Skip to main content

Public Health and Sport Sciences

Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism

Our research

The Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism research group is internationally recognised for its research in two broad areas:

Skeletal muscle bioenergetics, and oxygen delivery and utilisation, as modulators of exercise (in)tolerance in health and disease

A key focus of our research is on the mechanistic underpinnings of pulmonary oxygen uptake dynamics and the power-duration relationship. Our extensive applied physiology research encompasses a broad range of topics including exercise test diagnostics and prognostics, pacing strategies, prior exercise, nutritional ergogenic aids and training interventions.

View  publications

An academic watches a computer screen monitoring a cyclist on an exercise bike, wearing an oxygen mask

Therapeutic and ergogenic applications of manipulating nitric oxide bioavailability via dietary interventions

We are interested in how diets rich in inorganic nitrate (such as ‘5-a-day’, Mediterranean, or DASH diets) may benefit physical and cognitive wellbeing across the lifespan, and how host-microbiome interactions may influence the benefits that can be derived from a healthy diet. Our research has contributed to a compelling evidence base for inorganic nitrate as one of the few effective dietary supplements to enhance sports performance.

View publications 

Close up on vegetables including tomatoes and radishes

Research themes

Who we are

Team members

Professor Andrew Jones Professor of Applied Physiology


Professor Anni Vanhatalo Professor of Human Physiology


Dr Matthew Black Lecturer


Joanna L’Heureux Graduate Research Assistant  
Jamie Blackwell Experimental Officer  

PhD students


  • PhD Mohammed Al-Gayeth (2022)
  • MbyRes Harry Lee (2021)
  • PhD Rachel Tan (2019)
  • PhD Ida Clark (2019)
  • PhD Paul Morgan (2019)
  • PhD Sinead McDonagh (2018)
  • PhD Luke Connolly (2018)
  • MbyRes Rebecca Dewhurst-Trigg (2018)
  • MbyRes Stuart Cocksedge (2017)
  • MbyRes Eva Piatrikova (2017)
  • PhD Christopher Thompson (2017)
  • PhD Matthew Black (2016)
  • PhD Lee Wylie (2016)
  • PhD James Kelly (2015)
  • PhD Len Parker Simpson (2014)
  • PhD Philip Skiba (2014)
  • PhD Ben Holliss (2014)
  • PhD Isabel Moore (2013)
  • PhD Weerapong Chidnok (2013)
  • PhD Stephen Bailey (2011)
  • PhD Melitta Winlove (2011)
  • PhD Fred DiMenna (2010)

Our capabilities

Analytical expertise

  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Watch us perform a lactate threshold test.
  • VO2 kinetics
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) for non-invasive assessment of muscle oxygenation
  • Intravenous infusion of pharmaceutical agents
  • Ozone based chemiluminescence for the measurement of nitric oxide biomarkers (inc. nitrate, nitrite, s-nitrosothiols)
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for the measurement of compounds of interest (inc. arginine, citrulline, cysteine and glutathione, plus many more)
  • Western-blotting for assessing the expression of proteins in tissue homogenates
  • Enzymatic assays for muscle metabolite and enzyme activity
  • Muscle fibre typing
  • Bioenergetics analyses for microbiome-host interactions

Additional facilities

Our analytical capabilities are extended by the following facilities and collaborators:

Clinical Research Facility and Clinical Trials Unit

  • Bespoke clinical trials facilities and trial support at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS site
  • Assessment of vascular health, including flow-mediated dilatation and pulse-wave velocity

Sequencing Unit

  • State of the art genomics and bioinformatics analysis using Illumina (HiSeq and MiSeq), PacBio (Sequel and RSII) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (Minion) sequencing technologies. 
  • Sequencing Unit website

Bioimaging Unit

  • Optical, laser and electron microscopes to enable advanced cellular imaging techniques to be applied in histochemical samples obtained from muscle biopsies. 
  • Bioimaging Unit website

Mass Spectrometry Facility

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Unit

  • NMR compatible ergometry
  • 31P- and 1H-MRS
  • Skeletal muscle and brain blood flow and perfusion (ASL, T2*).

Contact us

For enquiries about working with us or using our facilities, please contact Andy Jones: