Dr Ash Willmott

Lecturer

Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Sport and exercise sciences

Ash is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science and course leader for the Coaching for Development in Football BSc (Hons). Ash is a BASES accredited sport and exercise scientist (physiology) and Chartered Scientist. He is also a Fellow of the Higher education academy (FHEA), trained supervised experience supervisor and reviewer for BASES and, a trustee for the altitude awareness charity Para-Monte.

ash.willmott@aru.ac.uk
Twitter: @AshWillmott
ResearchGate profile

Background

Ash joined the Sport and Exercise Science team at ARU in 2019, and is a researcher with our Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences. Ash is also a member of the Environmental Extremes Laboratory (EEL) at the University of Brighton and the Physiological Society.

With over eight years experience in Sport and Exercise Physiology, in particular the physiological responses within environmental extremes, Ash has worked at various institutions including the University of Brighton (where he completed his PhD and BSc), Westminster and Roehampton.

Ash specialises in the sensitivity and adaptation to extreme environmental conditions, specifically heat stress and altitude exposure. He has undertaken many studies involving the acute and chronic heat alleviation strategies, which have translated into support for elite level ultra-runners for the Marathon des Sables and English Institute of Sport for Tokyo 2021 preparations. Alongside this, he is working with business partners, assessing the efficacy of a portable medical cooling products to prevent the severity of heat illness. He also works closely with Para-Monte, an altitude awareness charity, and is continuing his commitment with ongoing educational talks and research into the susceptibility to mountain sickness within a range of populations.

Research interests

  • Optimising health and well-being with traditional and alternate heat therapy strategies / techniques
  • Heat acclimation and pre-cooling strategies for occupation and sports performance
  • Gut health during exercise in heat stress: causes and potential alleviation strategies
  • Quantifying the energy expenditure within alternate sports and physical activities
  • Altitude illness and educational awareness for Para-Monte

Areas of research supervision

Current PhD supervision
Franzi Zenk – Developing an evidence-based, sport-specific classification system for vision impaired track athletes
Matthew Slater – Pace selection and fatigue resistance: Analysing pacing in the marathon.
Jo Engel - Effect of short-term curcumin/Inulin supplementation on exercise induced gastrointestinal barrier permeability in recreationally active individuals

Teaching

Teaching
BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 
BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning with Rehabilitation 
BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education 
BSc (Hons) Coaching for Performance in Football 
BSc (Hons) Coaching for Development in Football
MSc Sport and Exercise Science

Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • PhD in Sport and Exercise Science - Physiology, University of Brighton - “Quantifying heat acclimation state & refining heat acclimation protocols to optimise heat adaptations”
  • BSc (Hons.) in Sport and Exercise Science (1st Class), University of Brighton
  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) Physiology Accreditation, University of Brighton
  • Sport and Exercise Chartered Scientist (CSci) Accreditation, University of Brighton
  • Teaching and Learning Certificate in Higher Education, University of Brighton

Memberships, editorial boards

Physiological Society

British Association of Sport and Exercise Science (BASES)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Research Funding:
  • Para-Monte Altitude Charity: Acute mountain sickness research and education awareness.
  • BodyChilz Ltd.: CAERvest® safety and efficacy.
  • UK National Fire Service: UK fire instructor health.

 

Consultancy:
  • Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy Unit (SESCU) officer
  • Centrica Energy: Environmental extreme support for Kilimanjaro.
  • MicroScooter®: Energy expenditure associated of MicroScooter®.
  • UNA Health Medicine: FieldWiz GPS validity and reliability.
  • Extreme Environmental Support: Marathon des Sables, Greenland expedition, Hampshire scouts Antarctica 2018

Selected recent publications

Willmott, A.G., Holliss, R., Saynor, Z., Corbett, J., Causer, A.J. and Maxwell, N.S., 2020. Heat acclimation improves sweat gland function and lowers sweat sodium concentration in an adult with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis.

