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Jim-Cotter BSc, BPhEd, MPhEd, PhD
Tel +64 3 479 9109


Jim Cotter is a Professor at the School of Physical Education (Lecturer 2001-6). Jim obtained his BSc (1987, Physiology), BPhEd (1988, Distinction) and MPhEd (1992, Distinction) at Otago before heading to Australia to complete a PhD in Environmental Physiology at the University of Wollongong (1998). Following a lectureship there in 1997, he worked as a Research Scientist in the Australian Defence Science & Technology Organisation for three years (1998-2001), investigating human tolerance and adaptation under adverse ergonomic and environmental conditions. Now at The University of Otago, he researches, teaches and provides service in these fields in both health and performance contexts.


SPEX102 Principles of Exercise for Health and Performance
SPEX203 Exercise Physiology
SPEX303 Exercise Energetics and Physiology


Jim has three interrelated research interests

  1. Which exercise stressors are important for health- and performance-related fitness adaptations; especially the separate and interactive roles and dose:response relations of different forms of stress (e.g., heat, hypoxia, hypohydration).
  2. Such stressors are also environmental stressors, so to what extent can stressful environments supplement or replace those of exercise conditioning.
  3. Thermoregulatory, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular control and determinants of tolerance under heat, hydrative or orthostatic stress, and subsequently the effects of physical and physiological strategies to reduce physiological strain and maximise tolerance.

Techniques used in the projects include measurement of body temperature, on-line sweat rate and composition, perfusion of the whole-body, brain and isolated limbs, blood volume and composition, respiratory function, perceived status, work performance, blood glucose, and plasma concentrations of cytokines, fluid-regulatory and stress hormones and oxidative stress markers. Funding for projects has been obtained from Lottery Health NZ, IOC Medical Commission, ITU, FINA, NZ Academy of Sport, SPARC, Otago Medical Research Foundation, NZ Rugby Union, Otago University, and industry.

Postgraduate Students

Current Students

  • Travis Gibbons (PhD)
  • Jamie Prout (PhD)
  • Leena Shoemaker (PhD)
  • Brendon Roxburgh (PhD)
  • Tom de Hamel (MSc)
  • Ben Smith (MSc)


  • Carl Bradford (PhD)
  • Robert Creasy (PhD)
  • Kesava Sampath (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Matthew Shallcrass (MPhE)
  • Lorenz Kissling (MPhEd)
  • Ashley Akerman (PhD)
  • Kate Thomas (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Carissa Murrell (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Luke Wilson (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Rebekah Lucas (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Samuel Lucas (PhD)
  • Stacy Sims (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Shawnda Morrison (PhD)
  • Brad Wilsmore (PhD – co-supervisor)
  • Andrew Garrett (PhD)
  • Antony Stadnyk (MPhEd)
  • Ali Davies (MPhEd)
  • Ryan Sixtus (MPhEd)
  • Brett       Harris (MPhEd –co-supervisor)
  • Terrence Hill (MPhEd –co-supervisor)
  • Michael Dessoulavy (MPhEd –co-supervisor)
  • Monique Francois (MPhEd)
  • Matthew Graham (MPhEd)
  • Evelyn Parr (MPhEd –co-supervisor)
  • Braid MacRae (MPhEd –co-supervisor)
  • Craig Harrison (MPhEd)
  • Olivia MacLaren (MPhEd)
  • Hayley Guiney (MSc – co-supervisor)
  • Julian       Fan (MSc – co-supervisor)
  • Linda Groenewegen (MSc – co-supervisor)
  • Marc       Levine (MSc – co-supervisor)
  • Guy Scoon (MSc – co-supervisor)


Hawley, J. A., Lundby, C., Cotter, J. D., & Burke, L. M. (2018). Maximizing cellular adaptation to endurance exercise in skeletal muscle. Cell Metabolism, 27(5), 962-976. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.014

Akerman, A. P., Lucas, S. J. E., Katare, R., & Cotter, J. D. (2017). Heat and dehydration additively enhance cardiovascular outcomes following orthostatically-stressful calisthenics exercise. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 756. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00756

Lucas, R. A. I., Wilson, L. C., Ainslie, P. N., Fan, J. L., Thomas, K. N., & Cotter, J. D. (2018). Independent and interactive effects of incremental heat strain, orthostatic stress, and mild hypohydration on cerebral perfusion. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative & Comparative Physiology, 314(3), R415-R426. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00109.2017

Francois, M. E., Graham, M. J., Parr, E. B., Rehrer, N. J., Lucas, S. J. E., Stavrianeas, S., & Cotter, J. D. (2017). Similar metabolic response to lower- versus upper-body interval exercise or endurance exercise. Metabolism, 68, 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2016.11.009

Lei, T.-H., Stannard, S. R., Perry, B. G., Schlader, Z. J., Cotter, J. D., & Mündel, T. (2017). Influence of menstrual phase and arid vs. humid heat stress on autonomic and behavioural thermoregulation during exercise in trained but unacclimated women. Journal of Physiology, 595(9), 2823-2837. doi: 10.1113/jp273176

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