Taking a close look at exercise performance in the heat

27 November 2009

Julien PĂ©riard, a third year PhD student, gives an insight into his thesis.

Currently I am starting my third and final year of a PhD candidature at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.

My thesis examines the physiological mechanisms limiting prolonged exercise performance in the heat.

The research I am undertaking will hopefully shed light into the specific pathways which regulate performance in the heat and help us understand fatigue at various intensities and during different modalities of exercise. Moreover, the research will help with the prescription of specific exercise instructions to athletes during training and competition under heat stress.

Prior to coming to Sydney I studied at the University of Ottawa. I completed a Bachelor of Human Kinetics, a Bachelor of Education, and a Masters of Human Kinetics (Exercise Physiology).

Following my studies I competed for Canada on the International Triathlon Union circuit. After 5 years of training and competing I decided to undertake a new challenge and started investigating Health Science Faculties which offered a PhD in Exercise and Sport Science. I looked at various universities in Europe and Australia. In the end, Sydney had always been somewhere I wanted to visit with its sporting culture and temperate weather. Following conversations with my current supervisor, the decision to enroll was extremely easy as I would be doing the type of research that interested me while being well supported with world class facilities.

I find Australian culture very similar to that of Canada. Australians are easy going, laid back, very accepting and always helpful. Naturally the weather is a great part of living in Sydney. The beaches and parks offer a host of opportunities to explore and exercise. As with Canada, the country is vast and features many different communities and landscapes. For someone who likes to travel it is a wonderful destination.

After my studies I wish to pursue a Post Doctoral position. My experiences at the University of Sydney have developed a passion for research and further sparked my interest in traveling in order to work with leaders in the field of environmental physiology.