Zoe Saynor

From: Holywell, Flintshire, North Wales

BSc Sport Science (1st Class with Honours), 2009
MSc Exercise Rehabilitation (with Distinction), 2010
PhD Sport and Health Sciences, 2015

Current Employer: I am currently a Lecturer in Physical Activity, Exercise and Health within the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth.  I also have honorary research contracts to conduct clinical exercise physiology research at the Southampton General Hospital (Respiratory) and Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth (endocrinology).

Job title: Lecturer in Physical Activity, Exercise and Health

Current Duties: I am currently a Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. My primary areas of teaching are within the areas of physical activity, exercise and health; clinical exercise physiology; and exercise and gym instruction. My current research interests focus largely on physical activity and exercise interventions in patients with chronic disease and how these impact both physical and psychosocial health; the influence of exercise in the cold and overweight/obesity on respiratory function; and exercise (dys) function in chronically diseased individuals. 

Story so far:

I graduated from the BSc in Sports Science at Bangor in 2009 and then the MSc in Exercise Rehabilitation in 2010. I then moved the University of Exeter to begin and PhD (with Graduate Teaching Assistant Scholarship) within the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Hospital. My PhD focused on the assessment and interpretation of aerobic exercise function in young patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). My initial research focused on enhancing clinical exercise testing for young people with CF. My ongoing research now focuses on cardiopulmonary and oxidative muscle metabolic responses of this patient group using techniques such as oxygen uptake kinetics to assess the limitation to exercise within this patient group. Prior to my current appointment, I was lucky enough to be appointed as an Associate Lecturer within Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of Exeter for 9 months, whilst also working on research related to my PhD. The key aim of most of my clinical research is to enhance our understanding of what limits patients during exercise, in order to inform for effective training interventions to improve function and quality of life. When I am not working, I can be found playing rugby both within the English Women’s Premiership and am a member of the England Women’s Elite Rugby Squad.

What I miss most about Bangor...

The thing I miss most and what attracted me to Bangor in the first place is the phenomenal view of the Menai Straits from the physiological laboratories and the lecture theatre – PRICELESS! I also miss how it is acceptable to never wear proper shoes, irrelevant of the weather conditions. 

My time at Bangor...

....was incredible. Being able to ‘learn my trade’ in such a relaxed, yet driven, environment made for a fun and challenging 4 years of study. I made friends for life, and learnt the key skills necessary to take me to the next level. I also first picked up a rugby ball during my latter years of study at SSHES and will always be grateful for the discussions in main bar that I should stop playing hockey and give rugby a go.

Anything else you would like to share about your time in SSHES…

SSHES provided me with a solid foundation to pursue my chosen career. The passion of the lecturers I worked closely with, particularly during my MSc, challenged me whilst driving me to succeed in a relaxed environment. I recommend the MSc programme to anyone looking to break into the clinical exercise physiology/exercise rehabilitation field here in the UK. This programme provided me with necessary clinical experience and qualifications, alongside solid theoretical grounding and mentorship from world-renowned researchers in this field.