Speaker Profiles

Keynote speakers

Angela Smith

Former Squash Professional, Chair of Supporters Council, Stoke City FC ambassador with responsibility for projects in Far East; International Sports Consultant, Beswicks Sports


Angela Smith is a former professional British and World Champion squash player representing Great Britain and England on many occasions. She was instrumental in the formation of the women's professional organisation and circuit. Angela has many years’ experience advising on a variety of sports-related matters including football. She has worked on football projects in China for several years and her knowledge is of great value when dealing with clients in numerous overseas markets. She is responsible for managing and developing projects in China for Stoke City and also advises Beswicks Sports on International projects.

Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY

Vice Chair, British Olympic Association

Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY is Vice Chair of the British Olympic Association and an advocate for safe and inclusive sport for all. Former Chairman of British Rowing and Vice Chair of the British Paralympic Association, she helped steer both organisations through considerable change in structure and governance. She is a member of the European Rowing Board of Management and acts as Commonwealth Liaison for FISA, the international federation for rowing.

Annamarie chaired the Cycling Independent Review Panel into the culture and climate of British Cycling’s high performance programmes and supported the DCMS ‘Duty of Care Report’. As Deputy Chairman at British Rowing 2002-2013, she implemented safeguarding, anti-doping, governance and equality policies. She currently serves as Safeguarding Governor at Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith.

A former World Champion in Women’s Lightweight Coxless Fours and indoor rowing, she represented Great Britain in the women’s eight at the Atlanta Olympic Games, 1996.

Invited speakers

Dr Karen Birch

Head of School, Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds


Dr Birch is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and both Reader in Exercise Science and Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds. Her research concentrates specifically on the interaction between exercise, female hormones and cardiovascular health across the lifespan. This has incorporated aspects of how fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone across the menstrual cycle impact endothelial, vascular and cardiac performance and how the loss of these hormones early in adult life, or following the menopause impact cardiovascular performance and health. Her work has thus been presented to athletic groups such as the Football Association, to mainstream scientific organisations such as the American College of Sports Medicine and European Society of Cardiology and to health organisations such as the Northern Fertility Nurses. Her work has been published in journals such as Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the British Medical Journal and PLOS One.

Dr Amanda Daley

Professor of Behavioural Medicine
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
University of Loughborough


Amanda Daley is a professor in behavioural medicine in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. Prior to this Amanda led the behavioural medicine team in primary care at the University of Birmingham.  Her work is focused on investigating the effects of lifestyle interventions on health outcomes, particularly around women’s health such as pregnancy and menstrual disorders.  She is the chief investigator on several on-going trials that are examining the effectiveness of physical activity and weight control interventions in primary care and community settings.  She has published extensively in the field of physical activity and health. Amanda is most interested in conducting randomised controlled trials but she also has a strong interest in conducting systematic reviews and interrogating large datasets. Amanda is a panel member for several national and international research funding boards. 

Professor Sarah Grogan

Professor of Psychology, Health & Wellbeing, Manchester Metropolitan University 

Sarah Grogan graduated from Cardiff University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a PhD. Between her degree and PhD she worked at the University of Illinois as a research assistant. Since then she has held lecturing posts at the University of Birmingham, Manchester Metropolitan University, Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville Florida (on a Fulbright exchange), and Staffordshire University. Sarah was promoted to Professor of Health Psychology at Staffordshire University 2006-2013, and in 2013 took up the post of Professor of Psychology, Health and Wellbeing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Sarah is interested in body image and its impact on health-related behaviours including exercise, smoking, tanning, and anabolic steroid use. Her book Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men Women and Children is in its third edition (published September 2016). Sarah is currently involved in various projects linking body image to exercise, smoking cessation, and tanning, and is particularly interested in how technologies such as age-appearance morphing programme and whole-body scanning can be used to promote healthy behaviours. She is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Health Psychology, and in 2014 became a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences for distinguished contribution to social sciences research.

Sarah has more than 100 publications on body image and related areas, and more than 4000 citations of her work. A full list of publications can be found on: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=5umoyU4AAAAJ&hl=en.


