Dr Aleksandra Birn-Jeffery

Senior Lecturer
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences
Dr Aleksandra Birn-Jeffery
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873821

  • Location

    ESA.3.24, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    By appointment



I am a biomechanist with a particular interest in the neuromechanical control of movement. In order to understand how we move in complex environments I have previously used a comparative approach, studying both human and animal locomotion, but my focus recently has moved into human movements. I use complex environments as a way to address the underlying control principles, as it is within these complex tasks that performance limitations will be reached and trade-offs occur due to changing mechanical demands. Determining the underlying control of movement has the potential to inform on clinical practice, rehabilitation strategies, legged robotics and assistive technologies.


University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer, University of Essex (4/10/2021 - present)

Other academic

  • Lecturer in Bioengineering, Queen Mary University of London (6/11/2017 - 30/9/2021)

  • Lecturer in Sports & Exercise Medicine, Queen Mary University of London (5/9/2016 - 3/11/2017)

Research and professional activities

Research interests


Open to supervise


Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Professional Skills and Development 1 (SE101)

  • Biomechanics (SE102)

  • Research Methods in Sport and Exercise (SE230)

  • Movement Analysis (SE303)

  • Research Project (SE309)

  • Biomechanics of Locomotion (SE732)

  • Research Project (SE740)


Journal articles (22)

Delen, M., Şendil, A., Kaux, J., Pedret, C., Le Sant, G., Pawson, J., Miller, SC., Birn-Jeffery, A. and Morrissey, D., (2023). Self‐reported bio‐psycho‐social factors partially distinguish rotator cuff tendinopathy from other shoulder problems and explain shoulder severity: A case‐control study. Musculoskeletal Care. 21 (1), 175-188

Gulle, H., Prior, T., Miller, S., Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Morrissey, D., (2021). Online questionnaire, clinical and biomechanical measurements for outcome prediction of plantar heel pain: feasibility for a cohort study. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. 14 (1), 34-

gulle, H., Birn-Jeffery, A., Prior, TD., Miller, S. and Morrissey, D., (2021). Online questionnaire, clinical and biomechanical measurements for outcome prediction of plantar heel pain: feasibility for a cohort study

Neal, BS., Lack, SD., Barton, CJ., Birn-Jeffery, A., Miller, S. and Morrissey, D., (2020). Is markerless, smart phone recorded two-dimensional video a clinically useful measure of relevant lower limb kinematics in runners with patellofemoral pain? A validity and reliability study. Physical Therapy in Sport. 43, 36-42

Neal, BS., Barton, CJ., Birn-Jeffery, A. and Morrissey, D., (2019). Increased hip adduction during running is associated with patellofemoral pain and differs between males and females: A case-control study. Journal of Biomechanics. 91, 133-139

Labonte, D., Struecker, M-Y., Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Federle, W., (2019). Shear-sensitive adhesion enables size-independent adhesive performance in stick insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286 (1913), 20191327-20191327

Hinds, N., Angioi, M., Birn-Jeffery, A. and Twycross-Lewis, R., (2019). A systematic review of shoulder injury prevalence, proportion, rate, type, onset, severity, mechanism and risk factors in female artistic gymnasts. Physical Therapy in Sport. 35, 106-115

Labonte, D., Struecker, M-Y., Birn-Jeffery, A. and Federle, W., (2019). Shear-sensitive adhesion enables size-independent adhesive performance in stick insects

Daley, MA. and Birn-Jeffery, A., (2018). Scaling of avian bipedal locomotion reveals independent effects of body mass and leg posture on gait. Journal of Experimental Biology. 221 (10), jeb152538-

Lack, S., Birn-Jeffery, A., Beasley, I. and Morrissey, D., (2018). Queen Mary University London: one of the longest established masters of sport and exercise medicine globally (continuing professional development series). British Journal of Sports Medicine. 52 (3), 206-207

Neal, BS., Barton, CJ., Birn-Jeffrey, A., Daley, M. and Morrissey, D., (2018). The effects & mechanisms of increasing running step rate: A feasibility study in a mixed-sex group of runners with patellofemoral pain. Physical Therapy in Sport. 32, 244-251

Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Higham, TE., (2016). Geckos decouple fore- and hind limb kinematics in response to changes in incline. Frontiers in Zoology. 13 (1), 11-

Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Higham, TE., (2016). Light level impacts locomotor biomechanics in a secondarily diurnal gecko, Rhoptropus afer. Journal of Experimental Biology. 219 (22), 3649-3655

Müller, R., Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Blum, Y., (2016). Human and avian running on uneven ground: a model-based comparison. Journal of The Royal Society Interface. 13 (122), 20160529-20160529

Higham, TE., Measey, GJ., Birn-Jeffery, AV., Herrel, A. and Tolley, KA., (2015). Functional divergence between morphs of a dwarf chameleon: differential locomotor kinematics in relation to habitat structure. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 116 (1), 27-40

Higham, TE., Birn-Jeffery, AV., Collins, CE., Hulsey, CD. and Russell, AP., (2015). Adaptive simplification and the evolution of gecko locomotion: Morphological and biomechanical consequences of losing adhesion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (3), 809-814

Birn-Jeffery, AV., Hubicki, CM., Blum, Y., Renjewski, D., Hurst, JW. and Daley, MA., (2014). Don't break a leg: running birds from quail to ostrich prioritise leg safety and economy on uneven terrain. Journal of Experimental Biology. 217 (21), 3786-3796

Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Higham, TE., (2014). Geckos significantly alter foot orientation to facilitate adhesion during downhill locomotion. Biology Letters. 10 (10), 20140456-20140456

Blum, Y., Vejdani, HR., Birn-Jeffery, AV., Hubicki, CM., Hurst, JW. and Daley, MA., (2014). Swing-Leg Trajectory of Running Guinea Fowl Suggests Task-Level Priority of Force Regulation Rather than Disturbance Rejection. PLoS ONE. 9 (6), e100399-e100399

Birn-Jeffery, AV., Miller, CE., Naish, D., Rayfield, EJ. and Hone, DWE., (2012). Pedal Claw Curvature in Birds, Lizards and Mesozoic Dinosaurs – Complicated Categories and Compensating for Mass-Specific and Phylogenetic Control. PLoS ONE. 7 (12), e50555-e50555

Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Daley, MA., (2012). Birds achieve high robustness in uneven terrain through active control of landing conditions. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215 (12), 2117-2127

Blum, Y., Birn-Jeffery, A., Daley, MA. and Seyfarth, A., (2011). Does a crouched leg posture enhance running stability and robustness?. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 281 (1), 97-106

Conferences (9)

Kloskowska, PM., Kryger, K., Twycross-Lewis, R. and Birn-Jeffery, A., (2022). Defining movement quality: do currently used metrics still match expected shifts in gait


Lee, DV., Isaacs, DV., Birn-Jeffery, A., Voloshina, AS., Zhao, G., Seyfarth, A. and Daley, MA., (2017). Bipedal Walking of Birds, Humans, and Robots

Hubicki, CM., Birn-Jeffery, AV., Jones, M., Hurst, JW. and Daley, MA., (2015). Task-level Priorities in Ground-running Bird Locomotion: Experiments to Math Models to Robots by Way of Optimization

Higham, TE. and Birn-Jeffery, A., (2015). Constraints and innovations in terrestrial locomotion: how geckos modulate adhesion and limb kinematics with changes in incline

Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Higham, TE., (2014). The Scaling of Uphill and Downhill Locomotion in Legged Animals

Birn-Jeffery, AV. and Higham, TE., (2014). What goes up must come down: how sloped surfaces impact the mechanics of locomotion

Higham, TE., Russell, AP., Birn-Jeffery, A., Collins, CE. and Hulsey, CD., (2014). Use it or lose it: locomotor evolution associated with the loss of adhesion in geckos

Daley, MA. and Birn-Jeffery, AV., (2014). Scaling of avian bipedal locomotion: How does body size influence gait dynamics in level and uneven terrain?

+44 (0) 1206 873821


ESA.3.24, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

By appointment

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