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Christopher Button image 2020Professor
BSc(Hons) PhD(MMU)
Tel +64 3 479 9122
Room 1.25, 55 Union St West
Email chris.button@otago.ac.nz

Background

Chris Button has been the Dean of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science since 2017. Chris gained his PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2000, before working at Edinburgh University in Scotland. Chris moved to NZ in 2003. Previous roles at Otago have included the Director of the Human Performance Centre and the Co-Director of the Lifestyles in NZ research group. As well as carrying out teaching and research, Chris has provided consultancy with several organisations providing advice on Motor Development and Skill Acquisition to the likes of NZ Ministry of Health, Water Safety NZ, Netball NZ, NZ Football, and the Boston Celtics (NBA). Chris is an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Skill Acquisition Network. He is also a Section Editor of NZ Journal of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Chris lives in Carey’s Bay, with his wife Angela and daughter Melanie. In his free time Chris coaches and plays football, he also enjoys outdoor pursuits like tramping and skiing. A keen advocate of active transport, Chris likes to cycle to and from work along the beautiful Otago Peninsula.”

Teaching

Research

Dr Button's research interests include movement coordination and variability, skill learning, coaching, water safety and survival skills. He has been the recipient of several research grants from organisations such as SportNZ, ACC, and Water Safety New Zealand. Chris has published in several international peer-reviewed journals, and a common theme of this work is the application of movement science to sport within an Ecological Dynamics framework. Summaries of much of his work linking theory to practice can be found in the textbooks, 'Dynamics of Skill Acquisition' (2020: Human Kinetics, 2nd edition), 'Complex Systems in Sport’ (2013: Routledge, Taylor & Francis), and ‘Nonlinear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition’ (2016: Routledge, Taylor & Francis). See Chris’ ResearchGate profile here. Chris’s research has been cited over 8,000 times and his h-index is 43 (Google Scholar).

Recent research projects Chris has been involved with include:

Potential postgraduate students wishing to be supervised by Chris must be interested in applying an ecological dynamics framework to physical activity and/or sport. Please consult the University of Otago scholarships webpage to check eligibility for international and domestic student scholarships.

Postgraduate Students

Current Students

  • Brandon Rasman: The perceptuo-motor processes underpinning dynamic balance in surfers. (Enrolled from September 2018). Dr Chris Button and Dr Jon Shemmell

Graduates

  • Carolina Burnay (2020): Exploring affordances for infants in aquatic environments.. Dr James Croft, Dr Chris Button, Dr Rita Cordovil & Dr David Anderson.
  • Alana Coombe (2020): Training tactical and technical skills in elite netballers. Dr Sarah-Kate Millar, Dr Chris Button and Dr Tony Oldham.
  • Jonathan Leo Ng (2019): Assessment of fundamental movement skill competency. Dr Chris Button
  • Andrew Walsh (2019): Affordance based control in rock-climbing. Dr James Croft, Dr Chris Button & Dr Ludovic Seifert.
  • Cameron Ross (2019): Tracking the physical demands of snowsport athletes. Dr Chris Button, Dr Peter Lamb & Dr Paul McAlpine.
  • Chanel Phillips (2019). A Māori approach to water safety. Dr Anne-Marie Jackson, Dr Hauiti Hakopa, & Dr Chris Button.

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Publications

Guignard, B., Button, C., Davids, K., & Seifert, L. (2020). Education and transfer of water competencies: An ecological dynamics approach. European Physical Education Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1356336X20902172

Ross, C., Lamb, P., McAlpine, P., Kennedy, G., & Button, C. (2020). Validation of gyroscope sensors for snow sports performance monitoring. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 19(1), 51-59. doi: 10.2478/ijcss-2020-0004

Button, C., Button, A. J., Jackson, A.-M., Cotter, J. D., & Maraj, B. (2020). Teaching foundational aquatic skills to children in open water environments. International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education, 13(1), 1. doi: 10.25035/ijare.13.01.01

