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Dr. Mandy Plumb

PhD Orthopaedics
Senior Lecturer/HOC - Exercise & Sports Science
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
(07) 4037 4700
0488752670 Mobile Phone
Cairns Square - 3.11
About Me

 I graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor with a BSc Hons degree in Sports Science in 2000. I gained my PhD (Mechanical & Metabolic Factors in Osteoarthritis) in Orthopaedic Surgery from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK in 2005. I then commenced a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the School of Psychology and Department of Child Health at the University of Aberdeen, working to aid aid diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders in children. In July 2007 I started my academic lecturing journey with a lectureship in Sport and Exercise Science at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and oversaw the program and taught into exercise physiology, motor control and exercise prescription. In 2010, I made the move to Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK to take on the role as Senior Lecturer and Research Lead in the Osteopathy Program. During my tenure at Oxford Brookes I was afforded the opportunity to teach and lead the MSc research unit for Nursing for the fly-in Faculty delivery in Hong Kong.

Since migrating to Australia I gained employment at Federation University Australia and assumed the role of lecturer and then senior lecturer/head of course in exercise and sports science. I developed a number of initatives whilst at FedUni and my most significant was FunMoves a 10-week initative which introduced children to the benefits of exercise to help improve their fundamental motor skills.

In January 2020 I joined Central Queensland University at the Cairns campus as Head of Course/Senior Lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science. I hope to implement similar initatives like FunMoves in the Cairns region to continue to promote the benefits of exercise and develop children's motor skills.


Research Interests

My main areas of interest are in osteoarthritis, obesity, fa content of bone, MRI investigating spinal posture and load carriage, motor control and co-ordination in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. My research to date has focussed on disturbances in joint homeostasis at he cellular level to a more systems-based approach, observing children with movement problems. I have a number of projects underway that include:
  • Developing a Functional Motor Quotient for Adolescents with colleagues at Notre Dame University, Fremantle, WA, involving data collection in Perth and Fremantle, WA and in Cairns, QLD
  • Exploring perceived and actual motor competence in children aged 12 - 18 years using the Adolescent Motor Competence Questionnaire (AMCQ) in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
  • Validating developmental levels of the overarm throw in primary, high school, university students, and adults cross culturally in Australia and the USA
  • Utilizing fNIRs to explore motor planning and executive function in adults and children (with and without movement disorders) to understand the mechanisms in planning that may be deficient in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Universities Studied At

 Nov 2005:University of Aberdeen, PhD Orthopaedic Surgery. Mechanical & Metabolic Factors in Osteoarthritis

June 2000:University of Wales, Bangor, BSc 2:1 Class Honours, Sports Science

June 1992:Anglia Polytechnic University, BSc Honours, Environmental Biology

June 1990:Anglia Polytechnic University, GI Biol Part 1, Environmental Biology

June 1989:Cambridge College of Arts & Technology, BTEC HNC in Applied Biology

Universities Worked At

 7th September 2018 – 5th February 2019: Visiting Scholar, Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA.

June 2016 – present: Appointed as Adjunct Research Fellow in the Institute for Health Research, Fremantle Campus at The University of Notre Dame Australia.

June 2014 January 2019: Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator Exercise & Sports Science, Federation University Australia, School of Health and Life Sciences, Mt Helen, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

October 2013 – October 2016: Visiting Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University.

September 2010 – October 2013: Senior Lecturer Osteopathy: Research Lead, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.

August 2007 – September 2010: Program Coordinator and Sport and Exercise Lecturer (80% FTE), The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.

April 2008 – September 2010: Research Fellow (20% FTE), on project as joint PI funded by Action Medical Research, Mechanical factors in osteoarthritis and osteoporosis Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

August 2005 – March 2008: Research Fellow on a Proof of Concept project, Development of a portable electronic tool to objectively quantify Motor Control and Co-ordination in Children with Neuro-developmental Disorders, School of Psychology and Department of Child Health, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.

March 2001 – July 2005: Aberdeen Wishbone Trust and GRO Studentship PhD, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Aberdeen. Mechanical and Metabolic Factors in Osteoarthritis.

September 2004 – June 2005: Lecturer SR3504 Body Composition, University of Aberdeen.

