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Dr Brendan O'Brien

Associate Professor, Sport & Exercise Physiology

Exercise & Sport Science


Exercise & Sport Science


Mt Helen Campus, Online


Dr Brendan O'Brien is a Senior Lecturer in exercise physiology and exercise prescription at Federation University Australia.

Dr Brendan O'Brien’s current research interest is in optimisation of exercise prescription based on individual differences in physiology. In particular, Brendan is focusing on identifying reliable and sensitive physiological biomarkers that can predict the “trainability” of individuals to endurance and resistance training.

Brendan has published over 40 journal articles in Exercise Physiology. Brendan has a background in sport science and has published articles relating to cycling, Australian rules, football, tennis, netball, badminton and endurance running. He also has an extensive publication history on the impact of exercise on white blood cell telomere regulation and the epigenome.

Brendan is an accredited Exercise Scientist with Exercise Sport Science Australia. He has supervised five PhD students and eight Masters students to completion.

Can exhaled volatile organic compounds differentiate high and low responders to resistance exercise?

Can systemic myokine response to an acute exercise bout predict high and low responders to resistance training?

Race craft: A qualitative exploration of the development, implementation and reflection of tactical decision making in road cycling

Stubborn Exercise Responders–Where to Next?

Exercise, epigenetics, and aging

How can stress resilience be monitored? A systematic review of measurement in humans

Stress resilience studies focus on resilience operationalised within the context of stressors....

Plasma lipocalin-2/NGAL is stable over 12 weeks and is not modulated by exercise or dieting

Amongst other immune cells, neutrophils play a key role in systemic inflammation leading to...

Sport and leisure activities in the heat: What safety resources exist?

Objectives: To conduct a document analysis of sports and leisure activity heat-related injury...

Efficacy of Combined General, Special, and Specific Resistance Training on Pace Bowling Skill in Club-Standard Cricketers

Analysis of a reactive agility test using a live tester

  • Journals

Relationship Between Selected Physical Qualities, Bowling Kinematics, and Pace Bowling Skill in Club-Standard Cricketers

Quantifying cricket fast-bowling skill

The reliability and sensitivity of performance measures in a novel pace-bowling test

Objectives: To evaluate the reliability and sensitivity of performance measures in a novel...

Success in national level junior tennis: Tactical perspectives

Purpose: Point duration in competitive tennis is becoming shorter, highlighting a greater...

Telomeres, aging and exercise: Guilty by association?

Telomeres are repetitive tandem DNA sequences that cap chromosomal ends protecting genomic DNA...

Telomeres, exercise and cardiovascular disease: finding the means to justify the ends

Aortic augmentation index in endurance athletes: a role for cardiorespiratory fitness

Endurance exercise improves cardiovascular health and reduces mortality risk. Augmentation index...

Epigenetic changes in leukocytes after 8 weeks of resistance exercise training

Purpose Regular engagement in resistance exercise training elicits many health benefits including...

Increased expression of telomere-regulating genes in endurance athletes with long leukocyte telomeres

Leukocyte telomeres shorten with age, and excessive shortening is associated with age-related...

Telomere Length Maintenance and Cardio-Metabolic Disease Prevention Through Exercise Training

Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at distal ends of chromosomes that protect...

Changes in the leukocyte methylome and its effect on cardiovascular-related genes after exercise

Physical exercise has proven cardiovascular benefits, yet there is no clear understanding of the...

Four Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves 5-km Run Performance

Denham, J, Feros, SA, and O'Brien, BJ. Four weeks of sprint interval training improves 5-km run...

Genome-wide sperm DNA methylation changes after 3 months of exercise training in humans

Aim: DNA methylation programs gene expression and is involved in numerous biological processes....

The physiological correlates of variable gradient cycling performance

This study investigates the physiological correlates of computer simulated rolling terrain...

  • Journals

Accelerometer Load as a Measure of Activity Profile in Different Standards of Netball Match Play

Purpose: To determine differences in load/min (AU) between standards of netball match play....

Acute Exercise Leads to Regulation of Telomere-Associated Genes and MicroRNA Expression in Immune Cells

Telomeres are specialized nucleoprotein structures that protect chromosomal ends from...

