Professor Christian Cook

Professor in Biomedical Science - Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law; School of Science and Technology

Christian Cook

Phone: +61 2 6773 3232



Professor Cook was awarded a PhD in Paediatrics from Auckland University School of Medicine for original work monitoring in utero brain development. Subsequently he worked on the physiology and neurobiology of stress and biomedical technology design. This migrated towards high performance environments and Professor Cook has worked across a number of Americas Cup Yachting campaigns, rugby world cups as well as several summer and winter Olympics. He held, until 2016, academic positions at Bath University, Imperial College and Bangor University. At Imperial College Professor Cook was part of the newly established Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, a centre that focuses on learning and technology in surgery and other fields of medicine, where he remains a Visiting Professor and undertakes research.

Prior to coming to UNE he was a Professor at University of Canberra continuing work on the physiology and neurobiology of high performance in sport and in medicine.

Professor Cook publishes widely (>200), holds a number of patents and is committed to research training, having supervised over 30 research theses and projects.


MSc (First class Hons Physiology), PhD (Paediatrics) Auckland University School of Medicine

Teaching Areas

Neuroscience, Physiology, Biochemistry, Sport Science

Primary Research Area/s

Biology of stress and human performance

Research Interests

Neurobiology of performance and stress Neurobiology of learning

High performance sport

Technical knowledge acquisition and application under pressure in medicine

Research Supervision Experience

30+ research based theses and projects


Over 200 publications, 7 patents and trademarks – recent examples include:

Medical students preferring a surgical or non-surgical elective differ in their emotional and hormonal responses to a psychological stressor. Crewther BT, Cook CJ. Am J Surg. 2019 Apr 9. pii: S0002-9610(19)30204-1. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2019.04.003.

Within- and between-person variation in morning testosterone is associated with economic risk-related decisions in athletic women across the menstrual cycle. Cook CJ, Crewther BT. Horm Behav. 2019 Jun; 112:77-80. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.04.007.

The digit ratio (2D:4D) relationship with testosterone is moderated by physical training: Evidence of prenatal organizational influences on activational patterns of adult testosterone in physically-active women. Crewther BT, Cook CJ. Early Hum Dev. 2019 Apr; 131:51-55. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2019.02.008.

Sleep and Salivary Testosterone and Cortisol during a Short Preseason Camp: A Study in Professional Rugby Union. Serpell BG, Horgan BG, Colomer CME, Field B, Halson SL, Cook CJ. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2019 May 23:1-9. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2018-0600.

The impact of a competitive learning environment on hormonal and emotional stress responses and skill acquisition and expression in a medical student domain. Cook CJ, Crewther BT. Physiol Behav. 2019 Feb 1; 199:252-257. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.11.027.

Neuromuscular, physiological and perceptual responses to an elite netball tournament.

Birdsey LP, Weston M, Russell M, Johnston M, Cook CJ, Kilduff LP. J Sports Sci. 2019 Jun 3:1-6. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2019.1625613.

A match-day analysis of the movement profiles of substitutes from a professional soccer club before and after pitch-entry. Hills SP, Barrett S, Feltbower RG, Barwood MJ, Radcliffe JN, Cooke CB, Kilduff LP, Cook CJ, Russell M. PLoS One. 2019 Jan 31; 14(1):e0211563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211563.

Predictors of Linear and Multidirectional Acceleration in Elite Soccer Players. Northeast J, Russell M, Shearer D, Cook CJ, Kilduff LP. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Feb; 33(2):514-522. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001897.

Serum cortisol as a moderator of the relationship between serum testosterone and Olympic weightlifting performance in real and simulated competitions. Crewther BT, Obmiński Z, Cook CJ. Biol Sport. 2018 Sep; 35(3):215-221. doi:10.5114/biolsport.2018.74632

The salivary testosterone response to a chance-determined contest is associated with face-gazing behaviours in athletic women. Crewther BT, Cook CJ. Horm Behav. 2018 Jul; 103:107-110. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.06.011.

A longitudinal analysis of salivary testosterone concentrations and competitiveness in elite and non-elite women athletes. Crewther BT, Cook CJ. Physiol Behav. 2018 May 1;188:157-161. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.02.012.

Basal and stress-induced salivary testosterone variation across the menstrual cycle and linkage to motivation and muscle power. Cook CJ, Kilduff LP, Crewther BT. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018 Apr; 28(4):1345-1353. doi: 10.1111/sms.13041.

The effect of oral contraceptive use on salivary testosterone concentrations and athlete performance during international field hockey matches. Crewther BT, Hamilton D, Kilduff LP, Drawer S, Cook CJ. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 May; 21(5):453-456. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.017.

Relationships between physical qualities and key performance indicators during match-play in senior international rugby union players. Cunningham DJ, Shearer DA, Drawer S, Pollard B, Cook CJ, Bennett M, Russell M, Kilduff LP. PLoS One. 2018 Sep 12; 13(9):e0202811. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0202811.

Lower-Limb Passive Heat Maintenance Combined With Pre-cooling Improves Repeated Sprint Ability. Beaven CM, Kilduff LP, Cook CJ. Front Physiol. 2018 Aug 3; 9:1064. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01064.

The effect of lower limb occlusion on recovery following sprint exercise in academy rugby players. Williams N, Russell M, Cook CJ, Kilduff LP. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 ct; 21(10):1095-1099. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.02.012.

The Effect of Ischemic Preconditioning on Maximal Swimming Performance. Williams N, Russell M, Cook CJ, Kilduff LP. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jan 30. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002485.

The ball in play demands of international rugby union. Pollard BT, Turner AN, Eager R, Cunningham DJ, Cook CJ, Hogben P, Kilduff LP. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Oct; 21(10):1090-1094. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.02.015.

A comparison of different heat maintenance methods implemented during a simulated half-time period in professional Rugby Union players. Russell M, Tucker R, Cook CJ, Giroud T, Kilduff LP. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Mar; 21(3):327-332. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.06.005.

Can salivary testosterone and cortisol reactivity to a mid-week stress test discriminate a match outcome during international rugby union competition? Crewther BT, Potts N, Kilduff LP, Drawer S, Cook CJ. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 Mar; 21(3):312-316. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2017.05.021.

The Effect of Ischemic Preconditioning on Maximal Swimming Performance. Williams N, Russell M, Cook CJ, Kilduff LP. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jan 30. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002485.

Assessing worst case scenarios in movement demands derived from global positioning systems during international rugby union matches: Rolling averages versus fixed length epochs. Cunningham DJ, Shearer DA, Carter N, Drawer S, Pollard B, Bennett M, Eager R, Cook CJ, Farrell J, Russell M, Kilduff LP. PLoS One. 2018 Apr 5; 13(4):e0195197. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0195197.

Consultancy Interests

High performance, learning, workplace stress, sport performance