Professor Martin Sellens

Emeritus Professor
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences
Professor Martin Sellens



I joined this Department in October 1979 as Lecturer in Immunology and Reproduction after two years post-doc in the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology in New Jersey, USA. And it seems like only yesterday... Prior to that I did my Ph.D. with David Billington in Bristol on the antigenicity of the early mouse embryo. During 1992-1993 I was on Sabbatical at the University of Otago, New Zealand where Will Hopkins and I worked on exercise and cognitive function and I indulged my liking for running up and down mountains. Until recently my research interests have been in the area of reproductive immunology, investigating the expression of immunologically interesting molecules on the surfaces of mammalian gametes and embryos. The department continues to be heavily involved in this field through the work of my collaborators and colleagues Drs Nelson Fernandez and Gill Dealtry but my own contribution is now principally consultative. In parallel with my role as academic director of the M.Sc in Sports Science I am developing a new research direction in "Exercise Physiology". My research so far has been on the effects of prolonged exercise on cognitive function and on the effects of aerobic activity on kidney and immune function. I am also interested in the fuelling of endurance exercise, not least because of my participation in ultra marathon style events. Our Human Performance Laboratory is well equipped for body composition, respiratory gas and metabolic analysis and we have access to research technologies throughout the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences. We are currently developing our research profile through the efforts of the M.Sc students who undertake a substantial research project as part of their course. Although we are relatively new entrants into this field we are well equipped, enthusiastic and full of ideas and would welcome applications from intending research students and working visits from qualified Sports Scientists. In addition to running the academic side of the M.Sc. in Sports Science, and teaching the Exercise Physiology Module, and Nutrition, I lecture to Biology Students on Immunology, Reproduction and Animal Physiology (mainly muscle). Director of the SPRInTA project

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Effects of exercise on the immune response, and on renal and cognitive function.

Metabolic substrate utilisation during endurance exercise.

Green exercise



Colchester Campus