ISEAL staff

Victoria University has consolidated its research activity.

From 2018 research of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living is located within the Institute for Sport, Health & Active Living.

Our leadership team manage and oversee the five research foci:

  • Enhancing Sport Performance
  • Building Sport Capability
  • Sport for Inclusive Communities
  • Movement for Healthy Communities
  • Movement for Chronic Disease.

Our research associates and postdoctoral fellows support the Institute's direction and goals through research and engagement activities.

In 'ISEAL staff':

ISEAL Leadership team

Professor Michael McKenna

Director, ISEAL

Professor McKenna is Director, ISEAL

Professor Michael McKenna has been Director of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) since 2013. He was Research Director of ISEAL from 2010 - 2013.

Michael is a Professor in Exercise & Muscle Physiology, with an internationally recognised research background in integrative human exercise physiology. He is a world-leader in skeletal muscle sodium/potassium-pump and potassium regulation in exercise, with implications for muscle fatigue, function and adaptability.

He was the inaugural Chair of the international research interest group MyoNaK, potassium and sodium regulation in heart and skeletal muscle. He is active in the Australian Physiology Society.



Professor Damian Farrow

Research Foci Leader - Enhancing Sport Performance

Professor Damian Farrow

Professor Damian Farrow is an expert on understanding the factors critical to sport expertise and talent/skill development. He's held a joint professional appointment between VU and the Australian Institute of Sport since 2010.

Damian is the ISEAL Research Focus Leader for Enhancing Sport Performance. He conducts applied research and provides service to a range of national sports organisations focused on the development of athlete skill and coach education.

Damian manages partnerships that produce research outcomes that strongly influence best practice in sport. Partnerships include:

  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • Australian Sports Commission
  • Tennis Australia
  • Western Bulldogs
  • Swimming Australia. 

Professor Elisabeth Wilson-Evered

Research Foci Leader - Building Sport Capability

Professor Elisabeth Wilson-Evered

Professor Elisabeth Wilson-Evered is an expert on innovation, integrity and performance of organisations from the perspective of the behaviour of leaders, teams, individuals and systems.

She plays a key role in teaching sport leadership ethics and integrity as well as sport and health entrepreneurship focussing building the capability and wellbeing of communities.

Her research adopts a multi-disciplinary organisational behaviour approach to assess the predictors of performance and other outcomes.

Her research focus is on translation to inform organisational design considerations to create innovative, flexible, resilient and ethical sport and health organisations of all shapes and sizes.

Professor Ramon Spaaij

Professor Ramón Spaaij

Research Foci Leader - Sport for Inclusive Communities

Associate Professor Ramón Spaaij is an expert in the sociology of sport and physical activity.

His research focuses on socio-cultural aspects and impacts of sport, with a particular focus of questions of diversity, social cohesion, conflict and social change.

He also holds a Special Chair in Sociology of Sport at the University of Amsterdam.

He is convenor of the Sport Thematic Group in The Australian Sociological Association.



Dr Melinda Craike

Research Foci Leader - Movement for Healthy Communities

Dr Melinda Craike

Dr Melinda Craike is an expert in physical activity and health, with a particular focus on physical activity behaviour change. She takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the determinants and outcomes of participation in physical activity in healthy and clinical populations.

Melinda has extensive experience in research translation and has partnered with government, the health care sector, and community organisations to improve health outcomes.

Melinda has provided substantial leadership in the strategy and directions of the Physical Activity Program of the Growing Brimbank initiative, a long term, place-based initiative in the West of Melbourne, which aims to lift the health and education outcomes in this disadvantaged community.


Professor Glenn McConell

Research Foci Leader - Movement for Chronic Disease

Professor Glenn McConell

Professor Glenn McConell is an expert on the effect of exercise on glucose metabolism.

His research has focused on the regulation of skeletal muscle glucose uptake during exercise, and more recently, on how acute exercise increases skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. After several years examining AMP kinase in this regard, his more recent research has shown a more important role of nitric oxide in skeletal muscle glucose uptake both during and after acute exercise.