Ng, J. L., Button, C., Collins, D., Giblin, S., & Kennedy, G. (2020). Assessing the internal reliability and construct validity of the general movement competence assessment for children. Journal of Motor Learning & Development, 8(1), 87-106. doi: 10.1123/jmld.2018-0047

Rudd, J. R., Crotti, M., Fitton-Davies, K., O'Callaghan, L., Bardid, F., Utesch, T., … Button, C., … Foweather, L. (2020). Skill Acquisition Methods fostering Physical Literacy in Early-Physical Education (SAMPLE-PE): Rationale and study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial in 5–6-year-old children from deprived areas of North West England. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1228. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01228

Authored Book - Research

Davids, K., Button, C., & Bennett, S. (2008). Dynamics of skill acquisition: A constraints-led approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 251p.

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Edited Book - Research

Davids, K., Hristovski, R., Araújo, D., Balagué Serre, N., Button, C., & Passos, P. (Eds.). (2014). Complex systems in sport. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 338p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Button, C., Wheat, J., & Lamb, P. (2014). Why coordination dynamics is relevant for studying sport performance. In K. Davids, R. Hristovski, D. Araújo, N. Balagué Serre, C. Button & P. Passos (Eds.), Complex systems in sport. (pp. 44-61). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Schöllhorn, W., Chow, J. Y., Glazier, P., & Button, C. (2014). Self-organizing maps and cluster analysis in elite and sub-elite athletic performance. In K. Davids, R. Hristovski, D. Araújo, N. Balagué Serre, C. Button & P. Passos (Eds.), Complex systems in sport. (pp. 145-159). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Button, C., Seifert, L., O'Donovan, D., & Davids, K. (2014). Variability in neurobiological systems and training. In K. Davids, R. Hristovski, D. Araújo, N. Balagué Serre, C. Button & P. Passos (Eds.), Complex systems in sport. (pp. 277-292). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Button, C., Chow, J.-Y., & Rein, R. (2008). Exploring the perceptual-motor workspace: New approaches to skill acquisition and training. In Y. Hong & R. Bartlett (Eds.), Handbook of biomechanics and human movement science. (pp. 538-553). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Davids, K., Araújo, D., Button, C., & Renshaw, I. (2007). Degenerate brains, indeterminate behavior, and representative tasks: Implications for experimental design in sport psychology research. In G. Tenenbaum & R. C. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology. (3rd ed.) (pp. 224-244). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Button, C., Davids, K., & Schöllhorn, W. (2006). Coordination profiling of movement systems. In K. Davids, S. Bennett & K. Newell (Eds.), Movement system variability. (pp. 133-152). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Button, C., Smith, J., & Pepping, G.-J. (2005). The influential role of task constraints in acquiring football skills. In T. Reilly, J. Cabri & D. Araújo (Eds.), Science and football V: The proceedings of the 5th World Congress on Science and Football. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Button, C., & Davids, K. (2004). Acoustic information in timing. In H. Hecht & G. P. J. Savelsbergh (Eds.), Time-to-contact. Advances in Psychology Series. (pp. 355-370). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Araújo, D., Davids, K., Bennett, S. J., Button, C., & Chapman, G. (2004). Emergence of sport skills under constraints. In M. A. Williams, N. J. Hodges, M. Scott & M. Court (Eds.), Skill acquisition in sport. (pp. 409-433). London: Routledge.

Button, C., & Summers, J. (2001). Co-ordination dynamics of interceptive actions. In K. Davids, G. Savelsbergh, S. Bennett & J. Van der Kamp (Eds.), Interception actions in sport: Information and movement. (pp. 225-241). London: Taylor & Francis.

Davids, K., Williams, A. M., Button, C., & Court, M. L. J. (2001). Integrative modeling of brain and behavior: Implications for movement coordination and skill. In B. SInger, H. Hausenblas & C. Jannelle (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology. (2nd ed.) (pp. 144-173). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Button, C. (2001). The effect of removing auditory information of ball projection on the co-ordination of one-handed ball-catching. In K. Davids, G. Savelsbergh, S. Bennett & J. Van der Kamp (Eds.), Interception actions in sport: Information and movement. (pp. 184-194). London: Taylor & Francis.

