Gareth joined the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in 2019 having previously held lectureships at the University of Bath, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Nottingham Trent University. He contributes to the research themes of Lifestyle for Health and Wellbeing and Sport, Business and Society. His teaching and learning contributions include delivering on topics related to Sociology, Development and Management as they relate to sport, exercise and health.

Gareth’s research is focused on understanding how social processes contribute to health and illness. He primarily draws from sociology and uses qualitative methodologies but is proactive in taking an interdisciplinary approach to research. Philosophy of science has also become a significant aspect of his work, exploring in particular how critical realism can help inform empirical research in the social and natural sciences.

  • Managing Editor for the Centre for Critical Realism Book Series
  • Member of the Research Advisory Group for parkrun research
  • Co-Chair of the World Transplant Games Federation Research Initiative
  • Ad hoc peer reviewer for: Social Science and Medicine; BMJ Open; Qualitative Health Research; Sport, Education and Society; Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; International Review for the Sociology of Sport; Journal of Critical Realism.

Invited talks

  • Critical Realism as a Philosophy of Science for Interdisciplinary Research. Keynote presentation at the University of Stirling Interdisciplinary Research Network Symposium, May 2021.
  • Understanding sport and exercise after organ transplantation. National Centre for the Sport and Exercise Medicine Public Lecture, February 2021.
  • Seven sociological explanations for physical inactivity. Join Us Move Play Webinar Series, August 2020.

Public engagement

Featured publications

  • Smith, S. K., Wiltshire, G., Brown, F. F., Dhillon, H., Osborn, M., Wexler, S., Beresford, M., Tooley, M. & Turner, J. E. (2022). ‘You’re kind of left to your own devices’: a qualitative focus group study of patients with breast, prostate or blood cancer at a hospital in the South West of England, exploring their engagement with exercise and physical activity during cancer treatment and in the months following standard care. BMJ open, 12(3), e056132.
  • Lindsey, I. and Wiltshire, G. (2021) Sport for Development and Transformative Social Change: The Potential of Margaret Archer’s Morphogenetic Approach to Reconceptualize a Long-Standing Problem, Sociology of Sport Journal, 39(1), pp.78-87.
  • Wiltshire, G. and Ronkainen, N. (2021) A realist approach to thematic analysis: making sense of qualitative data through experiential, inferential and dispositional themes, Journal of Critical Realism, 20(2), pp. 159-180.
  • Wiltshire, G, Pullen, E, Brown, FF, Osborn, M, Wexler, S, Beresford, M, Tooley, M, Turner, JE (2020) The experiences of cancer patients within the material hospital environment: Three ways that materiality is affective, Social Science & Medicine, 264, pp.113402-113402.
  • Wiltshire, G, Clarke, NJ, Phoenix, C, Bescoby, C (2020) Organ Transplant Recipients’ Experiences of Physical Activity: Health, Self-Care, and Transliminality, Qualitative Health Research, 31(2), pp. 385-398.
  • Ronkainen, N. J., & Wiltshire, G. (2019). Rethinking validity in qualitative sport and exercise psychology research: a realist perspective. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 19(1), 13-28.
  • Wiltshire, G., Lee, J. & Williams, O. (2019). Understanding the reproduction of health inequalities: physical activity, social class and Bourdieu’s habitus. Sport, Education and Society, 24(3), 226-240.
  • Wiltshire, G. (2018). A case for critical realism in the pursuit of interdisciplinarity and impact. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(5), 525-542.
  • Wiltshire, G. & Stevinson, C. (2018). Exploring the role of social capital in community-based physical activity: qualitative insights from parkrun. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(1), 47-62.
  • Wiltshire, G., Fullagar, S. & Stevinson, C. (2018). Exploring parkrun as a social context for collective health practices: Running with and against the moral imperatives of health responsiblisation. Sociology of Health and Illness, 40(1), 3-17.