Exercise Science

The Brain and Behavior Lab studies how adults plan and execute goal-directed movements. Director Kristina Neely, Ph.D., and her team use an interdisciplinary approach to determine the relationship between movement, cognition, and mental health. Our goal is to develop new movement-based tools to aid clinicians in evaluating cognition and mental health.

The bond between a human and their dog is strong, perhaps unbreakable. But how does that bond strengthen the owner and the dog as individuals? The Human-Dog Bond with Sports and Exercise Lab, directed by Heidi Kluess, Ph.D., studies the relationship between dogs and their owners – specifically those pairs that participate in canine sports. 

We strive to discover ways to improve quality of life through healthy movement.  We believe exercise allows our brain to stay strong as we age.  Movement quality – how well we move – is improved through neuroprotective mechanisms, allowing continuance of independence and enjoyment of daily activities through the lifespan.

The Muscle Physiology Laboratory has a 25-year history in the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University.  Its overall emphasis is the regulation of metabolism during exercise.  Studies are typically interpreted in the context of human physiology and biochemistry.

The Neuromechanics Research Laboratory (NuRL) and the Warrior Research Center (WRC) combine physiology, biomechanics, engineering, motor control, neurophysiology, functional movement and sports medicine to investigate the neuromuscular and physiological effects of orthopedic and neuromuscular injury with the goal of developing new prevention, treatment and rehabilitation methods.

The Neurovascular Physiology Laboratory (NVPL) at Auburn University seeks to determine integrative strategies to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in America. We use a comprehensive approach to study blood vessel function and neural control of blood pressure in healthy adults and patient populations. 

The Pediatric Movement & Physical Activity Lab conducts research geared toward youth motor skill development and sport skill development. The Lab creates instructional climates designed to promote life-long physical activity for all people, from childhood through adulthood. Mary Rudisill, Ph.D, is the director of the lab, as well as the director of the School of Kinesiology.

The Sensorimotor and Rehabilitation Technology Lab primarily studies the neuroscience of movement how the brain controls movement. Researchers in the lab approach this by studying mobility (specifically through walking, driving and balance) in healthy young adults through aging individuals. They also study racecar drivers and athletes and look at neurodegenerative diseases.

The Sport Biomechanics Lab is an applied science laboratory that consults with professional athletes, college athletes, and people from the general community. The researchers analyze movements of the body to improve performance. Wendi Weimar, Ph.D. is the director of the lab.

Physical Activity and Health

The Exercise Adherence and Obesity Prevention Lab is led by Danielle Wadsworth, Ph.D.  The lab investigates physical activity behavior change and psychophysiological research. This research focuses on increasing physical activity participation and adherence through planning theory-based interventions.

The Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory’s research focuses on how nutrition and exercise affects the molecular environment of muscle and fat tissues, how aging affects the genetic architecture of skeletal muscle and how weight-training affects intra-muscle cell adaptations.

Andreas Kavazis' research agenda focuses on understanding the molecular, cellular, and physiological adaptations that occur in different tissues, including skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, adipose tissue, liver, etc. He examines the tissues during periods of different metabolic loads, such as exercise, inactivity, reproduction, lactation, etc.

The Performance and Exercise Psychophysiology (PEP) Lab’s general objective is to enhance motor performance and health. More specifically, they seek to uncover the bases of motor learning and performance, as well as how to capitalize on these bases in order to enhance learning and performance. 

The Sports Medicine and Movement Lab studies sport biomechanics and provides evidence-based injury prevention protocols. Director Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D., FACSM, ATC, and her doctoral students specialize in kinematics, motion analysis, functional assessment, and injury prevention.

The Tiger Fit health and fitness assessments program combines student education in a state-of-the-art fitness clinic with outreach efforts in the School of Kinesiology.  The program offers quality health and fitness screenings at an affordable price to the greater Auburn community, while giving students valuable “hands-on” experience in applied exercise technology, exercise physiology, and adult fitness programming. Brooks Mobley, Ph.D., is the director of Tiger Fit.

Physical Education Teacher Education

The Physical Education Pedagogy Research Group’s specialty is the theory and practice of physical education. The the physical education/teacher education (P.E.T.E.) faculty members create and study physical education environments that help children achieve an active lifestyle that will continue throughout adulthood. P.E.T.E. is the intersection between sport and education.

Last updated: 01/24/2024