Mr Michael Dooley

Consultant Sports Gynaecologist – The Poundbury Clinic________________________________________

Mr Michael Dooley is a Consultant Gynaecologist with a specialist interest in Sports Gynaecology. He has attended two Olympic Games as a Team Doctor and was Lead Gynaecologist for London 2012. His primary research was monitoring hormone levels in recreation and elite athletes in different disciplines and at different ages. He then was part of a research team investigating the effect of hormones and pre-menstrual syndrome as well as the positive effect oestrogen has on bones. He has recently co-authored a paper on whether ovarian reserve, measured by antimullerian hormone, and fertility is changed in elite athletes. He was a member of the International Olympic Committee Expert Group Meeting that has published guidelines on exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes.

He is Medical Director of the Poundbury Clinic, based in London and in Dorset, and at this Clinic he regularly sees athletes, both recreational and elite, with different gynaecological and hormonal issues. 

He really believes in an integrated approach and works closely with many governing body medical officers and other health professionals.

Dr Kirsty Elliott-Sale

Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University


Dr. Elliott-Sale completed her undergraduate degree in Coaching Science and PhD in Exercise (in particular female) Physiology at Liverpool John Moore’s University. She worked as a Lecturer at Brunel University and the University of Brighton before undertaking a four-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Kings College London on a research-funded project into ageing. Dr. Elliott-Sale joined Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in September 2009 as a Senior Lecturer on a part-time basis. Her research interests are the female athlete and maternal obesity. She is the Head of the Musculoskeletal Physiology Research Group at NTU.

Florentina Hettinga

Senior Lecturer, University of Essex

Dr Florentina Hettinga (PHD, SFHEA, FECSS) is senior lecturer at the University of Essex, where she leads the Sports Performance and Fatigue Research Unit. She is particularly fascinated by the concept of ‘pacing’: how do athletes/exercisers regulate their exercise intensities, when and why do they decide to invest their energy, and how do they manage their fatigue, and how do humans behave and perform in competition? For example, how do they respond to for example other opponents in the race and can we analyse and optimise tactical decisions in head-to-head competition? In her lecture for the Women in Sport and Exercise Conference, she will focus on exploring tactics in head-to-head competition: are there differences between men and women?

Dr Karen Hind PhD, CCD

Senior Research Fellow in the Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University and Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Cellular Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Dr Hind was awarded her PhD from the School of Medicine, University of Leeds in 2005 where she was the first to demonstrate a similar risk for low bone density in men and women long distance runners. Her post-doctoral work was also conducted at the University of Leeds before moving to Leeds Beckett University in 2007 where she led the set up of their dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) research unit. Dr Hind established and leads the Bone and Body Composition Research Group at Leeds Beckett and is Radiation Protection Supervisor.
She has built an international reputation for DXA best practice, is a member of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) and was recently appointed to the European panel. With over 100 peer reviewed publications and conference presentations, she has published on the female athlete triad including the trajectory of recovery of menses and bone density. Her research has focused on factors affecting bone health across the lifespan, particularly exercise. Her work has informed NICE guidelines, ISCD position statement, IOC consensus statement-beyond the female athlete triad and clinical guidelines on paediatric bone assessment, bone health in cystic fibrosis and the female athlete triad. She is currently leading several major studies including a 10 year follow-up study on bone health in distance runners, on the health of retired athletes, and on exercise interventions to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
Dr Hind currently supervises five PhD students and provides guest lectures and workshops on bone and body composition for level 6 and 7 students. She is regularly invited to speak at nationals and international conferences, is academic editor for PLOS One and peer reviews for a number of funding bodies and scientific journals. She has worked with athletes from various sports, providing consultancy on bone and body composition and advises on lifestyle interventions for bone health. 

Lisa O'Keefe

Insight Director at Sport England


Former Scottish rugby international Lisa O’Keefe joined Sport England’s south east office in 2000, having started her career in the Financial Sector. During her time at Sport England she held a variety of roles including Head of Sports Development, Head of Delivery, and Interim Regional Director before moving to Sport England’s national office in 2007 as Head of National Sport. In July 2008, she was appointed Director of Sport responsible for the design and implementation of the National Governing Body of Sport investment.
Following the creation of a new Directorate, Lisa was appointed Director of Insight in 2013.
During her playing career, Lisa won 45 Scotland international rugby caps between 1994 and 2006 and competed in two World Cups, one European championship and numerous Six Nations, and enjoyed great success domestically, winning league and cup titles with Richmond Rugby Club for whom she was Club Captain.

