Heather Massey

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Cold water immersion, cold water swimming, thermal physiology, thermoregulation in ectodermal dysplasia

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Personal profile


I joined the University of Portsmouth in October 2007 as a PhD student, having previously completed my BSc and MSc at Loughborough University. I have recently been appointed as a lecturer within the department having spent two and a half years as a postdoctoral researcher in the Extreme Environments Laboratory. During this time I undertook a range of projects for commercial companies and charities ranging from thermal comfort of footwear to testing lifejacket retention systems on lifejackets. My research interests are within Thermal and Altitude Physiology and Medicine. Before arriving at Portsmouth I worked in the Environmental Medicine Unit at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) for 5 years. I was involved in a wide variety of applied physiological projects at INM. My main role was to provide physiological research support to the Royal Navy’s fitness testing programme, and teaching Navy Physical training Instructors, and I also contributed to a number of projects researching cooling devices and heat acclimation. I am a postgraduate member of the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences (BASES), an accredited BASES Physiologist (Sports Science Support), an affiliate member of the Physiology Society, and a level 1 ISAK accredited Anthropometrist. Outside of my research role, I am a keen open water swimmer.

Research Interests

My main research interests are in thermal, altitude and survival physiology. Recent projects include several commercial clothing projects, testing of retention systems for lifejackets and cooling rates during clothed swimming in cool water.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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