October 2004 – February 2005: Research Assistant, Clinical Department of Orthopaedics, University of Aberdeen.

September 2002 – June 2005: Postgraduate demonstrator in Sports Science, University of Aberdeen.

September 2004 – June 2005: Sports Coach and Leader, University of Aberdeen


Submitted but unsuccessful

2018: Waterloo Foundation UK: Investigating simple and complex motor planning in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) ($86,309) Principal Investigator: Dr Mandy Plumb.

2016: Raine Priming Grants Foundation: Fractures in youth: Targeted Exercise on Bone Health & Osteoporotic Risk Implications ($264,346) Principal Investigator: Paola Chivers (Associate investigator: Dr Mandy Plumb)

Grant income to date totals $570,000 for projects related to mechanical and chemokine factors in osteoarthritis.

2015: Federation University Australia, Faculty of Health Research Grant: Early hip osteoarthritis: what factors predict disease progression? (Dr Mandy S Plumb & Dr Joanne Kemp) ($10,000), July 2015 – June 2016

2010:Royal Society of Edinburgh International Exchange Programme: Linking the mechanics in gait with the cell/molecular biology cartilage-bone unit in normal subjects and subjects undergoing partial menisectomy (£3,000), School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, August – September 2010

2010:Mentholatum Consultancy. Part 1 Stage II: Anti-inflammatory activity of Bionovex on human chondrocytes (£15,400), October 2009 – June 2010

2010:NHS Grampian Endowments. Gene Expression in Elderly Human Cartilage: Effects of Loading and Obesity (£8,700), April 2010 – March 2011.

2009:Mentholatum Consultancy. Part 1 Stage I: Anti-inflammatory activity of Bionovex on human chondrocytes (£13,200), January 2009 – June 2009

2008:NHS Grampian Endowments. Spinal Posture and the Dynamics of load and lifting (£11,770), April 2008 – March 2009.

2007:Action Medical Research Project Grant, joint PI with Professor Richard Aspden: Mechanical factors in osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. (£158,875), April 2008 – March 2011)

2004: Tenovus-Scotland Grant. Investigating the response of elderly human articular cartilage to mechanical loading using gene expression analysis (£9,940)

Previous teaching

My teaching areas are eclectic and I have taught the gamet of the exercise science units over my lecturing career. Most recently my emphasis has been in the motor learning and control domain due to my research interests that dovetail with his area. I have also spent time leading a team to redevelop two faculty wide anatomy and physiology units that were successfully rolled out in 2016. Other curriculum areas I have developed are functional anatomy and a capstone reseach unit, the research unit was a resounding success and from this we had high quailty research that we submitted to two national conferences for 2020.

Professional Memberships

Exercise & Sport Science Australia (ESSA) Accreditation Reviewer – elected for 5 years commencing July 2018

Exercise & Sport Science Australia (ESSA) MAAP (appeals committee) – elected for 3 years commencing Dec 2017 (relinquished post on taking up accreditation reviewer position)

Western Alliance Scientific and Advisory Leadership Team (SALT) grant reviewer (2016 - 2020)

ESSA Academic Member (March 2016 onwards)

ISAK Level 3 Kinanthropometrist

Sports Medicine Australia

International Society for Biomechanics

British Society for Matrix Biology

Editorial Board – Associate Editor, Journal of Bodywork Movements and Therapies- Prevention and Rehabilitation (September 2012 – present)


My current responsibilities are as Head of Course for the Exercise and Sports Science Team. A major focus for team in 2020 is the ESSA re-accreditation, with our site visit coming up in mid-March.

Key Achievements

  • Elected as Academic Accreditation Course Reviewer with Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) for 5-year period (July 2018 - July 2023)
  • Gained ESSA Accredited Exercise Science status in January 2019 via International Amnesty Pathway
  • International Society for Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) Level 3 Instructor Kinanthropometrist 

Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3101 Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • 3209 Neurosciences
  • 3210 Nutrition and Dietetics
  • 4207 Sports science and exercise
  • 5299 Other psychology

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
No Supervisions to display.
Research Interests
Medical And Health Sciences

Human Movement and Sports Science - Motor Control

Medical And Health Sciences

Neurosciences - Neurosciences not elsewhere classified

Psychology And Cognitive Sciences

Cognitive Sciences - Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified

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