Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to peek someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Interaction between exercise and air pollution.
Great Supervisor Week Mentions
I can't let #greatsupervisor week @UBC pass without mentioning @UBCKin's @EnvPhysioLab. I can't thank Dr. Koehle enough!
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Mar 2019)
No abstract available.
No abstract available.
High-altitude (and simulated high-altitude) environments can be extraordinarily stressful for low-altitude organisms because of the reduced oxygen availability (i.e. hypoxia). Humans, who live primarily at low altitude, can adjust physiologically (i.e., acclimatise or acclimate) to hypoxic environments; however, the human acclimatisation response to hypoxia is highly variable, evident from the differential susceptibility to acute altitude illnesses, such as acute mountain sickness (AMS). For my dissertation, I attempted to identify some of the physiological, genetic, and epidemiological variables that could explain the variation in hypoxia tolerance. I conducted (i) two studies using a normobaric hypoxia chamber at the University of British Columbia; (ii) two field studies in a mountainous region of the Nepalese Himalaya; and (iii) two meta-anaylyses. The most important findings of my dissertation are that (i) oxygen saturation (SPO₂) and heart rate (HR) were not strong markers of AMS susceptibility in laboratory or field settings; (ii) a low fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) was associated with increased susceptibility to AMS in the laboratory but not in the field; (iii) physiological responses (FENO, SPO₂, HR, blood pressure) to hypoxia were repeatable on two normobaric hypoxia exposures; (iv) AMS severity was lower on the second of two identical normobaric hypoxia exposures (but headache severity was similar); (v) in a large Nepalese sample, age, sex, ascent rate, and preventative strategies were associated with AMS susceptibility; (vi) the severity of AMS was similar in brothers; (vii) there were biogeographical differences in AMS susceptibility in the Nepalese sample; (viii) polymorphisms of the FAM149A gene were associated with AMS severity; (ix) AMS history was a poor predictor of future AMS outcomes; and (x) sleep quality was weakly related to other AMS symptoms. In conclusion, this dissertation demonstates that the measured physiological variables (FENO, SPO₂, HR, blood pressure) were not associated with AMS status, that a genetic basis to the variation in AMS susceptibility is likely, and that the Lake Louise Score definition of AMS should be amended. Our understanding of acute altitude tolerance in humans may be aided by the redefinition of AMS.
Master's Student Supervision (2010-2017)
To our knowledge, no study has used an assessment of ataxia and a finger-tapping task on a mobile device to monitor acclimatization to hypoxia. This research evaluated the utility of this tool in assessing human acclimatization to hypoxia while monitoring the development of acute mountain sickness (AMS). This study used a single-blinded repeated-measures randomized crossover design. Subjects experienced a familiarization trial at a simulated altitude of 2000m, a high altitude simulating 4200m and a sham condition simulating 250m. Measurements of AMS, pulse oxygen saturation and performance of the finger-tapping task were completed immediately prior to, and 5 minutes, 4 hours, and 12 hours following entrance to the chamber. Fifteen healthy male and female subjects were recruited form the Vancouver area. Subjects were between the ages of 19 and 25 years old. Subjects had not traveled to an altitude of 3000m or higher in the 3 months prior to testing. Subjects were excluded if they had any cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions. A repeated-measures ANOVA was performed to analyze if significant results were found for reaction time and accuracy of the finger-tapping task. Accuracy of the finger-tapping task worsened over the exposure to hypoxia, however, error rate and response time were not affected based on this simulated altitude alone. All other measures, including symptom questionnaires and pulse oxygen saturation suggest that these subjects had normal responses to altitude. Based on these findings, it appears that these finger-tapping tasks that focus on measures may be useful while monitoring acclimatization to hypoxia.
No abstract available.
Running-related injuries (RRIs) have been attributed to a number of factors, but there is no consensus in the current literature as to whether sex is a risk factor for RRIs, or if risk factors for running-related pain differ by sex. It has been suggested that due to differences in anatomy and biomechanics, males and females have their own RRI risk profiles; several variables may need to be taken into consideration when assessing sex as a risk factor for RRIs and running-related pain.Purpose: The proposed study represented the first two phases of a three-tiered epidemiological project. The purpose of Phase I was to determine whether there were significant differences in site-specific running-related injuries/pain between males and females training for a 10-km race; a statistical model was then created in the second phase to determine what explains running-related pain in the lower extremity by sex, for runners preparing for a 10-km race.Methods: 114 recreational runners (46 males [37.9 ± 9.8 years; 75.46 ± 9.55 kg; 1.75 ± 0.08 m] and 68 females [32.60 ± 8.70 years; 63.47 ± 9.96 kg; 1.66 ± 0.06 m]) took part in a prospective cohort design of a gradual 12-week training program, and a comprehensive baseline assessment was recorded for each participant. Weekly online surveys were administered to monitor whether subjects experienced an RRI. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was administered to record pain scores at 11 relevant anatomical locations in the lower limb and the whole body, at baseline and during Weeks 4, 8, and 12 of the program. Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI) pain scores were also measured at these time points.Results: Sex was not a significant factor in the onset of location-specific, running-related pain in the VAS sites, but significant main effects of sex were found for the FADI. Males and females had different explanatory variables for each of the VAS and FADI sites.Conclusions: The causes of running-related pain in the individual anatomical regions varied by sex, which suggests that running-related pain may be decreased by addressing sex-specific risk factors.
