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melanie_bussey_2011BPE(New Brunswick) MSc (New Brunswick) PhD (Otago)
Tel +64 3 479 8981
Twitter @bussey_melanie
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Melanie is an Associate Professor in Biomechanics and Director of the Motion Analysis Research Lab in the School. She is originally from the East Coast of Canada, where she studied Kinesiology and Athletic Therapy at the University of New Brunswick (BPE and MSc) before transplanting to New Zealand in pursuit of her PhD in Clinical Biomechanics. Recently she was appointed as an Adjunct Professor to the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Melanie's work has been funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Otago Medical Research Foundation, Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust, University of Otago, Sport Science New Zealand and the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada.



Melanie's research interests are focused on Sports Biomechanics, particularly the impact of musculoskeletal pain and injury on neuromuscular function. The long term goal of this work is to improve athlete re-conditioning for return-to-sport while reducing the risk of recurrent injury.

Postgraduate Students

  • Jim Webb (PhD): Associate Professor Melanie Bussey, Professor Stephanie Woodley
  • Corry Perrett (PhD): Dr Peter Lamb, Associate Professor Melanie Bussey
  • Janelle Romanchuk (PhD): Associate Professor Melanie Bussey, Dr Peter Lamb, Dr Cam Ross
  • William White (MSc): Associate Professor Melanie Bussey
  • Jayden Pinfold (MPhEd): Associate Professor Melanie Bussey, Professor John Sullivan
  • Eamon Riley (BSc Hons): Associate Professor Melanie Bussey

Completed Students

  • Daniela Aldabe (PhD Clinical Biomechanics)
  • Divya Adhia (PhD Clinical Biomechanics)
  • Marcelo Peduzzi de Castro (PhD – Deferred)
  • James Kennedy (MPhEd Clinical Biomechanics)
  • Joanne Trezise (MPhEd Sports Biomechanics – Professor Roger Bartlett Co-Supervisor)
  • Rhys Thorp (MPhEd Sports Biomechanics – Co-Supervisor)
  • Yu Tanabe (Tsukuba University Japan – Co-supervisor)

Melanie is currently seeking highly motivated graduate students who have an interest in one of the following topics: Mechanics and control of the pelvis (focus on pelvic floor and hamstring muscles) or Sports related concussion (impact mechanisms and neck muscle control/function). Please consult the University of Otago scholarships webpage to check eligibility for international and domestic student scholarships.

Visit the University of Otago scholarships webpage


Mirzaee, F., Button, C., Blakemore, R., & Bussey, M. (2023). Biomechanical effects of head and neck restraint systems for head/neck injury prevention in motorsports: A systematic review. Journal of Sport & Exercise Science, 7(4), (pp. 160). doi: 10.36905/jses.2023.04.01

Smith, B., Bussey, M., Romanchuk, J., & Ross, C. (2023). The comparison of on-snow to off-snow landings for elite park & pipe freestyle-ski and snowboard athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Science, 7(4), (pp. 136-137). doi: 10.36905/jses.2023.04.01

Mirzaee, F., Button, C., & Bussey, M. (2023). The association between oculomotor performance and neck muscle function in driving: A narrative review. Journal of Sport & Exercise Science, 7(4), (pp. 127). doi: 10.36905/jses.2023.04.01

Woodley, S., Moller, B., Clark, A., Bussey, M., Sangelaji, B., Perry, M., & Kruger, J. (2023). A scoping review of digital technologies for women's pelvic floor muscle training to manage urinary incontinence across the life course. Continence, 7(Suppl. 1), 100741. doi: 10.1016/j.cont.2023.100741

Tooby, J., Woodward, J., Tucker, R., Jones, B., Falvey, É., Salmon, D., Bussey, M. D., … Tierney, G. (2023). Instrumented mouthguards in elite-level men’s and women’s rugby union: The incidence and propensity of head acceleration events in matches. Sports Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s40279-023-01953-7

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