Neuromechanical Research Centre (NMRC)


The aim of the Neuromechanical Research Centre (NMRC) is to explore the workings of the neuromuscular system as it relates to human movement and health. The NMRC is located in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina and operates under the direction of Dr. John M. Barden. The NMRC is a 2600 sq. ft. research space dedicated to the analysis of human movement. It is equipped with a Peak Volant 6-camera 3D optical tracking system, two AMTI force plates, a KINCOM isokinetic dynamometer and a Delsys 8-channel telemetered EMG system. The NMRC conducts research in the areas of biomechanics and motor control. Examples of NMRC research projects include stroke mechanics in competitive swimming, postural control in children with developmental coordination disorder, coordination patterns in drumming, gait analysis before and after total knee replacement surgery and limb dynamics associated with proprioceptive reaching tasks. 

NMRC Faculty

Dr. John M. Barden

Dr. John Barden is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, and has been a member of the faculty since 2001. Dr. Barden received his Ph.D. in Experimental Surgery from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, in which he conducted research into the role of deficient neuromuscular control in the development of idiopathic multidirectional shoulder instability. Dr. Barden's general research interests include the biomechanics and motor control of movement, particularly with respect to shoulder instability, gait analysis and gait variability, stroke mechanics in swimming and the neural control of reaching movements.

Dr. Barden teaches undergraduate courses in Motor Learning and Control (KIN 280), Biomechanics (KIN 285), Clinical Biomechanics (KIN 385) and Lifespan Growth and Motor Development (KIN 180). He also teaches a graduate course in applied biomechanics (KHS 885). In an administrative capacity, Dr. Barden has served as the Graduate Coordinator for Gerontology (2004-2008) and is currently on the Board of Directors for Swim Saskatchewan as the Director of High Performance (2008-2012).

For further information about NMRC research projects or graduate opportunities in biomechanics and motor control, please contact Dr. John Barden at (306) 585-4629 (

Current Graduate Students

Khaled Alshdokhi - Khaled comes to the University of Regina from Saudi Arabia and has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Physical Education from the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His Master's thesis investigated different training program designs for competitve swimmers. He has been a lecturer in the Physical Education Division at the University of Hail, Board Member and Chairman of the Technical Committee at the Saudi Arabian Swimming Federation and the Educational Supervisor in Physical Education at the Ministry of Education. Khaled recently started his Ph.D. program in Kinesiology in September of 2011 and currently receives a scholarship from the government of Saudi Arabia. Khaled's non-academic interests include swimming, playing volleyball and traveling.

Mike Barber - Mike was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and completed a Bachelor of Human Movement degree at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in 2008. During his undergraduate degree program, Mike studied as an exchange student at the University of Regina for one semester. He started his Masters degree in the Fall of 2010 after working as a personal trainer and sports performance coach at Macquarie University in Sydney. Mike's sporting passion is Track and Field, in which he currently competes as a member of the Cougar Track team in the Pentathlon and Decathlon. Mike's research investigates the effect of breathing and dominance on bilateral asymmetry in freestyle swimming. His other academic interests include strength and conditioning to improve sports performance and sports nutrition. Mike plans to pursue a career in sports performance coaching following graduation. Last year, Mike received a Graduate Student Research Award and an International Student Athlete Scholarship.

Markus Brahms - Markus completed his combined undergraduate and graduate degree in Sports Science at the University of Göttingen, Germany. During his studies, he focused on sports biomechanics as well as on the theory and practice of high-performance training. His graduate thesis research project investigated the relationship of kinematic and kinetic parameters during explosive movement in the frontal plane and how it relates to injury prevention. Markus also completed several internships in the field of strength & conditioning and has been working as a Performance Specialist for several years. In the fall of 2011 he began a PhD in Kinesiology at the University of Regina, where his research will concentrate on joint instability. Markus is currently a sessional lecturer and teaches Anatomy (Kin 260 and KHS 168AA/AB) at the undergraduate level. His general research interests include the planning and organization of the training process, functional  training methods as well as the neuromuscular control of human movement.

