Health Sciences

Research Student Profiles

Research Student Profiles

Blake McLean - PhD scholarship holder with ACU and Collingwood Football Club

Blake is the holder of a co-funded PhD scholarship between ACU and Collingwood Football Club. His industry-based PhD is focussed on the efficacy of hypoxic training techniques in Australian Football players. This work now involves collaboration with the Australian Institute of Sport and has resulted in the first published work on altitude training in team sport athletes. He has presented his work at several international conferences.

Blake completed a Master degree at the University of Texas before commencing his PhD studies at ACU in 2011. Regarding his time at ACU:

My experience has been fantastic so far. I am gaining great experience within the industry whilst producing research relevant to others within the industry".
He is seeking a career as a sports scientist/high performance coach, whilst hoping to maintain an active industry-based research profile. Read an article by Blake Mclean featured in the Australasian Science, National.

Tania Gallo – PhD student
Tania’s industry-based PhD is embedded with North Melbourne Football Club. She is exploring the effectiveness of commonly-practiced methods for monitoring athletes in elite Australian Football. Her work aims to develop an analysis framework for use in high performance sport, for monitoring the fatigue-recovery cycle and its influence on athletic performance.

My experience as a student at ACU has only been positive. It was through ACU that I got my position at an AFL club that was looking for research students. As a result from this work, I was encouraged to continue my research with the club and begin a PhD. I feel very privileged to be in the position I am, working with an elite professional sport and I credit ACU for that. I have been supported every step of the way, being given resources, scholarships and funding, and access to some of the leaders in my area of research.”

Tania aims to continue working in the AFL or another elite team sport environment as a sport scientist. She enjoys the physical preparation component of elite competitive sport, with a career aspiration of managing a high performance department of a professional team sport.

Rich Johnston - PhD student
Rich’s PhD work concerns fatigue following rugby league training and competition, aiming to identify causes, implications, and potential methods of reducing post-game fatigue. His first industry-based project assessed the relationships between markers of fatigue and performance in rugby league, with his second and future projects assessing the influence that physical fitness and physical contact has on fatigue and muscle damage responses.

Rich travelled from the United Kingdom to commence his PhD at ACU in 2012. What made him choose ACU?

Despite offers from the UK and other Australian institutions, I chose ACU in order to work with Dr. Tim Gabbett. Having the opportunity to work with a world leading sport scientist on a daily basis was too good an offer to turn down. The ACU campus is a great place to work, with its friendly staff and atmosphere.”
Once Rich completes his PhD, he is aiming for a career as a sport scientist working within professional sport, either in Australia or the UK.

Danielle Gescheit – Honours research student
Danielle is completing an Honours research year at ACU. Her industry-based project is in collaboration with Tennis Australia, University of Technology, Sydney, and support from the Australian Institute of Sport. She is researching the relationship of fitness to load during repeated days of prolonged tennis match play. This will help answer questions regarding professional tennis players and their ability to play repeated five set matches in a tournament over consecutive days.

After completing a Sport and Exercise Science undergraduate degree at another university, what does Danielle like about now studying at ACU?

The best thing about studying at ACU is the world-class facilities and technology. ACU offers exceptional sport sciences facilities and equipment, allowing for hands-on learning. It was also a new experience to have classes conducted by videoconference and be able to discuss topics with staff and students in other Australian cities, all at the same time. It assisted greatly in establishing open communication as well as gaining different points of view and insights. The academic staff at ACU are leaders in their chosen fields, yet are very approachable and willing to share their knowledge, which provides a strong learning environment.”

After completing her Honours year, Danielle hopes to follow a strength and conditioning pathway in elite sport.