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MDX Associate Lecturer wins early career research award for heat acclimation work

Dr Luke Oates “grateful and proud” to be recognised by leading sports scientists

MDX Associate Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science Dr Luke Oates has won the Professor Edward Winter Early Career Research Award through BASES, the accrediting body for sport and exercise scientists in the UK.

Established in 2020, the award recognises and honours Professor Winter, who made a substantial contribution to the discipline of Sport and Exercise Science.

The accolade is worth £1,000 through BASES membership and conference fees.

It also includes a place on various committees over the next year and taking part in webinars, podcasts and a magazine interview.

Dr Oates's application had to demonstrate how he meets the BASES values through his research, teaching and applied work.

He said: “It means a lot to me to be recognised for my research. It will be an excellent opportunity for me to network and collaborate with other researchers and practitioners and great to be involved in decisions being made within BASES.”

Dr Oates is currently working on a Short Term Heat Acclimation in an ageing population study with MDX colleagues Dr Laura Wilson from MDX London Sports Institute and Dr Emma Ward from Psychology.

He said: “We are looking to see if four days of acclimatising people aged 65+ to the heat can have positive adaptations that will have protective effects against the negative impacts of the heat. “

Other projects include research within netball assessing what it takes to win at an international level and successful centre passes and turnovers within the Netball Superleague and working with Jon Cree and Professor Anthony Turner, looking into footwork within fencing.

Last year Dr Oates gave his expert opinion on the heat risks for England World Cop players competing in 27 degree temperatures in Qatar.

His passion for sport was ignited as a child when he played football and cricket. Currently in training for the London Marathon, Dr Oates’s two main areas of interest are physiology and performance analysis.

“I have an intrigue for my own physiological responses during exercise e.g. what is my heart rate or body temperature when running,” he said. “I am also a bit of a stats person so have always enjoyed that side of sporting performance.”

After studying BSc. Sport and Exercise Science degree and MSc. Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University, Dr Oates completed his PhD last year at University of Hertfordshire (Physiological and thermoregulatory demands of fencing).

He says his greatest achievement to date is completing his PhD.

“A global pandemic, change of jobs, buying a house and starting a family all during this time made it a rollercoaster ride,” Dr Oates added.

Having worked at MDX since 2019, Dr Oates says the university is "very special to him".

"I am lucky to work with a great group of people. I have been able to develop my skills as a lecturer and be a part of some excellent research projects. We also have some of the best facilities for Sport Science within the new West Stand, it is a pleasure to come into work in the facilities we have.”

For more information about studying sport at MDX click here.

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