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Personal profile


I joined the University of Portsmouth from Surrey in 1998. In addition to my University positions, I was based at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) from 1983 to 2004 and was Consultant Head of the Environmental Medicine Division from 1996. I have spent 40 years working in the areas of thermoregulation, environmental and occupational physiology. Our team in the Extreme Environments Laboratory, in the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, examine the physiological, pathophysiological and psychological responses to adverse environments and the selection, preparation and protection of those who enter such environments. I have published over 750 scientific papers, reports, chapters and abstracts in these areas as well as the books, “The Essentials of Sea Survival” (Golden & Tipton, 2002) and “The Science of Beach Lifeguarding” (Tipton & Wooler, 2016). I have been a consultant in survival and thermal medicine to the Royal Air Force and UKSport; I completed 10 years on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Medical & Survival Committee and am now a member of the Council of the RNLI and Consultant advisor to the Medical Director. I am a member of the Ectodermal Dysplasia Society’s Medical Advisory Board and the ethics committee of Qinetiq.  I chaired UKSport’s Research Advisory Group and sat on the English Institute of Sports’ Research & Ethics Advisory Board. I chaired the Energy Institute’s Health Technical Committee and remain a member of that committee. I was a Trustee and Director of Surf Lifesaving GB for ten years up to 2022. I was Senior Editor of the journal “Extreme Physiology and Medicine” until 2016 and ended my six year stint as Editor-in-Chief of The Physiological Society’s journal “Experimental Physiology” in 2022.  I am a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Medicine and The Physiological Society and a Trustee of The Physiological Society. Awards: MBE for services to physiological research in extreme environments; Honorary Life Member of the International Association for Safety & Survival Training in recognition of our work in sea survival; Ireland Medal for saving lives from drowning worldwide; Life membership of Surf Lifesaving GB for services to surf lifesaving; HL Swiftwater Rescue (USA) Lifetime achievement award; Visiting Professor at Waterford Univerity and King's College, London. I provide advice to a range of universities, government departments, industries, medical, legal, search and rescue and media organisations.


Research Interests

The physiological, pathophysiological and psychological responses to adverse environments and the selection, preparation and protection of those who enter such environments.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development 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
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

External positions

Editor in Chief, Experimental Physiology, The Physiological Society

1 Oct 2016 → …

Project Reviewer European Commission Executive Agency, European Commission


Chairman EI HTC

2013 → …

English Institute's Technical Advisory Group

2013 → …

Co- Chair Surgeon General's NFCI Research Steering Group

2012 → …

Trustee/Director, Surf Life Saving GB

2012 → …

Diving Medical Advisory Committee: workshop on emergency decompression


Senior Editor Extreme Physiology & Medicine


Expert Panel for Fire & Resilience Directorate


Energy Institute Health Technical Committee

2009 → …

Chairman UKSport Research & Innovation Advisory Group


International Committee on Environmental Ergonomics

2008 → …

MCA Lifejacket Expert Panel

2008 → …

International Open Water Drowning Prevention Task Force


Medical Advisory Board SLSGB

2007 → …

RNLI Medical & Survival Committee

2006 → …

Medical Board of Ectodermal Dysplasia Society

2005 → …

Honorary Life Member International Association of Sea Survival Trainers

2004 → …

Consultant Advisor to RAF in survival medicine


Consultant to UKSport


Governor, Bay House School


Head of Institute of Naval Medicine's Environmental Medical Division


Defence Scientific Advisory Committtee


Honorary Lecturer, University of Leeds



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