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Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology
I am a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology in the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. After completing my BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science (2011-2014) and MSc in Applied Sport Physiology at the University of Brighton (2015), I moved to Leeds in 2016 to complete a PhD whilst working as a GTA in the Sport and Exercise Psychology Department at Leeds Beckett University. Following completing my PhD, I became a full-time Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University in 2020, before moving to a similar role at the University of Hull in September 2021.
My research is focused mainly on the psychobiological impact of exercise induced fatigue and extreme environments (e.g., hot conditions) on team sport athletes' cognitive performance and decision-making. This was reflected in my PhD which was entitled; "The effects of heat exposure and prolonged intermittent exercise on central fatigue and cognitive function in team sport." However, this interest also expands to the impact of extreme environments and fatigue within occupational settings, such as military personnel or the emergency services. I am also interested in the impact of other stressors, such as sleep deprivation, to human performance and the use of psychological or nutritional strategies for facilitating cognitive performance when under additional stress.
Outside of academia, I am a keen football player, previously having played in both the Southern and Northern Women's Premier Leagues and in the past couple of years I have begun undertaking my coaching badges, now coaching girls and women's football. I am also a Head Researcher at Football Manager for the Women's NPL.
I am currently the module leader for:
L5 Research Methods
L5 Social Psychology of Sport Health and Exercise
L6 Applied Sport Psychology
I also supervise several dissertation students across a number of psychology and physiology related themes, alongside supporting the supervision of MSc students on Clinical Exercise Physiology.
The effectiveness of heat preparation and alleviation strategies for cognitive performance: A systematic review
Donnan, K. J., Williams, E. L., & Bargh, M. J. (2023). The effectiveness of heat preparation and alleviation strategies for cognitive performance: A systematic review. Temperature, https://doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2022.2157645
The effect of exercise-induced fatigue and heat exposure on soccer-specific decision-making during high-intensity intermittent exercise
Donnan, K., Williams, E., & Stanger, N. (2022). The effect of exercise-induced fatigue and heat exposure on soccer-specific decision-making during high-intensity intermittent exercise. PLoS ONE, 17(12), Article e0279109. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0279109
I have several research interests, broadly these are:
1. The impact of extreme environments on physical and mental performance, in athletic and occupational settings and strategies for preparing for or alleviating heat stress.
2. Fatigue in team sport, implications for cognitive performance and decision-making.
3. Exploration of psychological and nutritional strategies for optimising physical and cognitive performance in team sport players during match-play.
Sport Health and Exercise Science (SHES)
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