Professor Emma Stevenson 

Professor of Sport and Exercise Science, Newcastle University

Emma Stevenson is Professor of Sport and Exercise Science in the Institute of Cellular Medicine in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University. Emma’s research focuses on nutritional interventions to maximise recovery following exercise and the effects of exercise and nutritional interventions on appetite regulation and postprandial metabolism. Emma has worked as a consultant Sports Nutritionist with several international sports squads. Emma is an Academic Associate of the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) and a member of The Physiological Society, The Nutrition Society and British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Guest speakers

Dr Nicola Brown

Senior lecturer and researcher at St Mary's University


Dr Nicola Brown joined St Mary’s University, Twickenham in 2010 following completion of her PhD at the University of Portsmouth. In her current roles as Senior Lecturer in Health and Exercise Science and Programme Director of Research, Dr Brown contributes to numerous undergraduate and postgraduate modules and manages the growing number of postgraduate researchers within the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science.
Throughout her research career, Dr Brown’s primary interest has been the exercising female. This has led to collaboration with the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth, led by Professor Wakefield-Scurr. This group aims to increase scientific knowledge of breast health, and to raise awareness of this important aspect of women’s health. The research group is responsible for more than half of the scientific publications in the area and regularly presents their work internationally. Projects Dr Brown has been involved in include the investigation of breast pain and bra fit issues in exercising females, the relationship between body composition, breast size and breast kinematics, and the influence of the breast on sports and exercise participation in schoolgirls. Additionally, Dr Brown established the Female Health and Wellbeing Research Group at St Mary’s University, with the primary objective of developing effective strategies for optimising health and performance of female athletes and exercisers. This encompasses her research in breast health alongside collaborative work with colleagues investigating iron-deficiency anaemia and menstrual disturbances in female athletes and exercisers.


Dr Georgie Bruinvels

Research Scientist
After completing her undergraduate degree from Bristol University in Physiological Science Georgie worked for UK Anti-Doping for three years before returning to academia to study for a PhD at University College London. Georgie’s primary research interest is around the female athlete and the effects that the menstrual cycle can have on exercise performance.

Through her PhD she specifically evaluated the prevalence and impact of heavy menstrual bleeding and iron deficiency in exercising women. She is now a Research Scientist for Orreco, working with a whole range of elite athletes to help improve recovery rates, optimise training response and protect against excessive fatigue and overtraining. She is also undertaking further research specifically with female athletes with a focus on exercise performance and the menstrual cycle.

Dr Rachael Bullingham

Senior Lecturer in Physical Education, University of Worcester

Rachael is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Course Leader of Physical Education and Outdoor Education at the University of Worcester. She previously taught Physical Education in a secondary school, as well as performing various pastoral roles. In addition to teaching she has been involved in research and has recently published on the topic of homophobia in sport. Rachael’s PhD analysed the experiences of openly lesbian athletes participating in team sports. She has recently published ‘Out in Sport’ which offers an up-to-date examination of homophobia in sport. She is currently working on projects with colleagues within education examining the experiences of gay and lesbian teachers. Additionally, she is part of the Sport Collision Collective which is focused on making rugby within educational settings safer for children. As part of this collective she is currently interviewing teachers’ experiences within playing, coaching, teaching and refereeing rugby.

Dr Jenny Burbage 

Principal Lecturer and Researcher, University of Portsmouth

Jenny joined the Sport & Exercise Department at the University of Portsmouth as a research assistant and associate lecturer in 2007 and subsequently started a part-time PhD in the area of breast biomechanics. She had previously graduated from the University of Portsmouth in July 2006, having completed a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science. She then went on to complete an MSc in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics at the University of Chichester (2006-2007). Since 2011 Jenny has been a Lecturer, and then Senior Lecturer, in biomechanics and she is a fellow of the Higher Education Authority. Jenny completed her PhD in July 2013, which focused on the breast support implications for female recreational athletes. She is now a Principal Lecturer in biomechanics and the Recruitment & External Promotion Lead for the department.
Her primary research area is breast biomechanics and breast health. Jenny’s main research interests are in bra fitting; breast pain; the effect of breast support on performance and health during everyday and sporting activities; women’s health and functional breast support requirements for occupational and sports-specific groups. She runs industry-focused workshops on the science behind breasts and bras and leads research projects in conjunction with apparel companies in the area of breast health.

