Who are we

Director, Professor Diane Crone

Director, Professor Diane Crone

Diane is a Professor of Exercise and Health in the School of Sport and Health Sciences and Head of the University’s Global Academy'Health and Human Performance'. She has extensive experience of applied, pragmatic research in the area of health and wellbeing, and specifically physical activity and art interventions for mental health improvement.

She joined the university in 2019 and brings with her a wealth of experience leading research and evaluation across the UK and internationally. She is passionate about ensuring research and its outcomes are both collaborative and directly influence policy and practice in our communities. She set up CAWR in collaboration with the management team and is Director of the centre.

Lead, Public Health and Wellbeing (#PHWB) – Dr Britt Hallingberg

Lead: Dr Britt Hallinberg

Britt is a Lecturer in Health Wellbeing Psychology in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. Britt’s research explores how both psychological and social factors shape health behaviours and wellbeing, with a focus on the role of leisure activities and hobbies. She has expertise in intervention development and evaluation methodology and has a wealth of experience collaborating with community organisations and policy makers.

She joined the University in 2019 and is passionate about supporting opportunities and developing careers in research for both students and staff. Britt is the strategic lead for PHWB and the co-lead for the CAWR Research Networking Series.

Lead, Physical Health Education for Lifelong Learning (#PHELL) – Dr David Aldous

Lead, Dr David Aldous

David is a Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. David’s research interests lie in developing sociological theory and co-design methodologies to inform advances in the understanding, transformation and enactment of health and education policies and professional practice.

Since joining the Cardiff Met in 2014, he has worked with educators both in the UK and internationally, in the understanding and advancement of curriculum and professional learning. He is the strategic lead for PHELL.

Lead, Wellbeing in Demanding Environments (#WIDE) – Professor Stephen Mellalieu

Lead, Dr David Aldous

Stephen is a Professor of Sport Psychology in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. His research investigates how individuals and groups operate successfully within highly demanding occupational environments, particularly the use of personal and social resources to negotiate the various demands faced.

He is also interested in mental health in the workplace and the role that leaders play in developing resilience and coping to facilitate workforce wellbeing and performance. Stephen has considerable leadership experience in both collaborative multi-method projects with a range of industry partners, and as the strategic lead for WiDE.

Leads, Cardiovascular Physiology (#CARDIOPHYS)– Drs Rachel Lord and Chris Pugh

Lead, Dr Rachel Lord

Rachel is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology in School of Sport and Health Sciences. Rachel's research broadly aims to address a number of specific topics with a focus on cardiovascular adaptation and control of the cardiovascular system. These topics include: healthy ageing and exercise as medicine, in both healthy and clinical populations, and the athlete’s heart. Since joining Cardiff Met in 2015, she has been involved in the Athena Swan programme at the university and is an advocate for lifelong physical activity and its associated benefits. Rachel is co-strategic lead for Cardiovascular Physiology in CAWR, and is the co-lead for the CAWR Research Networking Series.

Lead, Dr Chris Pugh

Chris is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. Chris’ global research agenda focusses on how regular exercise and physical activity can effectively prevent and treat cardiovascular and metabolic diseases across the lifespan. He utilises cutting-edge ultrasound techniques to explore the therapeutic impact of exercise training and other interventions such as heat therapy, water immersion and novel pharmaceuticals on peripheral and cerebral vascular health in vulnerable populations. Chris is co-strategic lead for Cardiovascular Physiology in CAWR.

Research Associate, CAWR Early Career Community (#ECC) – Faaiza


Faaiza is the CAWR Research Associate. She joined CAWR in January 2023 and previously worked at Cardiff Met Sport on a health inequalities and social prescribing project. She has an MSc (Distinction) in Social Science Research Methods from Cardiff University and has a background working in policy, education and project management in the third sector. She co-leads a project looking at physical activities amongst ethnic monitories in Cardiff and supports a range of other CAWR projects. Faaiza sits on the CAWR Management group as the lead for the Early Career Community.

Lead, CAWR Social Media – Xela Defauce BouzÓ

Xela Defauce BouzÓ

Xela is a PhD student at Cardiff Metropolitan University in the area of exercise physiology. She has previously had a social media role on a research project at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia when she undertook a year’s placement from her undergraduate degree programme at the University of Granada, Spain.