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Dr James P. Gavin BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Dr James P. Gavin's photo

Dr James Gavin is a Lecturer of Occupational Therapy within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

My research focuses on translating knowledge from human physiology to health sciences, particularly in improving functional mobility using everyday activities as physical exercise.

I integrate musculoskeletal physiology and biomechanics in designing practical solutions for the physical and psychosocial health of adults, with conditions limiting daily activities.

My interest arises from: i) observations during doctoral research that an individual’s psychology, influences their physiology (particularly in neuromuscular fatigue), ii) my practice of multidisciplinary research, and iii) the knowledge that exercise training principles can be applied from athletes, in optimising performance, to the general population in improving functional health.

In 2009, I obtained an MSc Exercise Physiology and then progressed onto a PhD examining “glycogen availability, fatigue and exercise-induced muscle damage”. I then worked as a research fellow at Liverpool John Moores University in 2013, on a New Dynamics of Ageing project examining “the biomechanical constraints of stair negotiation in old age”. More recently, lecturing at Bournemouth University my work follows doctoral student research and an international ECR collaboration. These are:

  1. Inspiratory muscle training for functional ability and balance in healthy, and frail older adults
  2. The identification and management of frailty in Brazil and the UK

I am also an expert member of the NHS (Hampshire A) Research Ethics Committee.

Research interests

Musculoskeletal biomechanics, movement science, human physiology, psychosocial health and physical activity.

PhD supervision:

Francesco Ferraro (Bournemouth University) “Using inspiratory muscle training to improve balance and physical performance of healthy older adults”.

Research projects:

  • Frailty identification and management In Brazil and the UK: Learning Across borders (FIBULA) (2018 - current) - A study to determine the current practices of healthcare professionals in the UK and Brazil in identifying, and managing frailty in older adults.
  • Return to work priorities for patients having undergone major musculoskeletal trauma.
  • Developing social rehabilitation programmes to improve patient outcomes following intensive care discharge

Research group

Active Living for Health

Research theme

Active Living

  • I am the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) CPD representative for the Division of Physiology & Nutrition.
  • I am also a BASES Accredited Exercise Scientist and Consultant.
  • I am an expert reviewer for the NHS (Hampshire A) Research Ethics Committee.
  • I host Nuffield Research Placements for post-16 students studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses.
  • I peer-review for various research journals including: Frontiers in Physiology, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, and the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.
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Book Chapter

  • Maganaris, C., Baltzopoulos, B., Di Guilio, I., & Gavin, J. P. (2018). Negotiating stairs. In A. Walker (Ed.), The New Dynamics of Ageing Volume 1 (Vol. 1, pp. 277-306). [1] (The New Dynamics of Ageing). Policy Press.


1. I am responsible for the occupational therapy applied learning sessions for BSc Level 4 Health Sciences
2. I am the occupational therapy lead for the joint research modules across professions at Level 5 and facilitate an ‘Action Learning Group’ for occupational therapy students
3. I contribute to the Level 6 Complex Therapeutic Engagement (CTE) module, as well as being personal tutor to Dissertation students

Dr James P. Gavin
Health Sciences, Student Office, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 67/4003/M54

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