Andrea Carter

Assistant Dean Student Wellness, Support & Success in the Office of the Dean of Students at the University of Toronto Mississauga. 


The University of Toronto Mississauga is home to 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It employs over 10,000 staff and faculty. As assistant dean student wellness, support & success, Andrea oversees UTM’s Health and Counselling Centre, Accessibility Resource Centre (academic accommodations) and the Recreation Athletic Wellness Centre (including Varsity athletics and intermurals). She is also responsible for student behavioural issues under the Code of Student Conduct.

Andrea has worked in various roles at the University over the last 11 years, including Director of High Risk managing Crisis and Critical Incidents across all three campuses, Manager of the Community Safety Office and as an Equity Officer.

Andrea holds a Masters of Counselling Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and is currently pursuing her PhD. at the University of Toronto with a research focus on implementation of controversial policy in higher education. She is a proud alumna of UTM, having completed her undergraduate degree here.

Andrea was recognised as an Emerging Leader, in 2016, having been awarded with the Chancellor’s Award for Emerging Leaders. Andrea is a respected figure on issues of crisis management and student wellness, and a frequently-sought speaker by a variety of institutions, including the University of Oxford.

Donna Duffy

Donna Duffy

Programme Director, Center for Women’s Health and Wellness, and Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology at UNC Greensboro. Co-Director of the Female BRAIN Project.
Donna earned her B.S. and Ed.M from Boston University and her Ph.D. from UNC Greensboro. Currently, Donna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and the Director for the Program for the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity in the Center for Women's Health and Wellness at UNC Greensboro.

Donna's professional efforts centre on her area of research, which is steeped in the behavioural and mechanistic outcomes of head injuries among female athletes. Donna is the Co-PI on the Female BRAIN Project at UNCG and is the PI on the True Baseline Project, both of which are focused on girls, women, sport participation and concussive experiences. Donna also serves on the YWCA World Service Council and is on the Board of Advisors for the Women's GridIron Foundation and the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, as well as a member of the Professional Advisory Board for PINK Concussions.

Dr Jacky Forsyth, Conference Organiser

Exercise Physiologist, Staffordshire University

Jacky Forsyth is a senior lecturer in exercise physiology at Staffordshire University. Her research is in the area of women’s exercise and health. She is particularly interested in how ovarian hormones work to improve a woman’s health, fitness and sports performance, and also how exercise can affect a woman’s hormonal status. She completed her PhD at Liverpool John Moores University with Professor Tom Reilly, studying the effects of menstrual cycle and circadian rhythms on exercise performance. Since then, she has carried out research on the interactive effect of ovarian hormones and bone health, menstrual cycle, fat oxidation, and post-natal depression.

Jacky is this year’s conference organiser. She co-founded the Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network (WISEAN), the purpose of which is to grow, strengthen and promote research on women in sport and exercise, with the ultimate goal of optimising women’s athletic success and participation. She is passionate about encouraging more research on women in sport and exercise, and to promote a better understanding of the physiological factors affecting women’s exercise and sports performance.


Jenni Jones

Jenni Jones, MSc MBPsS

Performance Psychologist and Doctoral Researcher


Jenni is currently based at Staffordshire University where she is mid-way through her PhD research. Jenni's specific research interest centre on the use of effective psychological interventions that promote psychological wellbeing and an effective management of stress while performing. Aside from her PhD work Jenni is also a private consultant to a range of individuals and teams and has worked within the police force, with elite athletes and performing artists. Jenni also enjoys assisting on the University's MSc in sport and exercise psychology.  

