Lincoln a global leader in sport science
Lincoln University’s sport science expertise has received international recognition, thanks to the work of one academic.
ShanghaiRanking’s 2017 Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments recently placed Lincoln in the top 300
The honour has been put down to the University’s only sport scientist, Dr Mike Hamlin, whose applied research involves
studying the performance of athletes all over the country.
“Other New Zealand universities that made the list have very large sport science departments, but Mike is our sole
academic in this field,” says Tourism, Sport and Society Department Head, Dr Roslyn Kerr. “His elite sport research is
highly significant and he has a huge number of citations.”
Dr Hamlin is internationally renowned for many studies, most notably the work he has carried out on the effects of
altitude training in athletes.
His research has involved measuring the physiological performance changes that occur after team or individual athletes,
such as cyclists and triathletes, take courses of simulated altitude training.
“When athletes train at high altitudes, the extra stress induced by the decreased supply of oxygen to the body has been
shown to build stamina, strength and fatigue resistance over time, leading to significantly improved performance on the
sports field,” Dr Hamlin says.
Other recent studies include investigating the effect of yoga training on athletic performance, studying ways of
minimising the risk of concussion in rugby players and finding out whether or not blood flow training restriction can
improve strength and endurance in netballers.
Dr Hamlin says Lincoln has a strong history in sport, particularly at the elite level, with many New Zealand champions
coming from within the University’s student ranks.
“The increase in professionalism in recent years has meant that sport is not only a leisure pastime, but a career choice
for many. Being able to compete with the best requires a great deal of commitment, skill and perseverance on the part of
“But such characteristics are no longer enough to make it at the professional level. The science of sport is a
continually evolving and changing area and to be the best in sport, you need to have the best knowledge in sport
Dr Hamlin says the small size of Lincoln University and the Department of Tourism, Sport and Society is an advantage,
due to the close connections he has made with other staff members, which assists him in his research.
He acknowledges the generous support he receives from the University and the department, as well as staff at Lincoln’s
ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments was published for the first time last year and
measures publications, citations, top 25% journal publications and internationally-collaborated publications. The data
is collected from the Web of Science database.