Research in the Department of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

The Department of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is home to research leaders in food, nutrition, dietetics, and sport and exercise science.

Our innovative and impactful research is helping to improve health and wellbeing across communities and the lifespan.

Our research in nutrition and dietetics, and human movement and sport science, is considered well above world standard by the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia.

Find out more about how our partnerships and facilities enable transformative research.

Research areas

We pride ourselves on our multidisciplinary approach to research, with expertise and collaborations across a range of research areas:

Discipline lead: Professor Regina Belski

Our discipline uses food to promote health, manage nutrition-related health conditions and optimise performance. Our researchers specialise in metabolic health, dietary supplementation, novel functional foods, gastro-intestinal health, and sport and performance nutrition.

We work with leading industry and clinical partners to examine the impact of diet and nutrition on metabolic health outcomes, skeletal muscle health, obesity, diabetes, the microbiome, sports performance, and the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. We also undertake research on the profession including the scholarship of learning and teaching, and the development of future ready professionals.

Discipline lead: Professor Paul Gastin

Our research optimises human performance and health, helping our communities to reach their potential. Our researchers collaborate with industry partners and engage end-users to maximise the impact of our findings. Our contribution is multidisciplinary and relevant to individuals, teams and organisations across the performance-participation pathway – in sport, national services such as defence, and for those using physical activity to enhance health and wellbeing.

Research spans the investigation of human performance in demanding occupations and environments, use of data analytics and technology to enhance sport performance, improvement of knowledge and management of female athletes, training prescription and evaluation, injury prevention and recovery, skilled performance and decision-making, movement biomechanics and sport coaching.

Allied Health, Human Services and Sport research groups

Our staff play key roles in the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport’s research groups.

This research group is committed to advancing knowledge in sport and nutrition science, with a focus on human performance. The group has impact in sport, physically demanding occupations, and health and wellbeing across the lifespan. It translates research findings into practice through close collaboration with industry, including national and international sporting organisations, sports technology companies, the Defence sector, professional bodies and clinical partners.


Several of our academic staff are also members of La Trobe’s Academic and Research Collaborative in Health, which brings together academics, clinicians, consumers, healthcare professionals, health and social care agencies and policy makers skilled in the translation of interdisciplinary research.

The Academic and Research Collaborative in Health aims to improve the patient experience, patient outcomes, healthcare quality and safety, and to achieve best practice in service provision. Partners include Alfred Health, Austin Health, Eastern Health, Healthscope, Mercy Health, Northern Health, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Women’s.

Find out more about the Collaborative, including the La Trobe University Embedded Allied Health Research Network.

La Trobe University has six embedded Allied Health academics (Professors/Associate Professors of Allied Health) who hold dual appointments with the School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport and a health service.

Each of these health services are a partner site of La Trobe University’s Academic and Research Collaborative in Health.

These health services and their embedded academics include:

Alfred Health (Victoria): Associate Professor Julia Gilmartin-Thomas

Eastern Health (Victoria): Professor Nicholas Taylor and Professor Katherine Harding

Healthscope (Australia-wide): Professor Meg Morris

Northern Health (Victoria): Associate Professor Adam Semciw

Melbourne Health (Victoria): Associate Professor Casey Peiris

The Professors/Associate Professors of Allied Health promote, support and undertake research that is co-produced by their health service and La Trobe University academics and students.

These academics are brought together under a new collaborative group within the Academic and Research Collaborative in Health structure, known as the La Trobe University Embedded Allied Health Research Network (LEARN).

Associate Professor Julia Gilmartin-Thomas Chairs the LEARN Community of Research Practice. LEARN opens up a range of new initiatives to share resources, offer joint research capacity building opportunities for health services, and forge research collaborations.

If you are interested in exploring opportunities for co-producing research with the above health services and would like to collaborate with clinicians and researchers at these sites, please contact us via email.