Assessment of decision-making performance and in-game physical exertion of Australian football umpires

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of in-game physical exertion on...

Effects of a Seven Day Overload-Period of High-Intensity Training on Performance and Physiology of Competitive Cyclists

Objectives: Competitive endurance athletes commonly undertake periods of overload training in the...

Exercise: Putting Action into Our Epigenome

Most human phenotypes are influenced by a combination of genomic and environmental factors....


  • Conference Proceedings

The Reliability of Performance During Computer-Simulated Varying Gradient Cycling Time Trials

Ergometer based time trials are commonly used to assess performance changes due to training or...

  • Journals

Do Physical Capacity and Interchange Rest Periods Influence Match Exercise-Intensity Profile in Australian Football?

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery level 2 (Yo-Yo...

Impact of neuromuscular fatigue on match exercise intensity and performance in elite australian footbal

Mooney, MG, Cormack, S, O'Brien, BJ, Morgan, WM, and McGuigan, M. Impact of neuromuscular fatigue...

Longer Leukocyte Telomeres Are Associated with Ultra-Endurance Exercise Independent of Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Telomere length is recognized as a marker of biological age, and shorter mean leukocyte telomere...

Oxygen Uptake in Maximal Effort Constant Rate and Interval Running

This study investigated differences in average V̇O2 of maximal effort interval running to...

The acute effects of heavy-ball bowling on fast bowling performance in cricket

  • Journals

Agility Training for Tennis

  • Conference Proceedings

Physically preparing the fast bowler in cricket: A review of the literature

  • Conference Proceedings

Taking a punt on skill testing: out of the lab and onto the sports field

  • Conference Proceedings

Telomere attrition is attenuated in ultra-marathon runners

The acute effects of intense cardiorespiratory exercise on human telomerase reverse transcriptase and sirtuin 6 expression in white blood cells

An overview of the epidemiological evidence linking injury risk to fatigue in sport: Identification of research needs and opportunities

  • Book Chapters


Mooney, MG, Hunter, JR, O'Brien, BJ, Berry, JT, and Young, WB. Reliability and validity of a...


Hunter, JR, O'Brien, BJ, Mooney, MG, Berry, J, Young, WB, and Down, N. Repeated sprint training...

The relationship between physical capacity and match performance in elite Australian football: A mediation approach

The aim of this study was to verify if yo-yo intermittent recovery test (level 2) (yo-yo IR2)...

Acute effect of exercise on kicking accuracy in elite Australian football players

Kicking accuracy (KA) is an important skill in Australian football but the potential influence of...

Consecutive bouts of diverse contractile activity alter acute responses in human skeletal muscle

We examined acute molecular responses in skeletal muscle to divergent exercise stimuli by...

Supplementing regular training with short-duration sprint-agility training leads to a substantial increase in repeated sprint-agility performance with national level badminton players

The effects of increased absolute training intensity on adaptations to endurance exercise training

Treadmill Velocity Best Predicts 5000-m Run Performance

Caffeine has a small effect on 5-km running performance of well-trained and recreational runners

The effects of interval-exercise duration and intensity on oxygen consumption during treadmill running.

The magnitude of improvement in peak oxygen uptake (over(V, ̇)O2 peak) and performance to an...

Caffeine has a trivial effect on 5-km running performance

  • Conference Proceedings

Six minute walk distance is greater when performed in a group than alone

Objective: To investigate whether the distance covered in the six minute walk test was affected...

Immediate re-hydration post-exercise is not coincident with raised mean arterial pressure over a 30-minute observation period

  • Journals

Plasma volume expansion 24-hours post exercise: Effect of doubling the volume of replacement fluid

The effects of two volumes (1.5 L or 3.0 L) of commercially available electrolyte beverage (1.44...

  • Journals

A comparison of high and low intensity exercise training strategies on heat acclimatization

  • Conference Proceedings

Exercise induced hypervolemia may not be consequential to dehydration during exercise

  • Journals

The effect of acute strength and aerobic exercise upon postprandial lipemia following correction for plasma volume changes

  • Conference Proceedings

Effect of glycemic index on anabolic hormone profile after resistance training

  • Conference Proceedings