Davids, K., Williams, A. M., Button, C., & Court, M. (2001). An integrative modeling approach to the study of intentional movement behavior. In R. N. Singer, H. Hausenblas & C. Jannelle (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology. (2nd ed.) (pp. 144-173). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Button, C., & Davids, K. (1999). Interacting intrinsic dynamics and intentionality requires coordination profiling of movement systems. In J. Thomson, D. N. Lee & M. Grealy (Eds.), Studies in Perception and Action, Vol. 10. (pp. 314-318). Mahwah, USA: Erlbaum Associates.

Davids, K., Bennett, S., Court, M., Tayler, M. A., & Button, C. (1997). The cognition-dynamics interface. In R. Lidor & M. Bar-Eli (Eds.), Innovations in sport psychology: Linking theory and practice. (pp. 224-226). Israel: ISSP.

Button, C., Bennett, S. J., & Davids, K. (1997). Comparing discrete and cyclical movement coordination of prehension. In M. A. Schmuckler & J. M. Kennedy (Eds.), Studies in perceptions and action IV. (pp. 285-288). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Journal - Research Article

Guignard, B., Button, C., Davids, K., & Seifert, L. (2020). Education and transfer of water competencies: An ecological dynamics approach. European Physical Education Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1356336X20902172

Ng, J. L., Button, C., Collins, D., Giblin, S., & Kennedy, G. (2020). Assessing the internal reliability and construct validity of the general movement competence assessment for children. Journal of Motor Learning & Development, 8(1), 87-106. doi: 10.1123/jmld.2018-0047

Button, C., Button, A. J., Jackson, A.-M., Cotter, J. D., & Maraj, B. (2020). Teaching foundational aquatic skills to children in open water environments. International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education, 13(1), 1. doi: 10.25035/ijare.13.01.01

Ross, C., Lamb, P., McAlpine, P., Kennedy, G., & Button, C. (2020). Validation of gyroscope sensors for snow sports performance monitoring. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 19(1), 51-59. doi: 10.2478/ijcss-2020-0004

Meerhoff, L. A., De Poel, H. J., Jowett, T. W. D., & Button, C. (2019). Walking with avatars: Gait-related visual information for following a virtual leader. Human Movement Science, 66, 173-185. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2019.04.003

Button, C., Brouwer, L., Schnitzler, C., & de Poel, H. J. (2019). Exploratory analysis of treading water coordination and the influence of task and environmental constraints. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 2579. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02579

Orth, D., van der Kamp, J., & Button, C. (2019). Learning to be adaptive as a distributed process across the coach–athlete system: Situating the coach in the constraints-led approach. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 24(2), 146-161. doi: 10.1080/17408989.2018.1557132

Sanders, R. H., Button, C., & McCabe, C. B. (2019). Variability of upper body kinematics in a highly constrained task: Sprint swimming. European Journal of Sport Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1658808

Schnitzler, C., Button, C., Seifert, L., Armbrust, G., & Croft, J. L. (2018). Does water temperature influence the performance of key survival skills? Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 28(3), 928-938. doi: 10.1111/sms.12997

Passos, P., Milho, J., & Button, C. (2018). Quantifying synergies in two-versus-one situations in team sports: An example from Rugby Union. Behavior Research Methods, 50(2), 620-629. doi: 10.3758/s13428-017-0889-3

Blair, M. R., Elsworthy, N., Rehrer, N. J., Button, C., & Gill, N. D. (2018). Physical and physiological demands of elite rugby union officials. International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance, 13(9), 1199-1207. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2017-0849

Button, C., Orth, D., Davids, K., & Seifert, L. (2018). The influence of hold regularity on perceptual-motor behaviour in indoor climbing. European Journal of Sport Science, 18(8), 1090-1099. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1472812

Anderson, N., & Button, C. (2017). Development of static postural control: An overview and summary of entropy analysis. Journal of Motor Learning & Development, 5(1), 126-147. doi: 10.1123/jmld.2016-0011

