Professor Alan Donnelly

Qualifications: BSc in Biology (University of Strathclyde, UK); PhD (University of Aberdeen, UK).

Email address
Phone number  +353 61 202808
Room number  P1023


Professor in Exericse Physiology

Teaching and Research Interests:

Alan teaches on the undergraduate programmes of Sport and Exercise Science, Physiotherapy, and taught postgraduate programmes in Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy. His research interests include:

The effects of physical activity on health, particularly the role of sedentary behaviour on the health of young people and adults. He leads a team of researchers employing accelerometers and related technology to directly quantify sedentary behaviour and physical activity in large cohorts of volunteers. The team employs objective data from these devices to examine the relationship between these behaviours and indices of health. The aim is to achieve a better understanding of sedentary and physical activity behaviours in order to guide policy and to develop interventions to improve health. Further research examined the relationship between exercise and cognitive function in the elderly.

The causes and treatment of exercise-induced muscle damage: exercise induced muscle damage underlies the soreness experienced in the days after exercise. Research led by Prof. Donnelly has examined the effects of damage on muscle antioxidant status and on muscle connective tissue. Current work examines the effects of different modes of cryotherapy on damaged muscle, and on muscle function in general.

Current Research Postgraduate Students:

Joseph Costello: The effects of cryotherapy on muscle function.

Kieran Dowd (IRCSET Scholar): Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health in female adolescents.

Jennifer Joyce: Effects of acute and chronic exercise on cognitive function in the elderly.

Karen McCreesh: (HRB Clinical Research Fellow) Rotator cuff tendinopathy: an investigation of clinical and diagnostic ultrasound parameters before, during and after a structured exercise programme.

Personal Profile:

Professor Alan Donnelly is Professor of Exercise Physiology in the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at UL.  Prof. Donnelly is director of the Centre for Physical Activity and Health Research (C-PAHR) at UL. This research centre was established in 2011, and brings together 19 academics and researchers to undertake multidisciplinary research on the effects of physical activity on health.

Selected Publications:

Click here to view selected publications.