Physiology Laboratory for Health and Performance

The Carwyn James building, located on Penglais Campus is named after the distinguished former student of Aberystwyth who graduated in Welsh in 1951 and became a leading rugby union player and coached the highly successful 1971 British Lions.

The building contains 18 specialised laboratories and seminar rooms providing state-of-the-art facilities for physiological, psychological and biomechanical research and teaching.

Environmental Chamber

An environmental chamber allows the study of physiological responses in a range hot, cold or humid environments.


The physiology laboratories house a wide range of equipment for monitoring responses to exercise. This includes high performance treadmills, a number of Monark cycles, electromagnetically-braked cycle ergometers (Lode), Powercranks for road and off-road cycles, rowing ergometers, spirometers, online gas analysis systems etc. There are numerous high-quality on-line systems with 12-lead ECG, in addition to standard Douglas bag off-line collection and analysis facilities. 

Biochemistry and Tissue Analysis

To complement work in all disciplines, especially physiology, this lab includes analysers to assay blood, urine and sweat, and a range of associated equipment. Amongst other things, there are centrifuges, -80°C freezers, an autoclave, an automated haematology analyser, plate readers (absorbance and luminescence), a clinical biochemistry analyser and a photometer. The biochemistry lab is well equipped to allow the measurement of various parameters and metabolites (e.g. lactate, glucose, lipids, hormones) for research into areas such as immunology, nutrition, fatigue, stress responses, health and disease.


This features a DXA scanner for accurate measurement of body composition and bone mineral density. We also have fundamental anthropometry equipment including skin calipers, bioelectrical impedance equipment and an underwater weighing tank sunk into the floor. 

Psychology and Psycho-Physiology

Computer-based psychometric and cognitive function testing equipment (i.e. the Vienna Testing System) is available. This can be used alongside EMG, ECG, heart rate monitoring and respiratory analysis in our Psychophysiology laboratory to study the relationship between body and mind. In addition, one laboratory provides a mirrored exercise environment to examine psychological responses to exercise. 

Comfortable seminar rooms allow group activities such as the analysis of roles in a team and provide relaxed spaces for athlete interviews.