Lee, M. C. Y., Chow, J. Y., Button, C., & Tan, C. W. K. (2017). Nonlinear Pedagogy and its role in encouraging twenty-first century competencies through physical education: A Singapore experience. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 37(4), 483-499. doi: 10.1080/02188791.2017.1386089

Croft, J. L., Pepping, G. J., Button, C., & Chow, J. Y. (2017). Children's perception of action boundaries and how it affects their climbing behavior. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 166, 134-146. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.07.012

Meerhoff, L. A., De Poel, H. J., Jowett, T. W. D., & Button, C. (2017). Influence of gait mode and body orientation on following a walking avatar. Human Movement Science, 54, 377-387. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2017.06.005

Renshaw, I., Araújo, D., Button, C., Chow, J. Y., Davids, K., & Moy, B. (2016). Why the constraints-led approach is not teaching games for understanding: A clarification. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 21(5), 459-480. doi: 10.1080/17408989.2015.1095870

Uehara, L., Button, C., Falcous, M., & Davids, K. (2016). Contextualised skill acquisition research: A new framework to study the development of sport expertise. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 21(2), 153-168. doi: 10.1080/17408989.2014.924495

Button, C., Schofield, M., & Croft, J. (2016). Distance perception in an open water environment: Analysis of individual differences. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(3), 915-922. doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-1049-4

Schnitzler, C., Button, C., Croft, J. L., & Seifert, L. (2015). A new qualitative typology to classify treading water movement patterns. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 14(3), 530-535.

Croft, J. L., & Button, C. (2015). Interacting factors associated with adult male drowning in New Zealand. PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0130545. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130545

Button, C., Croft, J. L., Cotter, J. D., Graham, M. J., & Lucas, S. J. E. (2015). Integrative physiological and behavioral responses to sudden cold-water immersion are similar in skilled and less-skilled swimmers. Physiology & Behavior, 138, 254-259. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.10.024

Chow, J. Y., Koh, M., Davids, K., Button, C., & Rein, R. (2014). Effects of different instructional constraints on task performance and emergence of coordination in children. European Journal of Sport Science, 14(3), 224-232. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2013.780097

Meerhoff, L. A., De Poel, H. J., & Button, C. (2014). How visual information influences coordination dynamics when following the leader. Neuroscience Letters, 582, 12-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.08.022

Lee, M. C. Y., Chow, J. Y., Komar, J., Tan, C. W. K., & Button, C. (2014). Nonlinear Pedagogy: An effective approach to cater for individual differences in learning a sports skill. PLoS ONE, 9(8), e104744. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104744

Giblin, S., Collins, D., & Button, C. (2014). Physical literacy: Importance, assessment and future directions. Sports Medicine, 44(9), 1177-1184. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0205-7

Chow, J. Y., Tan, C. W. K., Lee, M. C. Y., & Button, C. (2014). Possibilities and implications of using a motion-tracking system in physical education. European Physical Education Review, 20(4), 444-464. doi: 10.1177/1356336x14535057

Schnitzler, C., Button, C., Seifert, L., & Croft, J. (2014). Analysing expertise through data mining: An example based on treading water. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32(12), 1186-1195. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2013.876085

Seifert, L., Button, C., & Davids, K. (2013). Key properties of expert movement systems in sport: An ecological dynamics perspective. Sports Medicine, 43(3), 167-178. doi: 10.1007/s40279-012-0011-z

Croft, J. L., Button, C., Hodge, K., Lucas, S. J. E., Barwood, M. J., & Cotter, J. D. (2013). Responses to sudden cold-water immersion in inexperienced swimmers following training. Aviation, Space, & Environmental Medicine, 84(8), 850-855. doi: 10.3357/ASEM.3522.2013

Vilar, L., Araújo, D., Davids, K., & Button, C. (2012). The role of ecological dynamics in analysing performance in team sports. Sports Medicine, 42(1), 1-10. doi: 10.2165/11596520-000000000-00000

Bartlett, R., Button, C., Robins, M., Dutt-Mazumder, A., & Kennedy, G. (2012). Analysing team coordination patterns from player movement trajectories in soccer: Methodological considerations. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 12(2), 398-424.

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