Willmott, A.G., Hayes, M., James, C.A., Gibson, O.R. and Maxwell, N.S., 2020. Heat acclimation attenuates the increased sensations of fatigue reported during acute exercise-heat stress. Temperature, 7(2), pp.178-190.

Gibson, O.R., James, C.A., Mee, J.A., Willmott, A.G., Turner, G., Hayes, M. and Maxwell, N.S., 2020. Heat alleviation strategies for athletic performance: a review and practitioner guidelines. Temperature, 7(1), pp.3-36.

Pinto, J.M., Merzbach, V., Willmott, A.G., Antonio, J. and Roberts, J., 2020. Assessing the impact of a mushroom-derived food ingredient on vitamin D levels in healthy volunteers. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 17(1), pp.1-10.

Willmott, A., & Maxwell, N., (2019). The metabolic and physiological responses to scootering exercise in a field-setting. Journal of Transport & Health, 13, 26-32.

Relf, R., Willmott, A., Flint, M. S., Beale, L., & Maxwell, N. (2019). Reliability of a wearable sweat rate monitor and routine sweat analysis techniques under heat stress in females. Journal of thermal biology, 79, 209-217.

Willmott, A. G.B, Hayes, M., James, C. A., Dekerle, J., Gibson, O. R., & Maxwell, N. S. (2018). Once‐and twice‐daily heat acclimation confer similar heat adaptations, inflammatory responses and exercise tolerance improvements. Physiological reports, 6(24), e13936.

Willmott, A.G.B, James, C., Bliss, A., Leftwich, R., & Maxwell, N. (2018). A comparison of two global positioning system devices for team-sport running protocols. Journal of Biomechanics. 83, 324-332

Willmott, A.G.B., James, C., Gibson, O., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2018). The physiological and perceptual responses of restrictive heat loss attire in hot and temperate conditions. Temperature. 5:2, 162-174.

Willmott, A.G., Bliss, A., Simpson, W.H., Tocker, S.M., Cottingham, R. and Maxwell, N.S. (2018). CAERvest®–a novel endothermic hypothermic device for core temperature cooling: safety and efficacy testing. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 24(1), pp.118-128.

Holland, L., Willmott, A.G.B, Gibson, O., Maxwell, N. & Hayes, M. (2018). Repeatedly training in a sauna suit induces similar magnitudes of physiological and perceptual adaptations to chamber-based heat acclimation protocol. Graduate Journal of Sport, Exercise & Physical Education Research. Vol. 8, Suppl.1: S1-S135

James, C.A., Richardson, A.J., Watt, P.W., Willmott, A.G., Gibson, O.R. and Maxwell, N.S., (2018). Short-Term Heat Acclimation and Precooling, Independently and Combined, Improve 5-km Time Trial Performance in the Heat. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32(5), pp.1366-1375.

Relf, R., Willmott, A., Mee, J., Gibson, O., Saunders, A., Hayes, M. and Maxwell, N., (2018). Females exposed to 24 h of sleep deprivation do not experience greater physiological strain, but do perceive heat illness symptoms more severely, during exercise-heat stress. Journal of sports sciences, 36(3), pp.348-355.

Gibson, O.R., Willmott, A.G., James, C.A., Hayes, M. and Maxwell, N.S., (2017). Power relative to body mass best predicts change in core temperature during exercise-heat stress. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(2), pp.403-414.

James, C.A., Hayes, M., Willmott, A.G., Gibson, O.R., Flouris, A.D., Schlader, Z.J. and Maxwell, N.S., (2017). Defining the determinants of endurance running performance in the heat. Temperature, 4(3), pp.314-329.

Waldock, K., Willmott, A., Relf, R., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2017). The validity and reliability of a new questionnaire for the detection of heat illness susceptibility. Graduate Journal of Sport, Exercise & Physical Education Research.

Willmott, A., James, C., Gibson, O., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2017). Long-term heat acclimation improves heart rate recovery when completed once, but not twice daily. Graduate Journal of Sport, Exercise & Physical Education Research.

