
Prof Sharon Madigan
Sharon currently is Head of Performance Nutrition at the Irish Institute of Sport. She also has significant experience as a clinical dietitian for over 25 years in the NHS and has a Ph.D. in Nutrition Education.
She has worked across team sports, individual sports, and weight-category sports and has supported several Olympic medalists and World champions. She has delivered nutrition support to athletes over six Olympic cycles and other major championships such as European, World, and EU championships. As well as working with individual athletes has been involved with the science and medical committee of the OFI in the planning and logistics at two camp bases. She was the assistant camp manager for the Tokyo 2021 OG and is the Lead Scientist for the Paris cycle.
A strong focus of her position within the Institute of Sport is also the engagement in applied high-performance research. Sharon’s main research interest focuses on the interaction between diet and health and diet and sports performance. She is currently involved in the supervision of several research projects.
She was awarded an Hon Fellowship of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, RSCI in Sept 2016 and in April 2021 was appointed to the Adjunct Professor role at the University of Limerick.
Prof James Morton
James is a Professor of Exercise Metabolism at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), where he has authored over 200 research publications related to sports physiology and nutrition. James has also worked in a number of performance support related roles across both high performance sport and industry. From 2010-2015, he was the performance nutritionist to Liverpool FC before taking up the position of Nutrition and Physical Performance Lead for Team Sky between 2015 and 2019. In this role, he was responsible for the performance nutrition strategy for 5 consecutive Tour de France wins. James is also the Director of Performance Solutions for Science in Sport (SiS) where he leads the Performance Solutions programme that encompasses the strategic delivery of bespoke performance solutions and innovation for SiS and their elite partners. James also advises INEOS Sport, where he has led the creation and delivery of the INEOS X programme that aims to share knowledge and best practice on performance support across the INEOS Sport portfolio. He is also a Performance Mentor for the FA Premier League.
Prof Michail Nikolaidis
Michalis Nikolaidis is Professor and Head of the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His research lies at the intersection of redox biology, sports nutrition and exercise physiology. Specifically, he investigates the relevance of molecular processes in physiology and nutrition. He employs a wide range of concepts, methods and tools from various disciplines including sports science, biochemistry, physiology and systems biology selecting those that he thinks are the most relevant for addressing a biological problem. He is Editor in Eur J Appl Physiol, Associate Editor in J Sports Sci and in the editorial board of Free Radic Biol Med.
Michael is currently the Head of Nutrition for the UK Sports Institute where he leads over 20 nutritionists providing support to 25 of Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic sports. He was the lead nutritionist for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Michael provided nutrition support to England Rugby for over 8 years working with both the Senior Men and Women teams. In football, Michael was the performance nutritionist at Southampton FC for 6 seasons and now works with the England Football Senior men’s team and was part of the support team that travelled to the 2018 World Cup, 2020 European Championships and 2023 World Cup.
Dr Daniel Owens
Daniel Owens is a senior lecturer in cellular and molecular sport and exercise science at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). He obtained his PhD from LJMU in 2015, where his research focused on investigating the role of vitamin D status in muscle function, repair, and remodeling. In recognition of his work, he was awarded a prestigious Young Investigator Award at the European College of Sport Science in Malmo, Sweden that same year.
To expand his skills and knowledge, Daniel pursued a post-doctoral position at the world-leading Institute of Myology, Sorbonne University (Paris), a renowned research institution specializing in rare muscle diseases.
In his current position at LJMU, Daniel leads a research group dedicated to exploring the interactions between nutrients and skeletal muscle health and performance across different stages of life. A particular focus of his team’s research is the investigation of the vitamin D endocrine system’s role in the musculoskeletal system. They employ a range of molecular and biochemical methods in both in vitro and in vivo study designs, with the aim of maximizing the translational potential of their research findings.
Dan has also contributed to the success of elite athletes in working as a consultant nutritionist and physiologist to England Rugby’s age group teams, Heart of Midlothian FC, Warrington Wolves and currently supports Formula 1 drivers and multi-sport athletes.
