My name is Amanda, and I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. I completed my undergraduate degree with honours at the University of Johannesburg. My honours thesis focused on cardiac risk assessment in elite athletes. Following an internship year where a qualified as a Biokineticist (i.e., physical rehabilitation specialist), I moved to the west coast of South Africa to complete a master’s degree at the University of Cape Town. My research topic focused on effects of eccentric versus concentric cycling ergometry following total-knee-replacement surgery. During this time, I also worked at Victoria General Hospital as a clinical educator for aspiring Biokineticists. My interdisciplinary research background, clinical training, and personal experience as a varsity athlete inspired me to gain a better understanding of the neural control of movement. As a result, I moved to Canada with my dog, Dudley, in 2016 to pursue a PhD in Sensorimotor Neuroscience at SFU.
What you do?
My chosen field of research is sensorimotor control and learning. I investigate the factors that affect how the human body adapts to our environment to gain a better understanding of how coordinated movements are learned and controlled. My research is focused on identifying factors that enhance how we adapt, retain, and transfer this learning with the ultimate goal of exploiting this knowledge to design safe and effective rehabilitation programs.
Any advice you would give to starting graduates?
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Everyone’s journey is unique and at the end of the day, we’re all here to learn. So, be kind to yourself.
Which do you prefer - dogs or cats?
For those who know me, this is pretty obvious. Dogs—without exception.
This post was originally posted to the SFU BPK Instagram on March 2, 2021.