While studying for her Biology degree at the University of Exeter, she realised that she was more interested in human physiology than plants and bugs so when a conversation at training one evening led to the offer to complete her dissertation in the School of Sport and Health Sciences, she jumped at it! Little did she know this was just the start as following the success of her undergraduate dissertation she was offered a scholarship to complete a PhD at the University of Exeter. Her PhD revolved around the investigation of the role of maturation in determining the influence of intensive training on the physiological responses of children during exercise, for which she was lucky enough to receive an award at the European College of Sport Sciences Conference. This is an area in which she continues to work and in which she has been invited to present keynote talks at conferences.
Alongside writing up her PhD, Melitta took a post-doctoral position at Swansea University investigating developing a model of cardiorespiratory control for an ambulatory artificial lung. This challenging project led to the establishment of many collaborative relationships with colleagues in the College of Engineering, Medicine and Biology whom she continues to work with now following her appointment as a lecturer and subsequent promotion to Senior Lecturer at Swansea University. Although she is involved in an increasingly diverse range of projects, her central interest remains trying to understand the mechanistic basis for the adaptations that occur in response to regular physical activity in both healthy populations and those suffering from a variety of pathologies. She is particularly interested in understanding the influence of exercise on the cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic responses with recent work involving those with Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis. She believes that one of the greatest challenges for academics today is to achieve a work/life balance so outside of work she tries to practice what she preaches by keeping active, something largely necessitated by a love of good food! Luckily, her hyperactive dog helps ensure there is never a dull moment and keeps Melitta on her feet!