Prof Bethan Phillips
Beth is a Professor of Translational Physiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham and has published ~130 papers. Beth is also a management board member of the MRC-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (CMAR); a joint venture between the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham, and a Principal Investigator in the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Beth’s research is focussed on the optimisation of environmental (primarily exercise and nutritional) interventions to improve musculoskeletal health in older adults, including those with age-associated conditions. Specifically, Beth’s most recent work has focussed on the metabolic and molecular impacts of surgical prehabilitation for older cancer patients, and the impact of short-term inactivity (i.e., such as that following surgery) on muscle mass and function. Beth is Deputy Chair of the University of Nottingham Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee and Lead for Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Academic Unit of Injury, Recovery & Inflammation Sciences (IRIS) within the School of Medicine. Beth serves as Associate Editor for Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism (APNM), Nutrients and Frontiers.
Dr Tim Podlogar
Tim is involved both in research and in applied practice. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2015. He then moved to the University of Birmingham, where he obtained his MSc (2016) and a PhD (2020) studying carbohydrate metabolism. After his PhD completion, he held a Postdoctoral Research position at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia, where he investigated ketone bodies and menthol supplementation in extreme environments. At a similar time, he also become an Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Primorska, Slovenia. Since late 2021 he is back to Birmingham where he works as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, conducting research in the field of carbohydrate metabolism in relation to exercise. He bridges the gap between the science and practice by his applied work with endurance athletes. Most notably, he is working as a nutritionist for a World Tour cycling team BORA hansgrohe, taking care of riders’ nutrition on races like Tour de France. He has also worked with numerous professional and amateur athletes through the Human Performance Centre in Slovenia of which he is a co-founder.
Dr Emily Prpa
Dr Emily Prpa is an award-winning Registered Nutritionist. She has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from King’s College London where her research focused on the therapeutic effects of plant-based foods. Her research has been published in high-impact scientific journals, as well as in the form of POSTnotes, informing UK Policy in Food & Nutrition. Her research now focuses on the gut microbiota, probiotics and health and she is considered one of the leading experts in her field. Today she is the Science Manager and Company Nutritionist at Yakult.
Dr Lisa Ryan
Dr Lisa Ryan is Head of School of Science and Computing at Atlantic Technological University (ATU, Galway City), Ireland. Since arriving at ATU in 2015 from Monash University, Australia, Dr Ryan has established the Department of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition and new areas of study in Sport & Exercise Science, Sports Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Biomechanics, Sport & Exercise Nutrition, and Public Health Nutrition and received Enterprise Ireland funding in 2017 to establish the Medicinal Nutrition and Sport thematic research group extending the capabilities of the MET Gateway at ATU. Dr Ryan previously helped to establish the 1st Functional Food Centre in the UK while working at Oxford Brookes University and has a particular interest in the role of bioactives in health and sport performance. In 2018 she co-founded the Irish Concussion Research Centre (ICRC) and is a leading researcher on concussion management in Sport. She has a particular interest in sex-based differences in concussion presentation and management and the potential role of nutrition in concussion recovery. She is currently leading five European Projects focused primarily on Sport, Exercise and Nutrition fields.
Prof Craig Sale
Craig is an experienced research leader, responsible for coordinating research activity relating to exercise and nutrition interventions in the Institute of Sport at Manchester Metropolitan University. In his previous role he was responsible for coordinating the research activity of staff across Nottingham Trent University as the Co-Lead of the NTU Health & Wellbeing Strategic Research Theme and of over 50 staff in the School of Science and Technology in his role as the Director of the Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Centre. He was also the REF Unit of Assessment Coordinator for UoA C24 since 2009, wherein he oversaw a significant upturn in the Units REF related performance and its sector position. Prior to NTU, Craig was a Senior Scientist and then Deputy Capability Group Leader of the Human Protection and Performance Enhancement Group at QinetiQ Ltd, where he was partly responsible for the activity of around 20-30 scientists conducting defence and security work for the Ministry of Defence and other commercial entities. Among other things, Craig is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and a Section Editor for the European Journal of Sports Sciences.
Prof Vicky Tolfrey
Professor Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey is the Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport (PHC) based at Loughborough University, which has attracted over £4M of funding. Vicky has attended/been involved in the Paralympic Games (Atlanta 1996 – present). Highlights include, working in the ParalympicsGB Performance Centre in London (2012) and leading the applied sport science project for the GB Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) heading into Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, where they became gold medallists. She is currently involved in many applied interdisciplinary projects with the wheelchair sports of basketball, tennis and rugby leading into Paris 2024.
