School of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Mandy S. Plumb

Phone: (03) 5327 6664 
Room: P930
Position: Lecturer
Discipline: Human movement and sport sciences


  • PhD, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
  • BSc (Hons) Sports Science, University of Wales, Bangor, UK

Teaching areas

  • Motor Control & Performance
  • Functional Anatomy
  • Anatomy
  • Motor Learning

Professional associations

  • ISAK Level 3 Anthropometrist
  • Sports Medicine Australia
  • International Society for Biomechanics
  • Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI)
  • British Society for Matrix Biology
  • Editorial Board – Associate Editor, Journal of Bodywork Movements and Therapies- Prevention and Rehabilitation (September 2012 –present)

Grants and awards

  • 2010 Royal Society of Edinburgh International Exchange Programme: Linking the mechanics in gait with the cell/molecular biology cartilage-bone unit in normal subjects and subjects undergoing partial meniscectomy (£3,000),School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia,August – September 2010
  • 2010 Mentholatum Consultancy. Part 1 Stage II: Anti-inflammatory activity of Bionovex on human chondrocytes (£15,400), October 2009 – June 2010
  • 2010 NHS Grampian Endowments. Gene Expression in Elderly Human Cartilage: Effects of Loading and Obesity (£8,700), April 2010– March 2011.
  • 2009 Mentholatum Consultancy. Part 1 Stage I: Anti-inflammatory activity of Bionovex on human chondrocytes (£13,200), January 2009 – June 2009
  • 2008 NHS Grampian Endowments. Spinal Posture and the Dynamics of load and lifting (£11,770), April 2008 – March 2009.
  • 2007 Action Medical Research Project Grant, joint PI with Professor Richard Aspden: Mechanical factors in osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.(£158,875), April 2008 – March 2011)
  • 2004 Tenovus-Scotland Grant.Investigating the response of elderly human articular cartilage to mechanical loading using gene expression analysis(£9,940).

Research interests

Motor control and co-ordination in children with neuro-developmental disorders
My current main area of research is motor control and co-ordination in children with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD). I have identified two functional activities, sit-to-stand and gait analysis, that are often severely impacted in children with DCD and have begun to quantify performance on these movement tasks, observing muscle activity and joint kinematics to determine what specific areas of the functional activities are causing problems to the individual or the group of individuals.

Mechanical and chemokine factors in osteoarthritis
The focus of my research is centered on the question - Is osteoarthritis a systemic musculoskeletal disorder and are there common mechanisms underlying the disease process that can produce the changes observed in bone, muscle and soft connective tissues as well as cartilage? This involves all levels within the body from cells, their gene expression and matrix forming capabilities,through the tissues they produce, to whole joints and the mechanical loading of these joints. Within this context the effects of disease and ageing can be examined.

Supervised projects

  • Efficacy of a 4-week barefoot exercise intervention for treatment of lower-limb injuries.
  • The effect of forward shoulder posture on the prevalence of respiratory disease and associated symptoms in people aged over 50 years: a pilot study
  • Reach-to-grasp strategies in children with and without DCD
  • Biomechanical Analysis of a novel aerobic training instrument in children with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder.
  • Plantar pressure distribution and dorsiflexion in 5 – 10 year old children during quiet standing and active squat.
  • Postural stability in swimmers using VICON motion capture system
  • Efficiency of brisk walking and jogging using the COSMED gas analysis system
  • Variability on gait parameters with backpack loading using the GAITRITE system
  • The comparison of 3D scanning dimensional data with anthropometry in healthy adults
  • Prediction of body surface area using 3D scanning
  • 2nd and 4th digit ratios in university athletes
  • Lumbar spine mobility and pelvic tilt in dentists with and without low back.


Prunty, M.M., Barnett, A.L., Wilmut, K., Plumb, M.S. (2014). An examination of writing pauses in the handwriting of children with developmental coordination disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 35: 2894 – 2905.

Prunty, M.M., Barnett, A.L., Wilmut, K., Plumb, M.S. (2013). Handwriting speed in children with developmental coordination disorder: Are they really slower? Research in Developmental Disabilities. 34: 2927 – 2936.

Van Swieten, L.M., Van Bergen, E., Williams, J.H.G., Plumb M.S., Wilson A.D., Kent, S.W., Mon-Williams, M.(2010). A test of motor (not executive) planning in developmental co-ordination disorder and autism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 36 (2): 493-499.

Todd, J., Mills, C.,Wilson, A.D., Plumb, M.S., &Mon-Williams, M. (2009). Slow motor responses to visual stimuli of low salience in autism. Journal of Motor Behaviour. 41 (5): 419-426.

Kent, S., Wilson, A.D., Plumb, M.S., Williams, J.H.G., &Mon-Williams, M. (2009). Immediate movement history influences reach-to-grasp action selection in children and adults. Journal of Motor Behaviour. 41 (1):10-15.

Plumb, M.S., Wilson, A.D., Mulroue, A.,Brockman, A., Williams, J.H.G. & Mon-Williams, M. (2008). On-line corrections in children with & without Developmental Co-ordination Disorder. Human Movement Science.27 (5): 695-704.

Pettit, L., Charles, J.,Wilson, A.D., Plumb, M.S., Brockman,A., Williams, J.H.G. & Mon-Williams, M. (2008). Constrained action selection in children with developmental coordination disorder. Human Movement Science. 27 (2): 286-295.

Munro, H., Plumb, M.S., Williams, J.H.G.,Mon-Williams, M. (2007). The effect of distance on reaction time in aiming movements. Experimental Brain Research,183 (2): 249-257.

Plumb,M.S., Treon, K. & Aspden, R. M. (2006). Competing regulation of matrix biosynthesis by mechanical & IGF-1 signalling in elderly human articular cartilage in vitro. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, General Subjects, 1760: 762-767.

Plumb, M.S. & Aspden, R.M. (2005). Lipids & OA in human joints. Proceedings of Hill's European Symposium on Osteoarthritis and Joint Health (p 26-31),

Plumb, M.S.& Aspden, R.M. (2005).The response of elderly human articular cartilage to mechanical stimulus in vitro. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage,13: 1084 – 1091.

Plumb,M.S & Aspden, R.M. (2004). High fat content of bone in OA. Lipids in Health & Disease, 3:12.