Willmott, A.G., Hayes, M., Waldock, K.A., Relf, R.L., Watkins, E.R., James, C.A., Gibson, O.R., Smeeton, N.J., Richardson, A.J., Watt, P.W. and Maxwell, N.S., (2017). Short-term heat acclimation prior to a multi-day desert ultra-marathon improves physiological and psychological responses without compromising immune status. Journal of sports sciences, 35(22), pp.2249-2256.

James, C.A., Willmott, A.G., Richardson, A.J., Watt, P.W. and Maxwell, N.S., (2016). Ischaemic preconditioning does not alter the determinants of endurance running performance in the heat. European journal of applied physiology, 116(9), pp.1735-1745.

James, C.A., Richardson, A.J., Watt, P.W., Willmott, A.G., Gibson, O.R. and Maxwell, N.S., (2016). Short-term heat acclimation improves the determinants of endurance performance and 5-km running performance in the heat. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 42(3), pp.285-294.

Watt, P.W., Willmott, A.G., Maxwell, N.S., Smeeton, N.J., Watt, E. and Richardson, A.J., (2016). Physiological and psychological responses in Fire Instructors to heat exposures. Journal of thermal biology, 58, pp.106-114.

Willmott, A.G.B., Gibson, O.R., Hayes, M. and Maxwell, N.S., (2016). The effects of single versus twice daily short term heat acclimation on heat strain and 3000 m running performance in hot, humid conditions. Journal of thermal biology, 56, pp.59-67.

Willmott, A.G.B., Hayes, M., Dekerle, J. and Maxwell, N.S., (2015). The reliability of a heat acclimation state test prescribed from metabolic heat production intensities. Journal of thermal biology, 53, pp.38-45.

Recent presentations and conferences

Willmott, A.G.B. (2020). The development and implementation of heat alleviation strategies to enhance athletic performance.. International Sports Medicine & Sports Science Conference 2020 by the Institut Sukan Negara | National Sports Institute. November 2020.

Willmott, A. G.B, Hayes, M., James, C. A., Gibson, O. R., & Maxwell, N. S. (2019). Heat acclimation attenuates the increased sensations of fatigue reported during acute exercise-heat stress. The 18th International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE), Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 2019.

Holland, L., Willmott, A., Gibson, O., Maxwell, N. & Hayes, M. (2018). Repeatedly training in a sauna suit induces similar magnitudes of physiological and perceptual adaptations to chamber-based heat acclimation protocol. BASES conference, Newcastle, England, April 2018.

Willmott, A., James, C., Gibson, O., Mee, J., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2018). English Institute of Sport (EIS) Tokyo 2020 Heat Workshop. Bisham Abbey, England, March 2018

Willmott, A., James, C., Gibson, O., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2017). The efficacy of twice daily long-term heat acclimation on heat acclimation state, immune function and exercise tolerance. The 17th International

Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE), Kobe, Japan, November 2017.

Willmott, A., James, C., Gibson, O., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2017). Long-term heat acclimation improves heart rate recovery when completed once, but not twice daily. BASES conference, Plymouth, England, April 2017.

Waldock, K., Willmott, A., Relf, R., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2017). The validity and reliability of a new questionnaire for the detection of heat illness susceptibility. BASES conference, Plymouth, England, April 2017.

Willmott, A., James, C., Gibson, O., Hayes, M. & Maxwell, N. (2016). The physiological and perceptual responses of restrictive heat loss attire in hot and temperate conditions. The 6th International Conference on the

Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation (PPTR), Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2016

Willmott, A.G.B., Bliss, A., Simpson, W.H., Tocker, S.M., Cottingham, R. & Maxwell, N.S. (2016). CAERvest® - A Novel Endothermic Hypothermic Device for Core Body Cooling – Safety and Efficacy Testing. Brighton &

Sussex Centre for Medicines Optimisation Conference, Brighton, England, January 2016.