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Experts Guide - Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

This year sees the Commonwealth Games hosted in Birmingham. The University of Birmingham has a wealth of expertise that journalists can tap into on a range of subjects related to the 2022 Games. 

The guide below lists some of our academics available to provide expert comment. If you are interested in interviewing, or obtaining a quote from, any of the experts below, please contact our press office team on: or call +44 (0)7789 921165.




Team psychology - empowering through coaching


Professor Joan Duda

Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences



Professor Duda is a sport psychology consultant with expertise in motivation, impact of coach behaviours on athletes, mental skills training and mental toughness. Internationally known for work with athletes, coaches, instructors and those involved in the performing arts from grassroots and recreational through elite levels.

Perceptions of success 

Professor Sarah Beck

Reader in Cognitive Development

School of Psychology



Professor Beck is an expert in 'what might have been', disappointment and regret - for example, why silver medal winners can be less happy than bronze winners. 

Coaching success

Dr Alex Consterdine

Teaching Fellow in Sports Pedagogy

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr Consterdine is a lecturer in sports pedagogy. Her research interests concern the sociology of sport, focusing on power, culture and the coach-athlete relationship. Her latest work explores the training, education, and professional development of community sports coaches, related to imagery ability, imagery use, and responses to stress. 

Coaching success

Dr Sarah Williams

Lecturer in Sport Psychology and Coaching Science

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Williams is a sport and performance psychologist with an interest in using techniques to regulate stress and performance and coping under pressure. She is internationally known for her work in mental imagery to respond to stress and enhance performance and wellbeing. She has published over 40 papers.

Doping prevention/sporting ethics

Professor Maria Kavussanu

Professor in Sport & Exercise Psychology

School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences



Professor Kavussanu’s main research interest is fair play in sport. Some of the questions she seeks to answer are:

  • What leads some athletes to cheat and act aggressively toward other players?
  • What are the consequences of intrateam antisocial behaviour for the recipient?
  • Which psychosocial factors are associated with doping in sport?
  • Can psychological intervention reduce doping?

Exercise Psychology

Dr Neil Dallaway

Exercise Physiologist and Honorary Researcher

School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences 

Dr Dallaway’s expertise is in the brain’s regulation of endurance performance and mental fatigue - how this affects physical and mental performance and related strategies to improve performance.

High Performance: Group sport

Dr Barry Drust

Director of Graduate School of Sport & Professional Practice


Dr Drust is an expert in training planning and monitoring, evaluating the effectiveness of preparation strategies for elite players, attempts to develop a detailed understanding of the demands of intermittent exercise and identifying the importance of movement pattern as a determinant of the exercise response.

Nutrition and performance 

Dr Gareth Wallis

Associate Professor in Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition

School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr Wallis is a Sport Scientist with major interests in Nutrition. His research aims to find ways to use nutrition to optimise the performance and health of athletes.

Sports and youth mental health 

Dr Mary Quinton

Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Psychology

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr Quinton is interested in how positive youth development approaches in sport and community settings improve emotional regulation, social connectedness, and mental well-being in young people.  

Motivational support

Matt Cole

Teaching Fellow – Department of History

College of Arts & Law


Brought together a group of students to draw up biographical profiles of past Team England representatives as motivational material for their current athletes. A similar project worked well for Team GB preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. 

Extreme climates and physical performance

Dr Rebekah Lucas

Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Dr Rebekah Lucas is an integrative physiologist who is interested in how exercise and environmental medicine translates to clinical medicine and public health. Her research examines human tolerance and adaptation to physical and environmental stressors, with a particular focus on thermal vascular physiology.


Judith Coe

Teaching Fellow 

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Judith will be working for Team England as a Medical HQ Physiotherapist.


Mr Antonio Belli MD FRCS, FRCS (SN)

Professor of Trauma Neurosurgery

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

An expert in acute brain injury, Prof Belli’s research interests include the acute and long-term effects on individuals of traumatic brain injury (TBI) – particularly among sportspeople.


Valentina di Pietro

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing


Dr Di Pietro, a molecular neuroscientist, is an expert in traumatic brain injury and leading research on markers in biofluids to diagnose sport-related concussion.

Politics of sport and sport policy, Olympic legacy

Dr Shushu Chen

Lecturer in Sport Policy and Management

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences 

Dr Chen is a Lecturer in Sport Policy and Management. Her principal research interests include sport policy evaluation, and major events legacies studies (particularly in the areas of Olympic legacy evaluation). Her recent research projects examine the sport participation legacies of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and the Birmingham 2022 Games’ legacies.

Security / Counter-terrorism / drones 

Professor Dr David Dunn

Professor in International Politics 

School of Government and Society


Dr Dunn is an expert on security and counterterrorism with a particular research interest in the use of drones. 



Professor David Hannah

Director, Birmingham Institute of Sustainability & Climate Action (BISCA)

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

The University of Birmingham is leading and co-creating research to address the climate crisis and promote sustainability. Professor Hannah leads BISCA – which delivers world-leading, research on sustainability and fosters climate action, leading to better livelihoods and a more sustainable environment. He is UNESCO Chair in Water Sciences and on Reuters list of top 1000 most influential climate scientist. 


Professor Andrew Dove

School of Chemistry


Professor Dove is part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of academics working together to shape the sustainable future of plastics. As the most sustainable Commonwealth Games yet, Birmingham 2022 provides an opportunity to learn valuable sustainability lessons.

Commonwealth and colonialism

Manu Seghal
Lecturer in South Asian History
College of Arts & Law

Mo Moulton
Senior Lecturer in the History of Race and Empire
College of Arts & Law

The University of Birmingham has always been a global university. Manu Seghal and Mo Moulton are historians who explored the entangled histories of education and empire that our institution exemplifies.

Commonwealth culture

Professor Ewan Fernie MA, PhD

Chair of Shakespeare Studies and Fellow

Shakespeare Institute

Professor Fernie leads the Everything to Everybody project which features in a major exhibition opening on 22 July at the Library of Birmingham as part of the official Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme. The project revives, interrogates and seeks to update George Dawson’s 19th-century mission of establishing a ‘cultural commonwealth’ in Birmingham by building an extraordinarily rich, multicultural Shakespeare library for all citizens of the city.

History of Sport

Vanessa Heggie

Associate Professor in the History of Medicine & Science

Fellow of the Institute for Global Innovation University of Birmingham

Dr Heggie is a historian of modern science and medicine, with a particular interest in the history of sports medicine, health and exercise.