Higher Degree by Research Student Spotlight: Ms Grace Atkinson

18 Feb 2020

Grace AtkinsonEach month we shine the spotlight on a HDR (Higher Degree by Research) student within the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences.

This month we caught up with PhD Candidate, Grace Atkinson.

What inspired you to undertake a PhD?

When I finished my undergraduate degree, I knew that what I most wanted to do was teach and mentor aspiring exercise physiologists. Doing a PhD was my pathway to get there!

What are you key research interests?

I want to understand how prescription of exercise is able to prevent chronic disease in the population group who are most susceptible – older adults.

What is your PhD research project about?

I am currently focusing on how inflammatory biomarkers and body composition change in response to exercise intensity, in older adults. Because both of these factors are implicated in the development of chronic diseases, I’m hoping this research may be used as a primary prevention strategy before the onset of disease.

What do you enjoy most about being a PhD student?

I love the continual “teaching and learning” relationships – whether it be with students, participants, colleagues or supervisors. On a daily basis, I come away knowing something new, or feeling like I have contributed to someone else’s knowledge.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about studying a PhD?

Be organised and don’t put off starting something – it is much easier to keep going once you’ve begun!

What three words would you use to describe the life of a PhD student?

undulating, dedicated, rewarding.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your PhD?

Hiking, singing and surfing.

What are three words your fellow PhD students would use to describe you?

I took a poll for this one - organised, generous, knowledgeable.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In a teaching and research position, hopefully somewhere near a beach.