Vicky received a BASES Award for Good Practice in Applied Sport Science (2005) and was awarded BASES Fellowship (2011). Vicky served as a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sport Science and Medicine Group 2005-2010. In 2017, Vicky received the prestigious IPC Paralympic Scientific Award and was named one of Loughborough Universities Inspirational Women in Sport. Vicky is editor of one of the few scientific international handbooks on sport physiology and biomechanics in adapted sports ‘Wheelchair Sport’ (Human Kinetics) and has over 200 peer reviewed publications in this field. She has many on-going international studies spanning Asia, Canada, USA and Europe.
Prof Ben Wall
Benjamin Wall obtained his BSc from the University of Birmingham and his PhD from the University of Nottingham Medical School, where his thesis addressed the integration of fat and carbohydrate metabolism during exercise. Thereafter, Benjamin worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Maastricht University Medical Centre where he studied the nutritional regulation of muscle mass in health and disease. Benjamin is currently an Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology in the School of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, where his general research interests concern how nutrition and physical (in)activity influence metabolic health and performance in a variety of populations. Benjamin’s current research projects are focussed on how inactivity and ageing alters the capacity of muscle tissue to utilise nutrients, and how this can inform on optimising nutritional requirements for injured athletes and in support of healthy ageing. A particular interest is placed on developing an evidence base around novel and sustainable dietary protein sources in various populations. .
Prof Gareth Wallis
Gareth is a Professor of Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition and the Head of Research and Knowledge Transfer within the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. He received his PhD in Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2006 and undertook his Postdoctoral training in Integrative Biology at the University of California-Berkley from 2006-2008. Dr Wallis then worked in New Product Research at GlaxoSmithKline, within a scientific program developing new nutritional products and health claims. He now conducts academic research in exercise science with a major focus on nutrition and metabolism. His goal is to better understand how nutrition can be manipulated to enhance metabolic or adaptive responses to exercise, with a particular focus on macronutrients and their roles in performance, training adaptation and health. His research and approaches adopted aim to generate the translational knowledge needed for practical application within sport, exercise, and health nutrition settings.
Prof Neil Walsh
Neil’s team at Liverpool John Moores University has produced leading research on nutritional strategies to maintain immune health, practical strategies to acclimate to the heat and new techniques for non-invasive biomonitoring of athletes and soldiers. His team’s work has influenced UK military policy by showing the benefits of preventing nutritional deficits in soldiers for health and performance. Neil has published widely in international journals, co-authored a textbook in Exercise Immunology and either led or co-authored several consensus statements (e.g., exercise and immunonutrition, dietary supplements and the high performance athlete and sleep and the athlete). He currently serves on the editorial board of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and Exercise Immunology Review.
Prof Alun Williams
Alun Williams is Professor of Sport and Exercise Genomics at the Manchester Metropolitan University Institute of Sport and holds honorary positions at Swansea University and University College London. He has research interests that originated in muscle physiology, nutrition, and occupational performance in the military, which then spread to the genetics underlying inter-individual variability in sport performance. He has a PhD from the University of Birmingham and heads sports genomics research in Manchester, applying it to human performance and policy development such as eligibility criteria for sex categories in sport. He authored Expert Statements for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) in 2021 on scientific aspects of the eligibility criteria for trans and DSD athletes in sport. He served as an Independent Expert Witness at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2019. He also used to play semi-professional rugby union and now blames his exceptionally average genetics for not making a career out of it.
Ruth is a Dietitian whose early career focused on clinical dietetics in the National Health Service. Having completed post-graduate education in the field of Performance Nutrition, she worked with several athletes in the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI), before taking up a full-time position as the Performance Nutritionist with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in 2006, working primarily with the Senior Men’s squad.
After 16 years of service as the Head of Nutrition with the IRFU, she has recently retired (2022) from this position, having developed a nutrition team of 11 Performance Nutritionists across Elite Player Pathways and professional rugby programmes on the island of Ireland.
Ruth is currently an assessor for entry onto the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENR) and is a member of the newly formed SENR Registration Committee.
She has represented nutrition on Sport Ireland Institute Professional Accreditation (SIIPA) Committee for several years. This Committee assesses applications from professional service providers for technical and practical knowledge to practice as applied practitioners in high performance sport in Ireland.
Ruth has recently received the British Dietetic Association Ibex award 2022 for professional achievement.
Ruth has been directly involved in research on gut health in professional rugby players as well as examining the dietary behaviours and attitudes of young players to nutrition.