News Archive

PhD Studentship in Cerebrovascular and Environmental Physiology available.

The School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University invite applications for a 3-year PhD studentship investigating human cerebrovascular responses to extreme environmental stress.

The deadline for applications is 22 July 2018.

Applied physiology PhD opportunity with the Extremes Research Group

The School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University invite applications for a 3-year PhD studentship funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) in collaboration with Outlook Expeditions. This programme of research will determine whether the physiological readiness of students, teachers and expedition leaders should and can be enhanced to better prepare them for an Outlook expedition and to improve general health and well-being. The deadline for applications is 18 July 2017.

PhD opportunity with the ERG - Deadline

The School of Sport Health and Exercise Sciences (SSHES), Bangor University is offering a fully funded 4 year PhD studentship supervised by Prof Neil Walsh and Dr Jessica Mee, conducting research on novel strategies to promote adaptation for military personnel performing in extreme environments. This PhD studentship will likely involve data collection in the laboratory and military environment and will build on recent work published by Professor Walsh’s team. Deadline for applications is Wednesday 30th November 2016.

PhD opportunity with the ERG - Deadline 1st July 2016

The School of Sport Health and Exercise Sciences (SSHES), Bangor University is offering a fully funded 3 year PhD Studentship, as part of the Institute for Research Excellence in Sport and Exercise (IRESE) research collaboration with Cardiff School of Sport (CSS), Cardiff Metropolitan University. This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic and highly motivated individual to examine how the body regulates cardiovascular function in response to short-term and life-long exposure to hypoxia (low oxygen environment). Healthy lowlanders experience hypoxia during sojourn to altitude, patients with sleep apnoea and lung disease experience hypoxia in their day-to-day lives, and over 130 million people permanently reside above 3000m. The successful student, who will be based in Bangor, will benefit from the infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and specialist training provided by both schools. Furthermore, there is an opportunity to undertake data collection as part of large-scale international research expedition to Nepal in October 2016. Deadline for applications is Friday 1st July 2016.

ERG students at European College of Sports Sciences

PhD students Alberto Dolci and Julian Owen will be attending ECSS in Barcelona on 26-29th June. Alberto will be presenting part of his PhD research that examined the effect of mild hypothermia on immune function. Julian Owen has been invited to speak about his PhD research that has shown how different types of dehydration effect exercise performance. Julian will be present this at a satellite symposia organised by the European Hydration Institute.

Justin has a 'swell time' at the International Hypoxia Symposia 2013

Many congratulations to Dr Justin Lawley, former doctoral student (Supervisors: Drs MacDonald/Oliver) whose talk “Having a swell time at altitude: Investigation of whole brain white matter identifies altered water mobility in the pathogenesis of high-altitude headache” won second prize in the Hot Topic Section at the prestigious Hypoxia 2013 conference in Lake Louise, Canada.

Justin, one of Bangor University's Anniversary Research Scholars, is currently a post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Autonomic Function Laboratory of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital/Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas

European Hydration Institute Award for ERG

ERG PhD student Helen Hanstock was sucessful in obtaining a European Hydration Institute student grant to support her PhD research into mucosal immunity. This is the second year that an ERG PhD student has won one of these esteemed awards after Julian Owen received the same award for his research that examines different types of dehydration effect on human performance and hydration marker utility.

SHES Student wins PhD Award

Bethany Diment has won the PhD award for her presentation on Nutrition and the Immune Response to Exercise at a recent Rank Prize Foundation mini-Symposium on Sports Nutrition.Bethany, a PhD student supervised by Prof Neil Walsh, Director of the Extremes Research Group, is researching exercise and immune health.The mini-Symposium was held in Grasmere, Lake District between 19 and 22 November 2012.

Publication by Macdonald and Oliver is a featured article

Drs Jamie Macdonald and Sam Oliver of Bangor University’s Extremes Research Group have recently published an article in High Altitude Medicine and Biology.The article, entitled ‘Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter Is Not Related to High Altitude Headache: A Randomised Controlled Trial’ is this quarter’s featured article.The editor wrote “High-altitude headache is a very common feature of Acute Mountain Sickness and most people who have spent time at high altitude are familiar with it. However the pathogenesis of the headache is not understood. A common hypothesis is that it is due to an increased intracranial pressure but this study does not support this.

Extremes Research Group attend prestigious international conference

Dr. Jamie Macdonald and his PhD student, Dr. Naushad Junglee, have had four abstracts accepted for presentation at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2012, the world’s premier nephrology meeting.The authors are particularly proud that one abstract, resulting from an Extremes Group collaboration with Professor Neil Walsh and Dr. Matt Fortes, is being presented orally.The Extremes Group completed a study investigating the role of exercise induced muscle damage in Acute Kidney Injury.Jamie said “Acute Kidney Injury can have devastating consequences and is surprisingly common in certain populations, for example the military on manoeuvres in hot environments.This study is the first to experimentally separate and induce various risk factors that are assumed to cause Acute Kidney Injury. The study identities novel targets to help prevent this life threatening condition.”

