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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Alan Richardson has lectured at the University of Brighton since 2008 and was course leader for the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science course from 2012-2018. His research focuses on the physiological changes and human tolerance to severe environmental exposure.

While completing his PhD at the University of Brighton (2010), Alan worked as a research exercise physiologist on the Centre for Aviation, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine Xtreme Everest Project in 2007 and 2009, carrying out cardiopulmonary exercise testing in trekkers ascending to Everest Base Camp.  In 2013, Alan led a research project taking 30 Sport and Exercise Science students to Peru and undertaking a large number of physiological tests before, during and after the three weeks in Peru. While in Peru students and staff helped rebuild a school and then trekked for four days to Machu Picchu.

Alan is keen to advocate dissemination and discussion of research on social media platforms such as ResearchGate and Twitter.

Research interests

My research focuses on how the human body tolerates or adapts to environmental extremes, whether that be cold, heat or altitude. This can have a number of applications such as the use of altitude training for elite athletes, to hypoxic exposure as a means of weight loss, through to repeated extreme heat exposure potentially causing cellular damage in Fire Instructors. The work of our Environmental Extremes Research Group can be found here.

At present I am working on a number of projects with UK and international firefighters on reducing the health impact of severe thermal and contaminant exposure.

Approach to teaching

I really try to make my lectures as entertaining as possible. I remember back to when I was a student and try to think of what made me engage and remember content. I think the key to lecturing is not to try and get too much across in a short space of time, but get key information across so that students can understand the content.

I also realise that keeping attention and making sure content is understood by all is really difficult, so I try to break up large group lectures into a number of chunks separated by activities that check understanding and allow students to verbalise what has just been discussed.

I prefer to then engage the students in laboratory sessions to develop what they have learned in the theory-based lectures. Students learn far better through doing and applying what they do to theory. That is why we try to encourage students at Brighton into the labs as much as possible.


Supervisory Interests

At present i am currently looking to help supervise students interested in extreme enviornment physiology, specifically interested in occupational and health based applications to severe heat or hypoxic exposure.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Brighton

External positions

External Examiner MSc Applied Physiology, University of Chichester

1 Oct 20181 Oct 2022

External Examiner BSc Sport and Exercise Science, University of Kent

1 Jun 20181 Jun 2022


  • QP Physiology
  • RZ Other systems of medicine
  • U Military Science (General)

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2018 2020

Physiological Monitoring of Firefighters & Instructors

Richardson, A., Watkins, E., Watt, P. & Hayes, M.


Project: GrantResearch

Research Output 2007 2019

  • 27 Article
  • 3 Commissioned report
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 Other contribution

Altitude training in endurance running: perceptions of elite athletes and support staff

Turner, G., Fudge, B., Pringle, J. S. M., Maxwell, N. & Richardson, A. 22 Jun 2018

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Altitude Sickness
Practice Guidelines

A new occupational heat tolerance test: A feasibility study

Watkins, E. R., Gibbons, J., Dellas, Y., Hayes, M., Watt, P. & Richardson, A. J. 5 Sep 2018 78, p. 42-50 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Feasibility Studies
heat tolerance
Protective Clothing
protective clothing

Fire Service Instructors' Working Practices: A UK Survey

Watkins, E., Hayes, M., Watt, P. & Richardson, A. 4 May 2018

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Surveys and Questionnaires

Post marathon cardiac troponin T is associated with relative exercise intensity

Richardson, A., Leckie, T., Watkins, E., Fitzpatrick, D., Galloway, R., Grimaldi, R. & Baker, P. 23 Feb 2018

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Troponin T
Heart Rate

Activities 2004 2018

Big Bang Fair South East

Maxwell, N. (Organiser), Richardson, A. (Organiser), Hayes, M. (Organiser), Ashley Willmott (Organiser)
27 Jun 201828 Jun 2018

Activity: Outreach and Public Engagement

External Examiner MSc Applied Physiology

Richardson, A. (Examiner)
1 Oct 20181 Oct 2022

Activity: Taught course

External Examiner BSc Sport and Exercise Science

Richardson, A. (Examiner)
1 Jun 20181 Jun 2022

Activity: Taught course

Validation BSc Strength & Conditioning

Richardson, A. (Examiner)
10 Jan 2018

Activity: Taught course

Firefighter workloads and cooling methods

Richardson, A. (Presenter)
19 Mar 2018

Activity: Oral presentation