Mr Tom Gurney

Research project: Investigating the metabolic, physiological, and functional effects from the supplementation of microalgae on exercise performance

Abstract

Competitive athletes are continuously looking to enhance performance via the use of various emerging ergogenic dietary supplements. Recently, there has been a widespread unremitting trend and interest in the functional food benefits of freshwater micro algae. This interest has predominantly surfaced from substantial amount of investigations primarily focused on the potential health benefits derived from supplementation. At present, the understanding of the ergogenic capabilities of algae are equivocal. The multicomponent species boasts a vast array of vitamins, minerals and proteins and thus pinpointing the exact mechanisms of action behind any ergogenic effects are difficult to ascertain.  

To date, negligible research has been conducted on trained athletes implementing the supplementation of algae and whether it may have a profound effect on exercise performance. This project intends to develop and contribute into the novel area of algae supplementation for exercise performance. 

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Investigating the metabolic, physiological, and functional effects from the supplementation of microalgae on exercise performance
  • Research supervisor: Dr Owen Spendiff
  • Other research supervisor: Dr James Brouner

Biography

I enrolled at Kingston University in 2014 to complete a BSc in Sport Science, achieving First Class honours. My dissertation research project was investigating the supplementation of Spirulina on upper body exercise. Following this, in May 2019 I began my PhD research journey, aiming to contribute research and understanding into the algae supplementation field.

During my PhD I have been involved with lecturing on the Essentials for Sport & Exercise Science and the Health & Exercise Physiology modules, whilst also providing guest lectures at UCL in the MSc in Sports Medicine, Exercise & Health degree.

Adjacent to my research, I work at Fulham Football Club as a Performance Analyst, working alongside the first team and academy to provide extensive team and player analysis. 

Areas of research interest

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Human Performance
  • Ergogenic Aids
  • Micro-nutrient Supplementation
  • Lactate Metabolism
  • Performance Analysis

Qualifications

  • BSc Sport Science, Kingston University London
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy