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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Dr Alan Richardson has lectured at the University of Brighton since 2008. His research focuses on the physiological changes and human tolerance to severe environmental exposure.

While completing his PhD at the University of Brighton (2009), 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. He then went on to work as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist at UCLH using CPET for operative assessment.    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

Alan's research focuses on how the human body tolerates or adapts to physiological extremes. 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, the use of exercise for rehabilitation of critically ill, 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.

Alan is currently working on a number of projects with UK and international firefighters on reducing the health impact of severe thermal and contaminant exposure. Information on the current and past projects can be found here. 

Since March Alan has been working on a COVID19 recovery time course and rehabilitation project with hospitals around the South East of England. This project aims to explore the time course of cardiopulmonary and functional capacity improvement in previously critically ill patients. 

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 physiological extremes such as critical illness rehabilitation or extreme environment exposure for occupational and health based applications.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Brighton

Award Date: 13 Oct 2010

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)


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