Dr Megan Ross

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Exercise and Nutrition Research Program, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

ACU Researcher

Areas of expertise: Biological Science, Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Sports Physiology, Human Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Biochemistry, Thermal physiology, Metabolism

Email: meg.ross@acu.edu.au

Megan is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Exercise and Nutrition Research Program within the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research at the Australian Catholic University. Meg’s research and leadership activities aim to enhance the knowledge and practice of sports nutrition of high-performance athletes through a focus on 1) thermoregulation, heat adaptation and cooling in extreme environments, and 2) whole-body metabolism, metabolic flexibility and organ cross talk during phases of low energy availability, to enhance performance and prolong the careers of athletes through improved health indices brought about by positive nutritional change. Meg holds a Doctor of Philosophy through the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University where she investigated practical pre-event cooling strategies and cycling time trial performance. She has >20 years’ experience working as a physiologist within the Australian high-performance sport system having been based at the Australian Institute of Sport (2005-2020) and the Victorian Institute of Sport (1999-2005). Megan was selected as a Recovery Physiologist for Medical Headquarters on the 2012 Australian Olympic Team in London. Meg is an Associate Editor for the Elite Sports and Performance Enhancement Specialty section of the Frontiers in Sports and Active Living Journal. She is also a regular contributor as an author and reviewer of manuscripts, and presenter at national and international professional conferences. Meg has > 40 publications, including peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Meg is an accredited Phlebotomist (including cannula insertion) and ISAK Level 2 Anthropometrist who is skilled in muscle biopsy and tracer infusion (preparation and infusion) techniques. Meg’s career goals include 1) developing excellent knowledge and relevant skills in exercise physiology, 2) providing novel and practical innovations to benefit human health and physical performance through investigative, mechanistic and applied research, and 3) promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for all Australians.


Select publications

  • Burke LM, Sharma AP, Heikura IA, Forbes SF, Holloway M, McKay AKA, Bone JL, Leckey JJ, Welvaert M, Ross ML. Crisis of confidence averted: Impairment of exercise economy and performance in elite race walkers by ketogenic low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diet is reproducible. PLoS One. 2020 Jun 4;15(6):e0234027. [Impact factor 2.776]
  • Barwood MJ, Gibson OR, Gillis DJ, Jeffries O, Morris NB, Pearce J, Ross ML, Stevens C, Rinaldi K, Kounalakis SN, Riera F, Mündel T, Waldron M, Best R. Menthol as an ergogenic aid for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games: an expert led consensus statement using the modified Delphi method. Sports Medicine. Accepted. 12 May 2020. [Impact factor 7.583]
  • Heikura IA, Burke LM, Hawley JA, Ross ML, Garvican-Lewis L, Sharma AP, McKay AKA, Leckey JJ, Welvaert M, McCall L, Ackerman KE. A Short-Term Ketogenic Diet Impairs Markers of Bone Health in Response to Exercise. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Jan 21;10:880. [Impact factor 3.675]
  • Stevens CJ, Ross ML, Périard JD, Vallance BS, Burke LM. Core Temperature Responses to Elite Racewalking Competition. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2020 Feb 4:1-4. [Impact factor 1.76]
  • McCubbin AJ, Allanson BA, Caldwell Odgers JN, Cort MM, Costa RJS, Cox GR, Crawshay ST, Desbrow B, Freney EG, Gaskell SK, Hughes D, Irwin C, Jay O, Lalor BJ, Ross MLR, Shaw G, Périard JD, Burke LM. Sports Dietitians Australia Position Statement: Nutrition for Exercise in Hot Environments. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2020 Dec 31:1-16. [Impact factor 2.105]
  • Figueiredo VC, Farnfield MM, Ross MLR, Gran P, Halson SL, Peake JM, Cameron-Smith D, Markworth JF. The Effect of Carbohydrate Ingestion Following Eccentric Resistance Exercise on AKT/mTOR and ERK Pathways: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Crossover Study. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019 Oct 17:1-7. [Impact factor 2.105]
  • Murtaza N, Burke LM, Vlahovich N, Charlesson B, O'Neill HM, Ross ML, Campbell KL, Krause L, Morrison M. Analysis of the Effects of Dietary Pattern on the Oral Microbiome of Elite Endurance Athletes. Nutrients. 2019 Mar 13;11(3). pii: E614. [Impact factor 4.196]
  • Murtaza N, Burke LM, Vlahovich N, Charlesson B, O' Neill H, Ross ML, Campbell KL, Krause L, Morrison M. The Effects of Dietary Pattern during Intensified Training on Stool Microbiota of Elite Race Walkers. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 24;11(2). pii: E261. [Impact factor 4.196]
  • McKay AKA, Peeling P, Pyne DB, Welvaert M, Tee N, Leckey JJ, Sharma AP, Ross MLR, Garvican-Lewis LA, van Swelm RPL, Laarakkers CM, Burke LM. Acute carbohydrate ingestion does not influence the post-exercise iron-regulatory response in elite keto-adapted race walkers. J Sci Med Sport. 2019 Jun;22(6):635-640. [Impact factor 4.198]

Projects

  • 2016-2020 (pending COVID-19): Supernova Series of Research Projects. L Burke (Lead), M Ross, A Sharma, A McKay, N Tee, L Lewis, I Heikura, B Vallance, J Whitfield, P Peeling, D Pyne. Funding: $44 K, High Performance Sport Research Fund Grant awarded to L Burke (2016), $195 K ACU Program Grant awarded to J Hawley and L Burke (2016), $40 K, High Performance Sport Research Fund Grant awarded to L Burke (2017), $107 K funding grant awarded to L Burke from the American Potato Research and Education Group (2018), ACU Program Grant awarded to L Burke will be used to support unfunded activities, $75 K funding grant awarded to L Burke from the American Potato Research and Education Group (2019), $165 K funding grant awarded to L Burke from the American Potato Research and Education Group (2019), $44,500 High Performance Sports Research Fund, Australian Sports Commission grant awarded to A McKay (2017), $57,640 High Performance Sports Research Fund, Australian Sports Commission grant awarded to G Cox (2017).
  • 2019 – 2020 (pending COVID-19): Effect of different acute hyperhydration protocols on indices of fluid retention, hydration status and gastrointestinal comfort. L Burke (Lead), M Ross, G Slater, L Lewis. $10 k Provided by discretional funding provided by L Burke, $15K provided by Partnership for Clean Competition (PCC) grant awarded to L Lewis.
  • 2020 (pending COVID-19) - The effects of a calcium-rich diet on biomarkers of calcium homeostasis in competitive male rowers in low energy availability. B Lundy (Lead), L Burke, M Ross. Funding provided by Rowing Australia. Additional grant funding will be sought to support this research activitiy.

Accolades and awards

  • 2009-2012 - Awarded Australian Postgraduate Award and an Edith Cowan University Research Excellence Award
  • 2012 - Awarded AIS/Robert T. Withers PhD Scholar Award, in recognition of the strong impact Meg’s Phd research had on the way Australian athletes prepared for competition

Appointments and affiliations

  • 2014* - Australian Catholic University
  • 2012–2014 – Australian Sports Commission / Australian Institute of Sport

Editorial roles

  • Associate Editor - Elite Sports and Performance Enhancement Specialty section, Frontiers in Sports and Active Living Journal

Grant agency review panels

  • 2017 - Panel Member, High Performance Sport Research Fund, Australian Institute of Sport

Public engagement

 

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