Dr Nicola Keay BA, MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, MRCP

After studying medicine at Cambridge, I was motivated to apply this understanding to sport & dance. My clinical attachments include sports medicine clinics in Australia (Sydney, Olympic Medical Centre Melbourne, AIS) and University of Geneva. After passing MRCP I trained in Endocrinology gaining extensive clinical and research experience. As a Research Fellow at St Thomas’ Hospital I was part of the international medical team developing a test for GH doping in athletes. With sport medicine grants, I also researched training effects on the Endocrine system which resulted in research publications in Sports Endocrinology.


image of Kate Nicholson by Catherine Giles

Kate Nicholson

Head of Insight and Innovation, Women in Sport


Kate joined Women in Sport in August 2017 as Head of Insight and Innovation, bringing over 25 years of experience in research, behaviour change and strategy development to the charity. Prior to that, Kate held senior roles at Unilever, Kimberly-Clark and latterly Twinings, where she headed up the insight and strategy function for their international markets.

An enthusiastic netball player and coach, sport has always been a passion for Kate and this role at Women in Sport fulfils her ambition to enrich the lives of women and girls through sport.

Kate Nicholson photo credit Catherine Giles

Dr Leanne Norman

Reader, Leeds Beckett University

Leanne is an internationally recognised researcher for her research and writing within the area of gender equality and issues of diversity related to sports coaching, sports leadership, and organisations. Her work is driven towards improving the participation, performance, and leadership pathways for diverse social groups, principally, different groups of women. Leanne has written for academic and practitioner textbooks, written educational resources for coaches, and has published widely in academic journals related to sport and social issues. She has led national and international research projects as well as acted as academic expert and consultant for research funded by sport councils, governing bodies, and charities. Leanne utilises such research as the evidence for impactful outreach activities including leading the delivery of programmes towards supporting women to enhance their experience of sports coaching as a credible and valuable profession, as well as working with organisations to support them towards creating a diverse leadership and coaching workforce.

Dr Claire-Marie Roberts

Co-Programme Leader MSc Sport & Exercise Psychology
Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology
University of the West of England (Bristol)

Claire-Marie is the Co-Programme Leader for the MSc Sport & Exercise Psychology and a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology. In addition to her academic role, she works with national governing bodies of sport, professional sports teams, individual athletes, their parents, coaches and sport scientists. She has helped prepare a number of athletes and teams for international competitions including the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games. Her role as a British Olympic Association Psychologist at the London 2012 Olympics was to date, her career highlight.

Her experiences of working with athletes reflect her research interests that include athlete development and career transitions in elite sport. She specialises in working with elite adolescent athletes and their parents, and is one of the U.K.'s first sport psychology specialists in supporting athletes with vocal cord dysfunction (VCD).
Claire-Marie is currently a non-executive board director of UK Anti-Doping, founder of the Women in Sport Academic Network (WISEAN), a member of the Women in Sport Research Action Group, External Examiner for the Premier League's Elite Coach Accreditation Scheme (ECAS), a TASS Registered Psychologist and STEM Ambassador.

Dr Ralph Smith

Specialist Registrar in Sport and Exercise, Oxford.  Physical Activity and Pregnancy Study, University of Oxford


Ralph Smith is a final year specialist registrar in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. He obtained a Master of Science in Sport Medicine, Exercise and Health from University College London in 2011 and went onto complete his General Practice training in Reading. In 2014, he entered the specialist training programme. He has a range of experience in musculoskeletal medicine, elite sport, population health and exercise medicine.

He has been extensively involved in the formation of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer’s commissioned infographic entitled 'Physical Activity for Pregnant Women', from the initial scoping reviews to the final design. The infographic aims to provide clarity and consistency to equip Health Professionals to deliver evidence-based recommendations to enhance antenatal care, thus allowing women the confidence to experience the benefits of being active throughout their pregnancy.

Annie Rogan

BA Coaching and Sports Development, Staffordshire University, Sport and Exercise Support & Conference Organiser

Annie graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Coaching and Sports Development in 2017 from Staffordshire University.

After spending the last 3 summers as a lifeguard and hockey coach at an American Summer Camp she decided to start pursuing a career in Education. She began volunteering in an international school in Spain before coming back to the UK to experience HE through an internship with Jacky Forsyth.

Annie has been supporting Jacky in the organisation of the conference since January and feels it has been an insightful and beneficial experience to put towards her future career, whatever it may be. Annie plans to work in Australia later this year to pursue her love for sport and teaching as a coach, teacher and boarding house supervisor at a private school.