Dr Roger Ramsbottom

BSc, PGCE, MPhil, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Roger Ramsbottom


My main role is lecturer on the Undergraduate Modular Programme at Oxford Brookes University. Within this role I also engage in current research topics, most recently investigating the effect of dietary nitrate on all-out upper body resistance exercise.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

  • U76115 Physiology for Human Movement
  • P16508 Exercise Physiology (MSc.)
  • P16509 Project (MSc.)
  • U76221 Physical Activity and Health
  • U76272 Alpine Fieldwork in Exercise Science
  • U76199 Project
  • Teaching on other undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

Co-developed an innovative module 'Alpine Fieldwork in Exercise Science'. This module has both a theoretical and practical basis in Oxford (January to May) before a week long trip to the French Alps (September). The week long trek is 'Le Tour du Mont Blanc' (approximately 150 km around the base of the Mont Blanc Massif).

Before and after the trek students are tested in the laboratory for aerobic fitness (VO2max), submaximal responses to graded walking (blood lactate concentration, rating of perceived extertion, walking economy), anthropometric measures and leg strength and power.

During the walk students record walking heart rate (to estimate walking energy expenditure) and rating of perceived exertion. They also monitor daily body mass and hyrdation status.

This is a very applied module whereby students can appreciate problems associated with data collection in the field. Students also learn a lot of applied physiology and how their body responds to daily endurance exercise (approximately 18-20 km per day with a 10-12 kg ruck sack).

This is a reflective statement from one student having completed Le Tour du Mont Blanc: 

"Personally, I found the TMB itself, and the chance to take part in this study to be a once in a life time opportunity. Bonds were made with people that I did not think would happen, and my knowledge of sport and exercise science drastically expanded. Before we left for the TMB, I was worried that I would not be fit enough to complete it, and this was also the case when we were walking on the first day. The weather conditions were a lot hotter than I expected, and on the first day, I got badly sunburned and was struggling to get up the hills. But after the first day was completed, I realised that if I could complete one day, I could complete 6 more – and with the high group morale and positive energy, everybody completed the trek in the 7-day window. 

During the course of the TMB, I lost 1.7kg in body mass, and 2.8% body fat, which I was extremely proud of, as I had been struggling to lose body fat prior to the TMB. This was one of the largest changes within the group. My maximum HR for the submaximal test also dropped by 15 bpm at the end of the final stage, which indicated that my cardiovascular fitness increased. My RPE at 20% also decreased by 2, showing that I found the final stage of testing easier than previously recorded". 


MSc projects in Applied Sport and Exercise Science; MSc and PhD by Research, collaborations with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.


Main interests: effects of training on human physiology, morphology and metabolism with respect to both performance and health. Also interested in how gene expression may be influenced by our environment (e.g. diet / training).

Academic background: I received an MPhil. from Loughborough University of Technology in 1986 which investigated the physiological, metabolic and morphological characteristics of distance running. In 1988 I published a paper (Ramsbottom et al. 1988 Br. J. Sports Med.22: 141-144) which provided estimated values of aerobic fitness (VO2max) from performance on a 20 metre multi-stage shuttle run test. A cassette and later CD was made available to the sports community via Coachwise. This shuttle run test is now a globally accepted test of aerobic fitness outside a laboratory environment. I completed a PhD in 1994 (Loughborough University) which investigated human short-term high intensity performance versus a non-invasive measure of anaerobic capacity. Work from my PhD led to a field test to estimate individual anaerobic capacity based on results from shuttle run tests.

Research group membership

  • Sport and Physical Activity Research Group
  • Electronic Circuit and Systems Design Research Group.

Research grants and awards

  • Department of Health, Public Health Division.


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Associate Editor Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
  • Associate Editor (UK) Journal Sportis (Spain) 
  • Member of the Physiological Society (United Kingdom)
  • External Examiner St Mary's University Twickenham (MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology)

Areas of expertise

  • Physiological testing (aerobic fitness)
  • Field tests
  • Cardiac autonomic control (heart rate variability).


  • Meetings of the Physiological Society (United Kingdom)
  • Invited speaker: 6thEuropean Sports Medicine Congress (Antalya, Turkey, 2009)
  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • European College of Sports Science
  • International Sports Exercise and Nutrition Conference.

Other experience

  • Senior Lecturer at Roehampton University (London)
  • External Examiner (undergraduate programmes; Liverpool Hope University, St Mary's University, London) 
  • PhD student Loughborough University.

Further details

Interested in physical activity for health, circuit training, squash, resistance training, cycling, orienteering and mountain walking. 

Press, publicity and reviews

Recent Conference Communications:

  • Pavlaki, S., Varnham, R. and Ramsbottom, R. (2016) Dietary nitrate supplementation improves mean power during upper body resistive exercise Biomedical Basis of Elite Performance PC07, pp. 111-112A.
  • Ramsbottom, R., Bardin, J., Kinch, R., Morris, M. and Varnham, R. (2017) Effect of a one week alpine trek on submaximal and maximal physiological measures International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism27 S14A.
  • Ramsbottom, R., Gilder, M. and Nevill, A. (2017) Heart rate variability and common health measures International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism27 S3A.