Marie is Professor of Exercise and Health, Dean of Postgraduate Research and Director of the Ulster Doctoral College. She graduated from Ulster with a BA (Hons) Sport & Leisure and PGCE (with distinction) in Physical Education and was awarded an MSc in Sports Science (with distinction) and a PhD in Exercise Physiology from Loughborough University.
Marie’s research focuses on the effect of physical activity and exercise, in particular walking, on health and uses multidisciplinary approach that has included outcome measures ranging from the behavioural to the biochemical. Her work has contributed to the evidence base underlying the current physical activity guidelines in the US, UK and Ireland and she was a co-author of the UK guidelines by the 4 Chief Medical Officers in the report “Start Active Stay Active” (DoH 2011). She has over 120 publications (peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and invited editorials).
Marie is a member of the UK Chief Medical Officer’s expert advisory group on physical activity and is currently leading the scientific panel reviewing the UK physical activity guidelines for adults. She is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) , the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the Higher Education Academy and is on the Board of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) and the WHO Europe Health Enhancing Physical Activity Steering Committee (HEPA Europe). She is on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Sports Sciences (JSS) and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (IJBNPA).
Marie was a member of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (UK-wide assessment of university research quality) sub-panel for Sport & Exercise Sciences Leisure & Tourism and has recently been appointed as Chair of this sub-panel for REF2021.