Dr Matthew A. Timmis

Associate Professor of Learning and Teaching

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Sport and exercise sciences

Research Supervision:Yes

Mat is an Associate Professor of Learning and Teaching in Sport & Exercise Science. He is a BASES accredited sport and exercise scientist, Chartered Scientist and sits on the BASES Education and Teaching Special Interest Group Steering Committee. Mat is also a BASES trained Supervised Experience Supervisor and Reviewer.

[email protected]


Mat gained his Bachelors degree in Sports Science and Football Coaching from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). He completed his PhD at the University of Bradford, which investigated the role that vision plays in controlling human movement.

Mat first moved to ARU in 2010, working as a postdoctoral researcher in our Vision and Eye Research Institute. He joined the Sport and Exercise Sciences team in 2011 and teaches in the areas of Biomechanics and Motor Control.

Mat’s passion for developing his own learning and teaching practices has resulted in gaining his MA Education and PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. His leadership in developing learning and teaching practices across ARU has resulted in being awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher education academy (SFHEA) and University Teaching Fellow (UTF).

Research interests

Mat’s areas of research fall broadly into three areas:

  1. Vision impairment and human movement
  2. Visual search and sporting performance
  3. Visual search and cycling

Areas of research supervision

Current PhD supervision

Tom Bates – What are the factors effecting the creation of high performance culture & elite sport performance?

William Cubbin - Effect of driver knowledge of cycling practice on emotional and behavioural response to encounters with cyclists on the road.

Georgia Dunn – The influence of vision loss on running gait.

Rob Maguire – The visibility of the pink ball: Is it the optimal colour for performance in day/night cricket?

Chris Maskell - visual search and decision making among soccer players.

David Stephens – Educating the educators: Understanding sport coach educators' practice and influence on coaches' learning.

Clare Strongman - The effect of exercise interventions on non-linear gait variability in people with peripheral neuropathy.

Lee Waters - visual search and decision making among assistant soccer referees.

Completed PhD supervision

Baranian, A., 2021. The effect of Retinitis Pigmentosa on activities of daily living.

Robertson, P., 2019. Visual search strategies in Judo coaches.

Van Paridon, K., 2018. The influence of stress on visual attention and performance execution in aiming tasks.

Caddy, O., 2016. The implications of the UCI saddle position rules on 4 km cycling time trial performance.


BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning with Rehabilitation

BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education

BSc (Hons) Coaching for Performance in Football

MSc Sport and Exercise Science


2019: University Teaching Fellow (UTF), Anglia Ruskin University

2017: Chartered Scientist (CSci)

2017: BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (Teaching Pedagogy)

2016: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

2016: MA Education (distinction), Anglia Ruskin University

2013: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

2013: PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University

2007-10: PhD in Vision and mobility/ motor control. Thesis title: Visuomotor control of step descent: The importance of visual information from the lower visual field in regulating landing control. University of Bradford

2004-7: BSc (Hons) Sports Science and Football Coaching, Liverpool John Moores University.

Memberships, editorial boards

2020–present: BASES Education and Teaching Special Interest Group Steering Committee.

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

How do we travel to school? Is it safe and can it be safer? £4,536. July 2020. The Royal Society (Partnership Grant).

Evaluation of Bikeability Training. £10,000. June 2020. Essex County Council.

Development of a virtual reality (VR) game to improve hazard perception in young cyclists. £13,820. August 2018. CIHT Foundation.

Practically Perfect in Every Way? £3,239.30. June 2017. Learning and Teaching Projects Awards. Anglia Ruskin University.

Role of visual attention in hazard perception among young cyclists. £9,080. October 2016. CIHT Foundation.

Examination of how peripheral vision loss affects everyday activities and increases the risk and the fear of falling in people with glaucoma. £14,899.90. October 2014. Fight for Sight small grant awards scheme.

The impact of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy on patients' functional disability. £49,504. January 2013. NIHR Research Capability Funding.

Selected recent publications

Timmis, M., Ferrandino, M., Morrison, A., Allen, P., Latham, K., 2021. How is jump performance affected in male athletes when completed with a visual impairment? Optometry and Vision Science. In Press.

BASES Education & Teaching Special Interest Group Steering Committee, Jan 2021. Understanding how students enrolled on sport degrees perceive their learning to be impacted whilst teaching restrictions are present due to COVID-19.

BASES Education & Teaching Special Interest Group Steering Committee, Jan 2021. Students, what advice would you give one another to help with your studies in 2021?

Timmis, M., Cavallerio, F, 2020. Letter to the Editor RE: Impact of Sport and Exercise Science Education on the UK Economy. The Sport and Exercise Scientist, Issue 63, Spring 2020.

Maguire, R., Timmis, M., Wilkins, L., Mann, D., Beukes, E., Homer, A., Johnstone, J., Adie, J., Arnold, D., Allen, P., 2020. Cricketers are not tickled pink by the new coloured ball. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 24(2), pp. 183-188.

Piras, A., Timmis, M., Trofè, A., Raffi, M., 2020. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of Quiet Eye: the role of microsaccades, small saccades and pupil-size before final movement initiation in a soccer penalty kick. European Journal of Sport Science, pp. 1-27. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2020.1788648

van Paridon, K. N., Leivers, H., Robertson, P., Timmis, M. A., 2019. Visual search behaviour in young cyclists: a naturalistic experiment. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 6, pp. 217–229.

Zult, T., Allsop, J., Timmis, M. A., Pardhan, S., 2019. The effects of temporal pressure on obstacle negotiation and gaze behaviour in young adults with simulated vision loss. Scientific Reports, 9(1), pp. 1-13.

Timmis, M. A., Piras, A., van Paridon, K. N., 2018. Keep Your Eye on the Ball; the Impact of an Anticipatory Fixation During Successful and Unsuccessful Soccer Penalty Kicks. Front. Psychol., 9:2058. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02058

Robertson, P. J., Callan, M., Nevison, C., Timmis, M. A., 2018. Is visual search strategy different between level of judo coach when acquiring visual information from the preparation phase of judo contests? International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13(2), pp. 186-200.

Timmis, M. A., Allsop, J., Baranian, M., Baker, J., Basevitch, I., Latham, K., Pardhan, S., van Paridon, K. N., 2017. Visual Search Behavior in Individuals With Retinitis Pigmentosa During Level Walking and Obstacle Crossing. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 58. 10.1167/iovs.17-21573

Media experience

Tennis: The science of fast serves. Naked Scientists, 4 June 2019.

Various newspaper and radio interviews relating to following publication: Timmis, M. A., Bijl, H., Turner, K., Basevitch, I., Taylor, M., van Paridon, K. N., 2017.The impact of mobile phone use on where we look and how we walk when negotiating floor based obstacles. PLoS ONE, 12(6), e0179802. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179802

Texting on a mobile phone makes you walk silllily, study finds. The Guardian, 30 June 2017.