Elise Facer-Childs

Elise Facer-Childs

School of Biosciences

Contact details

School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

PhD Title: Investigating the link between brain structure and function, sleep patterns, genetics, physiology and performance

Supervisors: Dr Andy Bagshaw, Dr Jim Reynolds, Dr Chris Thomas

Elise Facer-Childs is currently a Doctoral Researcher working at the University of Birmingham on sleep, circadian rhythms and neuroimaging.  She works with human participants to uncover the impact that our body clocks can have on brain structure and function, genetics, physiology and performance.

Elise has presented her research at an International Conference for the European Biological Rhythms Society (EBRS)/World Chronobiology Congress (WCC) and has given presentations at the UK’s largest circadian conferences (UK Clock Club).  On top of this, Elise is first author on a two scientific papers, one of which is published in a top journal; Current Biology (January 2015).


  • MSci (Hons) – The University of Birmingham 2013
  • PhD – The University of Warwick, The University of Leicester and The University of Birmingham (in progress)
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Transferable Skills (PGCARMS) qualification (in progress)


After completing a fascinating three years of her degree in Human Biology Elise went on to do a Masters in Chronobiology at the University of Birmingham qualifying as top of her class.

She is now extending her knowledge so that she can contribute to our understanding of the circadian body clock and enhancing performance by completing her PhD between The University of Warwick, The University of Leicester and The University of Birmingham funded by BBSRC.


“I see science as discovering and exploring how the physical world works. As soon as I began to learn about 'the body clock' and discovered more about the complex molecular clock mechanisms and how circadian rhythms govern our everyday activity, I knew this was the area I wanted to go on to specialise in.

I currently work as a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Birmingham with Dr Andy Bagshaw between the School of Psychology and the School of Biosciences.  We study how individual differences in sleep and behavioural patterns can impact our brain structure and function, physiology and performance.

Other activities

  • Co-chair for the Biosciences postgraduate student staff committee (PG-SSC) – Sept 2014 to Sept 2015
  • PG-SSC co-chair representative for the Bioscience Graduate Research Committee (BGRC) – Sept 2014 to Sept 2015
  • MIBTP representative on the committee for the Graduate School Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Research Methods and Skills (PGCARMS SSLC)
  • Representative for the Postgraduate Research Committee (PGRC) for the College of Life Sciences (Psychology, Sport and Exercise Sciences and Biosciences) – Sept 2014 to Sept 2015
  • Member of the interview panel for BBSRC funded PhD scheme the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) – Sept 2014 to Sept 2015
  • College PGR Representative on the College Education Committee (CEC) - October 2014 to ongoing
  • College PGR Representative on the College Programme Approval and Rejection Committee (CPARC) - October 2014 to ongoing
  • College PGR Representative on the Graduate School Management Board (GSMB) – November 2015 to ongoing


Facer-Childs and Brandstaetter, The Impact of Circadian Phenotype and Time since Awakening on Diurnal Performance in Athletes, Current Biology (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.036 Current Biology 25, 1–5, February 16, 2015 ª2015 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved

 Facer-Childs, E. R., & Brandstaetter, R. (2015). Circadian phenotype composition is a major predictor of diurnal physical performance in teams. Frontiers in Neurology, 6. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2015.00208