Chronic carbohydrate supplementation improves performance at high altitude

Drs Jamie Macdonald and Sam Oliver have published a paper in High Altitude Medicine and Biology investigating the efficacy of supplementation diet at altitude with carbohydrate sports drinks

Their findings reveal that chronic carbohydrate supplementation reduces how hard exercise feels at altitude, and increases mountaineering performance.Jamie and Sam said “Those travelling to high altitude should seriously consider supplementing their diet with commercially available energy drinks”.The study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Science in Sport (23.3.12)

Biomedical Basis of Elite Performance Meeting

Drs Jamie Macdonald, Matt Fortes and Jonathan Moore, and students Justin Lawley, Umberto Di Felice and Edward Roberts, attended the recent Biomedical Basis of Elite Performance Meeting at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, organised by the Physiological Society ( and the British Pharmacological Society ( from 19-21 March 2012.The Group presented papers entitled “Short term increases in plasma IL-6 after downhill running is associated with increased core temperature during subsequent exercise-heat stress”and “Effect of hypoxia on thermal hyperemia in humans”.Justin and Edward gratefully received travel grants from the Physiological Society to attend. (23.3.12)

Extremes Research Group on TV again!

Dr Sam Oliver was featured on BBC3 "Secrets of Everything" show. Sam helped the programme understand if it was possible to survive on your own bodily fluids if you were stranded on a desert island.

Dr Sam Oliver discusses typical daily fluid losses with BBC presenter Greg Foot.

For clips of the programme follow this link:

Extremes Research Group on TV!

Drs Jamie Macdonald and Tim Woodman have been filming with the TV production company ‘Silver River’, who are producing a programme for Channel Four to be aired prime time early in 2012.  Full programme details are being kept under wraps but the programme will feature Jamie and Tim, four of their MSc students, and a subject matter that is very relevant to the Extremes Research Group.   The programme is entitled “Hidden Talent.” (4.9.11)

Extremes Research Group on TV!

The Silver River production crew prepare to film on location

Extremes Research Group on TV!

Jamie’s MSc student, Jill Reinsch, setting up scientific equipment for Silver River

Supporting Mountain Rescue in England and Wales

The Extremes Research Group will be attending the Mountain Rescue England and Wales Medical Seminar, to be held in Ambleside on 5 November 2011.  Dr Jamie Macdonald will present work recently published in the Emergency Medicine Journal on the physiological demands of mountain rescue work (  The study builds on applied work being completed by the Group with local mountain rescue teams. (4.10.11)

Extremes Research Group bring together physiology and psychology at altitude

Drs Jamie Macdonald, Sam Oliver, Ross Roberts and Calum Arthur have had their first collaborative paper as part of the recently formed Extremes Research Group accepted to the Journal of Travel Medicine.  The paper investigates the link between acute mountain sickness and more general illnesses such as upper respiratory tract infections and anxiety, and offers novel targets for interventions to improve health of people travelling to high altitude.  (30.9.11)

Oliver SJ, Sanders SJ, Williams CJ, Smith ZA, Lloyd-Davies E, Roberts R, Arthur C, Hardy L, and Macdonald JH .  Physiological and Psychological Illness Symptoms at High Altitude and their Relationship with Acute Mountain Sickness: A Prospective Cohort Study.  J Travel Med; In Press. 

The Extremes Research Group visits Norway!

The Extremes Research Group visited the Ranken hypoxic facility in Trysil, Norway, ( to explore potential research collaborations.  The trip was organised by PhD student Justin Lawley. (30.8.11)

The Extremes Research Group visits Norway!

The hypobaric chamber in Norway

UKClimbing Alpine Workshop

The National Mountaineering Centre, Plas Y Brenin, ( hosted the UKClimbing Alpine Workshop over the weekend of 24-25 April 2010.  Dr Jamie Macdonald, part of the Extremes Research Group at Bangor University, ran a workshop entitled “Dealing with Altitude”.  Delegates learnt about preparation, improving performance, and avoiding illness, and even had the opportunity to experience 4500m of altitude using an altitude simulator!  To see the presentation given at the workshop, please click here. (1.5.10)

Mountain Sport and Health Conference

Between the 12 and 14 November 2009 Drs Sam Oliver and Jamie Macdonald presented findings of the Extremes Research Group 2009 expedition at the international Mountain Sport and Health Conference ( (21.11.09)

First Irish Climbing Performance Seminar

Ireland’s National Outdoor Centre ( held the first Irish Climbing Performance Seminar in Easter 2008.  Drs Ross Roberts and Jamie Macdonald, part of the Extremes Research Group at Bangor University, ran workshops on psychological and physiological preparation to help delegates improve their performance in a variety of climbing disciplines. (1.4.08)