Kettlebell lifting continues to gain popularity as a strength and conditioning training tool and as a sport in and of itself (Girevoy Sport). Although the swing to chest-level and several multi-movement protocols have been analyzed, little research has attempted to quantify the aerobic stimulus of individual kettlebell movements, which would best inform kettlebell-related exercise prescription. The purpose of this study was to quantify the cardiopulmonary demand, assessed by oxygen consumption (V̇O₂) and heart rate (HR), of continuous high-intensity kettlebell snatches under conditions that consider Girevoy Sport, and to compare this demand to a more traditional graded rowing exercise test. Ten male participants (age = 28.4 ± 4.6 years, height = 185 ± 7 cm, body mass = 95.1 ± 14.9 kg) completed (1) a graded rowing exercise test to determine maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O₂max) and maximal heart rate (HRmax) and (2) a graded kettlebell snatch exercise test with a 16-kg kettlebell to determine peak oxygen consumption (V̇O₂peak) and peak heart rate (HRpeak) during this activity. Subjects achieved a V̇O₂max of 45.7 ± 6.9 ml·kg-¹·min-¹ and an HRmax of 177 ± 6.9 beats per minute (bpm). The kettlebell snatch test produced a V̇O₂peak of 37.3 ± 5.2 ml·kg-¹·min-¹ (82.1 ± 7.4% V̇O₂max) and a heart rate of 173 ± 8 beats per minute (97.3 ± 4.8% HRmax). These findings suggest that continuous high-intensity kettlebell snatches with 16-kg are likely provide an adequate aerobic stimulus to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in those whose V̇O₂max is ≤ 51 ml·kg-¹·min-¹ and those who are moderately trained and lower, according to recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine.
We examined the control of breathing, cardio-respiratory effects and the prevalence of acute mountain sickness (AMS) in humans exposed to hypobaric hypoxia (HH), normobaric hypoxia (NH), and under two control conditions (hypobaric normoxia and normobaric normoxia). Subjects (n = 11) were familiarised with all tests prior to their first exposures. The order of conditions was randomized, each exposure lasted for 6 hours, and consecutive exposures were separated by a one-week washout period. Prior to and following exposures, subjects underwent hyperoxic and hypoxic Duffin rebreathing tests, measuring CO₂ threshold and sensitivity, and a hypoxic ventilatory response test (HVR), measuring sensitivity to O₂. Inside the environmental chamber, minute ventilation (VE), tidal volume (VT), frequency of breathing (fB), blood oxygenation (SPO₂), heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) were measured at 5min, 30min and hourly until exit. Symptoms of AMS were evaluated hourly using the Lake Louise score (LLS). Both the hyperoxic and hypoxic CO₂ thresholds were lowered after HH and NH during the Duffin rebreathing test. Hypoxic sensitivity in the Duffin rebreathing test was only increased after HH exposure. No changes occurred in the HVR after any of the four exposures. Ventilatory parameters, SPO₂ and HR were higher in the hypoxic exposures as opposed to the normoxic exposures. No major differences were observed for VE or any other cardio-respiratory variables between NH than HH. The LLS was greater in AMS-susceptible than in AMS-resistant subjects, but LLS was similar in HH and NH. We conclude that 6 hours of hypoxic exposure is sufficient to lower the peripheral and central CO₂ threshold, but it is too short in duration to induce differences in cardio-respiratory variables between HH and NH or to create differences in AMS severity.
Introduction: High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) is caused by hypoxic vasoconstriction, leading to increased pulmonary artery pressure (PPA). Increased PPA results in extravasation of fluid from the pulmonary capillaries to the interstitial space and inhibition of gas exchange. Immersion pulmonary edema (IPE) is likely the result of increased hydrostatic pressure due to water immersion combined with cold and physical exertion, further elevating PPA. During maximal exercise, some humans develop pulmonary edema independent of hypoxia or immersion; this is a possible cause of exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia (EIAH). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to 1) investigate the common mechanisms that are responsible for the development of HAPE, IPE, and EIAH; and 2) investigate the factors that determine an individual’s susceptibility to HAPE/IPE. Hypotheses: We hypothesize that 1) individuals susceptible to HAPE/IPE will develop increased extravascular lung water (EVLW) following exercise; and 2) these changes will not occur in HAPE/IPE-resistant controls. Methods: This study included 9 healthy fit participants who previously experienced HAPE or IPE. Participants performed a 45-minute maximal exercise task on a cycle ergometer. A matched control group of 9 participants with experience at altitude or immersion and no history of HAPE/IPE also performed the task. Diffusion capacity of CO (DLco) was measured before and after exercise. Computed tomography was used to confirm EVLW following exercise. Results: Both groups showed a significant reduction in lung density post-exercise (p=0.013). Participants susceptible to HAPE/IPE had a significantly lower density compared to resistant participants (p=0.037). DLco decreased significantly after exercise (p