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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

Burnay, C., Cordovil, R., Button, C., Croft, J. L., & Anderson, D. I. (2021). Experienced crawlers avoid real and water drop‐offs, even when they are walking. Infancy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/infa.12419

Burnay, C., Cordovil, R., Button, C., Croft, J. L., Schofield, M., Pereira, J., & Anderson, D. I. (2021). The effect of specific locomotor experiences on infants' avoidance behaviour on real and water cliffs. Developmental Science, 24(3), e13047. doi: 10.1111/desc.13047

Schnitzler, C., Seifert, L., & Button, C. (2021). Adaptability in swimming pattern: How propulsive action is modified as a function of speed and skill. Frontiers in Sports & Active Living, 3, 618990. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2021.618990

Uehara, L., Falcous, M., Button, C., Davids, K., Araújo, D., de Paula, A. R., & Saunders, J. (2021). The poor "wealth" of Brazilian football: How poverty may shape skill and expertise of players. Frontiers in Sports & Active Living, 3, 635241. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2021.635241

Ramsey, H., Button, C., Davids, K., Hacques, G., Seifert, L., & Dicks, M. (2020). Considerations for the study of individual differences in gaze control during expert visual anticipation: An exploratory study. Movement & Sport Sciences, (110), 39-47. doi: 10.1051/sm/2020006

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

Authored 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.

Edited Book - Research

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.

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

Burnay, C., Cordovil, R., Button, C., Croft, J. L., & Anderson, D. I. (2021). Experienced crawlers avoid real and water drop‐offs, even when they are walking. Infancy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/infa.12419

Journal - Research Article

Burnay, C., Cordovil, R., Button, C., Croft, J. L., Schofield, M., Pereira, J., & Anderson, D. I. (2021). The effect of specific locomotor experiences on infants' avoidance behaviour on real and water cliffs. Developmental Science, 24(3), e13047. doi: 10.1111/desc.13047

Journal - Research Article

Schnitzler, C., Seifert, L., & Button, C. (2021). Adaptability in swimming pattern: How propulsive action is modified as a function of speed and skill. Frontiers in Sports & Active Living, 3, 618990. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2021.618990

Journal - Research Article

Uehara, L., Falcous, M., Button, C., Davids, K., Araújo, D., de Paula, A. R., & Saunders, J. (2021). The poor "wealth" of Brazilian football: How poverty may shape skill and expertise of players. Frontiers in Sports & Active Living, 3, 635241. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2021.635241

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Coombe, A., Millar, S.-K., & Button, C. (2020). Understanding the tactical behaviour associated with turnovers in elite netball. Journal of Sport & Exercise Science, 4(2), 72-83. doi: 10.36905/jses.2020.02.02

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, 26(4), 938-953. doi: 10.1177/1356336X20902172

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Ramsey, H., Button, C., Davids, K., Hacques, G., Seifert, L., & Dicks, M. (2020). Considerations for the study of individual differences in gaze control during expert visual anticipation: An exploratory study. Movement & Sport Sciences, (110), 39-47. doi: 10.1051/sm/2020006

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Sanders, R. H., Button, C., & McCabe, C. B. (2020). Variability of upper body kinematics in a highly constrained task: Sprint swimming. European Journal of Sport Science, 20(5), 624-632. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1658808

Journal - Research Article

Uehara, L., Button, C., Saunders, J., Araújo, D., Falcous, M., & Davids, K. (2020). Malandragem and Ginga: Socio-cultural constraints on the development of expertise and skills in Brazilian football. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1747954120976271

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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