Christian Clermont - In 2010, Christian completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology (Honour’s) degree at the University of Regina while majoring in Fitness & Lifestyle. His Honour’s thesis topic examined the effects of decreased breathing frequency on stroke parameters in competitive swimming. Christian started his Master's degree in Kinesiology in January of 2011, and his research investigates the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and gait variability. Within the past year, Christian has been a Teaching Assistant for the Introductory Biomechanics course (KIN 285) at the University of Regina. Some of his interests include literature, biking, running, and a variety of sports such as football, hockey, golf, and lacrosse where he has competed in National Championships for both field and box lacrosse. Following his graduate studies, Christian wishes to pursue a career in biomechanical research or further his education at the Doctoral level.

Mads Hansen - Mads comes from Denmark where he completed his BA in Sport Science at the University of Aarhus in 2010. During his undergraduate program he studied biomechanics and sports physiology to further his understanding of competitive swimming. In the fall of 2011 he will start his Masters Degree, where he will use accelerometers to analyze the stroke mechanics of competitive swimmers. For the last 10 years Mads has been working as a competitive swim coach at both the club and national levels, and has completed several coaching certifications including the Danish equivalent to NCCP Level 3 in Canada. His interest in swimming has taken him all over Europe, and has now brought him to the University of Regina. Besides swimming and education, Mads enjoys playing and watching soccer. In the future, he hopes to make a career working with top-class international swimmers either as a coach or sport biomechanist.

Dylan Kobsar - Dylan completed his Bachelor of Kinesiology (Honour’s) degree at the University of Regina in 2009. His Honour's thesis examined contact time and coupling time in various plyometric jumps and was presented at the National Strength and Conditioning Association Conference in Orlando, FL. Dylan began his Masters degree in January of 2010 and with the support of TR Labs and SaskTel received an NSERC Industrial Post-Graduate Scholarship to support his thesis research. His thesis involves the use of accelerometers to analyze the gait of older adults, with the goal of better understanding fall risk. He has experience as a Teaching Assistant for classes such as KIN 260 (Human Anatomy), KIN 280 (Motor Learning & Control), and KIN 285 (Biomechanics) and his research interests lie in the field of biomechanics, specifically in the areas of gait analysis and plyometric training. Upon the completion of his Masters degree, Dylan plans to continue his education and follow his research interests into a Doctoral Degree Program.

Craig Nieuwstad - Craig hails from Cape Town, South Africa, where he attended the University of Stellenbosch. During his time there he completed a BA in Sport Science (major in Psychology), followed by a B (Hons) Sport Science majoring in High Performance. Craig’s postgraduate honours work focused on monitoring the accumulative fatigue and recovery in U/20 Rugby players. He will begin his masters program during the fall of 2011 and his research will focus on stroke mechanics in competitive swimming. Craig has an enormous passion for the sport of swimming and has been coaching at a competitive swim club for the past 4 and a half years, working with top provincial, national and international swimmers. His love for the sport has taken him as far as Minneapolis where he underwent an internship with the Twin Cities Swim Club at the University of Minnesota. Craig is a die-hard fan of Manchester United Football Club and loves them almost as much as swimming. After completing his studies he intends to continue and enhance his swimming coaching career at an internationally renowned university.

Dr. Paul Bruno


Current Graduate Students

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Dr. Kerri Staples

Current Graduate Students

Tarun Arora - I am from New Delhi, India. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Physiotherapy from India. Before coming to Regina, I was associated with a soccer academy and a physiotherapy clinic as a Physiotherapist. I believe in using physical activity (especially sport) as a tool for rehabilitation of people with disabilities. I joined U of R as a Master's Student in January 2011 and working under supervision of Dr. Kerri Staples. For my thesis, I am looking forward to see the effects of physical activity on people with spinal cord injury. I am also associated with First Steps Wellness Centre - a wellness centre for people with spinal cord injury. In my free time, I like to watch documentaries on physics, time, space, and forces.

Chantelle Zimmer - Chantelle completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honour’s) degree in Psychology at the University of Regina.  During that time, she was also a research assistant with Dr. Kerri Staples, investigating motor performance of children with autism spectrum disorders. She began her Master’s degree in September 2011 and is a research assistant with Dr. Rebecca Genoe examining the role of leisure in coping with COPD. Her research interests include examining the influence of motivation, self-efficacy, and motor proficiency on participation in physical activity among children with learning disabilities and developmental coordination disorder.  Upon the completion of her Master’s degree, Chantelle plans to further her education at the Doctoral level in order to pursue a career in academia.