His laboratory has also shown that exercise early in life can overcome the negative metabolic effects of being born small for gestational age or having an obese father. He is a world leader in these fields.

A recent interest has been examination of the effect of shift work on insulin sensitivity and whether exercise can overcome the insulin resistance observed in shift workers.

His studies involve humans (tracer methodologies, femoral artery-vein measurements as well as skeletal muscle biopsies), cell culture, rats and genetically modified mice (ex vivo muscle studies, mouse treadmill, rat treadmill).

His research has implications for increasing our understanding of diabetes given people with type 2 diabetes have reduced insulin-stimulated skeletal muscle glucose uptake but normal responses to exercise.

Associate Professor Nigel Stepto

Associate Professor Nigel Stepto

Director of Research Training

Associate Professor Stepto contributes to undergraduate teaching in the Exercise Science and Clinical Exercise Science Streams and the Clinical exercise science master’s program. He supervises honours, masters (minor thesis) and PhD students in his area of research expertise.

His current research focus is on the role of exercise on health outcomes in people with chronic disease.

This includes investigating:

  • the role of exercise in the treatment and management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • clinical exercise models of care for women (ActiV4her©)
  • the role of high intensity intermittent training (HIIT)
  • molecular mechanisms responsible for training adaptations in health and disease.


Associate Professor Camilla Brockett

Associate Professor Camilla Brockett

Head of ISEAL Consult

Associate Professor Camilla Brockett is an expert in sport strategy and system development for high performance sport.

As the head of ISEAL Consult, VU’s sport research consultancy program, Camilla provides domestic and international partners with translational research solutions to real-world industry challenges in collaboration with VU experts in sport science, technology, pedagogy and management.

Camilla’s research portfolio includes sport development and sporting excellence projects for the Australian and Victorian governments, the Australian Institute of Sport, and governments of India. 


Associate Professor Robert Aughey

Associate Professor Robert Aughey

Director of Research

Associate Professor Robert Aughey is the Director of Research and a senior lecturer in sports physiology. He is an authority on the physiology of altitude training, team sports, especially Australian football, is an experienced media commentator and has appeared in various print, radio and television outlets. He undertakes research into all aspects of the physiology of team sports including Australian Football, including:

  • altitude exposure
  • optimising warm-ups
  • measuring physical performance in matches through the application of micro-technology
  • the effect of heat on player performance
  • enhanced recovery practices
  • measuring fatigue during and after matches, and
  • supplement interventions.

Dr Cedric Lamboley

Dr Cedric Lamboley

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Cedric Lamboley Joined Victoria University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in November 2009.

Dr Lamboley has an intimate knowledge of the very powerful and advanced “mechanically skinned muscle fibre” technique. He then developed this technique for the first time in human muscle. His research project involves performing both comprehensive physiological examinations (skinned muscle fibre technique) and multiple biochemical analysis (western blotting procedures) on single segments of individual fresh muscle cells, obtained from muscle biopsies of human subjects.

To date, his work involves gaining an understanding of how human muscle normally functions so as to try and elucidate what changes or factors contribute to various forms of muscle weakness with ageing, inactivity or various chronic diseases.

James Brandner

James Brandner

ISEAL HDR Representative

James' experience in the employee health sector influenced his decision to undertake a PhD. His research commenced in 2014 and aims to develop strategies to increase employee participation levels in corporate gyms and fitness programs. James uses mixed methods to guide his research, which not only provides an in-depth understanding of the operation of employee fitness, but also assists in the measurement key behaviour variables. 

Additionally, James works as a research assistant. The role is to assess the impact of community-based physical activity programs and to provide recommendations for future initiatives. James also teaches into a variety of sport and active recreation Units such as Sport Marketing, Sport Sponsorship, and Sustainability in Sport and Active Recreation.