Lex completed his BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at Exeter University and graduated with First Class honours. He then went on to complete his PhD at Exeter University, which focussed on anticipatory regulation and pacing strategies in endurance performance. After his PhD, Lex worked at the University of Bedfordshire as a Lecturer for two years before joining the University of Kent in 2011.
Lex in an exercise physiologist, and teaches on a variety of physiology cognate areas in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the European College of Sports Science, has examined multiple PhD and MRes students in the UK and internationally, and has been invited as an External Expert Panel member for course Planned Periodic Reviews and course accreditation events for UK and international universities. Lex has supervised multiple PhD and MRes students to successful completion and has previously won the University of Kent Graduate and Researcher College Prize for Researcher Degree Supervisor. Lex regularly publishes his research in leading journals, has disseminated his work at multiple invited international talks, and has led and worked on several large externally funded research, innovation and consultancy projects, including those funded by UKRI, the NHS, the MoD, charities and private companies.
Lex is one of the Leads for the ‘Future Human’ Signature Research Theme. Kent’s three Signature Research Themes are a key part of the University’s strategy to further develop its global research profile. They bring together a wide range of ideas and approaches through cross-disciplinary collaboration, and they enhance the excellent practices and activities, highlighting the cutting-edge and innovative research that goes on at Kent. By developing an interdisciplinary network of academics, researchers, and external partners, the Themes will generate cross-disciplinary collaboration, improve the University’s research environment, and strengthen the University’s public engagement activities. The focus of Future Human, is on research and innovation concerning human augmentation. Future Human takes a transdisciplinary approach to explore this, so that it can more fully understand the opportunities, limits, challenges, and risks of using scientific and technological advancement to restore or improve performance/function and overcome current limits of body and mind. In this form it combines multiple disciplines from the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities, by considering not only human optimisation and enhancement, but also the consequences of their development and application across any human population and society. As a Theme lead, Lex develops the strategy for Future Human, designs and runs the events and activities that it supports, and manages the day-to-day business of the Theme.
Lex's principal research focuses on the regulation of work rate during exercise, and specifically how conscious sensations arising from intense exercise influences this process. This overarching theme influences his main area of study - the role of exercise-induced pain in fatigue and endurance performance. This work explores how the naturally occurring and non-pathological muscle pain that occurs when we exercise intensely for a sustained period impacts both our physiological ability and our psychological desire to exercise. In a psychophysiological approach, Lex employs a variety of techniques and methods, including; transcranial magnetic stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, electromyography, experimental pain induction, online gas analysis, think aloud, and post-exercise interview, and a variety of exercise paradigms including isometric muscle contraction, cycling and running ergometry and training studies. Lex has presented his work in this area at invited talks at a variety of conferences, seminars and symposiums, and has discussed his work with journalists through features on BBC Horizon, BBC Radio 4, NBC Today, Stade 2, Runner's World and Men's Health. Lex’s expertise in this area is the basis for a research grant award from the World Anti-Doping Agency, to study the performance enhancing effects of tramadol.