Dr Matt Brearley

University Fellow

Dr Matt Brearley is an occupational heat stress consultant, conducting and applying research to guide industry practice. In doing so, Matt has developed a reputation as 'The Heat Guy', for his unrelenting pursuit of maximising human performance in challenging environments. He has worked with a wide range of industries including mining, construction, utilities, law enforcement, transportation, emergency response, and the military. 

His research has quantified the physiological impost of working in the heat, and examined heat acclimatisation and cooling strategies in the field. Matt introduced crushed ice ingestion to occupational settings in 2006, and continues to research the potential of this novel cooling strategy in harsh climates. Such work has been acknowledged with awards for research and innovation, best conference paper and presentations and recognition by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.

Commencing his career in elite sport settings, Matt previously worked for the Northern Territory Institute of Sport and National Heat Training and Acclimatisation Centre, and was the heat specialist for the Australian team in the lead up to, and during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Read about the Heat Stress Research Partnership 

Open all | Close all

Publications & Resources

Book Chapters

Brearley, M., & Saunders P. (2013). Heat. In R.K. Tanner & C.J. Gore (eds.), Physiological tests for elite athletes. 2nd Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Brearley, M. (2008). Heat Acclimatisation and Monitoring. In Australian Olympic Team Handbook: Games of the XXIXth Olympiad, Beijing, China.

Journal Articles

Brearley, M., Norton, I., Rush, D., Hutton, M., Smith, S., Ward, L., & Fuentes, H. (In Press). Influence of chronic heat acclimatisation on occupational thermal strain in tropical field conditions. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 

Walker, A., Rattray, B., & Brearley, M. (In Press). Perception or reality; can thermal perceptions inform management of firefighters in the heat? Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 

Elgendi, M., Howard, N., Lovell, N., Cichocki, A., Brearley, M., Abbott, D., & Adatia, I. (2016).  A Six-Step Framework on Biomedical Signal Analysis for Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases: Current and Future Perspectives. JMIR Biomedical Engineering, 1(1), e1.

Brearley, M. (2016). Cooling methods to prevent heat related illness in the workplace. Workplace Health and Safety, 64(2), 80.

Brearley, M. (2016). Pre-deployment heat acclimatisation guidelines for disaster responders. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 31(1), 85-89.

Elgendi, M., Fletcher, R., Norton, I., Brearley, M., Abbott, D., Lovell, N., & Schuurmans, D. (2015). Frequency analysis of photoplethysmogram and its derivatives. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 122(3), 503-512.

Elgendi, M., Fletcher, R., Norton, I., Brearley, M., Abbott, D., Lovell, N., & Schuurmans, D. (2015). Towards investigating global warming impact on human health using derivatives of photoplethysmogram signals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(10), 12776-12791.

Brearley, M., & Walker, A. (2015). Water immersion for post incident cooling of firefighters; a review of practical fire ground cooling modalities. Extreme Physiology and Medicine, 15, 4.

Elgendi, M., Fletcher, R., Norton, I., Brearley, M., Abbott, D., Lovell, N., & Schuurmans, D. (2015). Time-domain analysis of photoplethysmogram signals for monitoring heat stress. Sensors, 15(10), 24716-24734.

Keene, T., Brearley, M., Bowen, B., & Walker, A. (2015). Accuracy of tympanic temperature measurement in firefighters completing a simulated structural firefighting task. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 30(5), 1-5.

Brearley, M., Harrington, P., Lee, D., & Taylor, R. (2015). Working in hot conditions – a study of electrical utility crews in the Northern Territory of Australia. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 12(3), 156-62.

Walker, A., Driller, M., Brearley, M., Argus, C., & Rattray, B. (2014). Cold water immersion and iced slush ingestion are effective at cooling firefighters following a simulated search in a hot environment. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 39(10), 1159-66.

Elgendi, M., Norton, I., Brearley, M., Abbott, D., & Schuurmans, D. (2014). Detection of a and b waves in the acceleration photoplethysmogram. Biomedical Engineering Online, 13(1), 139.

Brearley, M., Norton, I., Kingsbury, D., & Maas, S. (2014). Responses of elite road motorcyclists to racing in tropical conditions. International Journal of Sports Physiology, 9(5), 887-90.

Brearley, M., Heaney, M., & Norton, I. (2013). Physiological responses of medical team members to a simulated emergency in tropical field conditions. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 8(2), 139-144.

Elgendi, M., Norton, I., Brearley, M., Abbott, D., & Schuurmans, D. (2013). Systolic peak detection in acceleration photoplethysmograms measured from emergency responders in tropical conditions. PLoS One 22, 8(10), e76585.

Brearley, M. (2012). Crushed ice ingestion - a practical strategy for lowering core temperature. Journal of Military and Veterans Health, 20(2), 25-30.

Siegel, R., Maté, J., Brearley, M., Watson, G., Nosaka, K., & Laursen, P.B. (2010). Ice slurry ingestion increases core temperature capacity and running time in the heat. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(4), 717-25.

Ihsan, M., Landers, G., Brearley, M., & Peeling, P. (2010). Beneficial effects of ice ingestion as a precooling strategy on 40-km cycling time-trial performance. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 5(2), 140-51.

Brearley, M., & Finn, J.P. (2007). Responses of motor-sport athletes to V8 supercar racing in hot conditions. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2(2), 182-91.

Brearley, M., & Watkins, M. (2007). Practical Guidelines to minimise dehydration in the Tropics. Strength and Conditioning Coach, 15(4), 7-11.

Dr Matt Brearley


T: +61 8 8922 6422
E: matt.brearley@nt.gov.au

Darwin, NT