Emma graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Exercise Science from Brighton University before completing an MSc in Exercise Science at the University of Toronto, Canada. She then went on to complete her PhD in Exercise Science with a specialisation in cardiovascular physiology at the University of Toronto, Canada (2013).  After completing her PhD, Emma undertook post-doctoral studies in the Clinical Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory at the Toronto General Hospital, Canada.  Emma’s research focuses on the cardiovascular health of women, with emphasis on the independent and combined effects of estrogen deficiency and exercise training in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. 

In January 2016, she returned to the UK to take the post of Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at the University of Loughborough, becoming Senior Lecturer in 2022.

Emma is a member of The American Physiological Society and The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. 

Emma’s primary research interest is centered on the cardiovascular consequences of estrogen deficiency in premenopausal women with amenorrhea (absence of menses).  Specifically, she has investigated the effects of altered menstrual status in physically active women on vascular function and neurohumoral mechanisms of blood pressure regulation.  Her research interests also include the independent and combined effects of hormone replacement therapy and exercise on cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.

Invited reviewer for: Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism; European Journal of Applied Physiology; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Journal of Human Hypertension; Endocrine; Physiology and Behavior; and Osteoporosis International.

Featured publications

  • O’Donnell E, Goodman JM, Morris BL, Floras JS, Harvey PJ.  Augmented Vagal Heart Rate Modulation in Active Hypoestrogenic Premenopausal Women with Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. Clinical Science. 2015 129: 885-893
  • O’Donnell E, Goodman JM, Morris BL, Floras JS, Harvey PJ.  Discordant Orthostatic Reflex Renin-Angiotensin and Sympathoneural Responses in Premenopausal Exercising-Hypoestrogenic Women.  Hypertension. 2015 65(5):1089-95
  • De Souza MJ, Williams NI, Nattiv A, Joy E, Misra M, Loucks AB, Matheson G, Olmsted MP, Barrack M, Mallinson RJ, Gibbs JC, Goolsby M, Nichols JF, Drinkwater B, Sanborn C, Agostini R, Otis CL, Johnson MD, Zeni Hoch A, Alleyne JMK, Tyler Wadsworth L, Koehler K, VanHeest J, Harvey PJ, Weiss Kelly AK, Fredericson M, Brooks GA, O’Donnell E, Callahan LR, Putukian M, Costello L, Hecht S, Rauh MJ, McComb J.  Misunderstanding the Female Athlete Triad: Refuting the IOC Consensus Statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Br J Sports Med. 201448(20):1461-5
  • O’Donnell E, Floras JS, Harvey PJ.  Estrogen status and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014 307(5): R498-R500
  • O’Donnell E, Goodman JM, Mak S, Harvey PJ.  Impaired Endothelium-Dependent Function in Physically Active Premenopausal Women with Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea is Associated with Low Shear Stress and Increased Vascular Tone. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 99(5):1798-806
  • O’Donnell E, Goodman JM, Harvey, PJ.  Cardiovascular Consequences of Ovarian Disruption: A Focus on Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 96(12):3638-48