Mr. Plyley’s research is aimed at developing a better understanding (a) of how the geometrical arrangement of the capillaries and muscle fibers impacts the supply of oxygen and nutrients to, and the removal of waste byproducts from, skeletal muscle in health (including training and detraining) and disease, and (b) the etiology of angiogensis in skeletal muscle, and its relationship to various fiber attributes, such as fibre size (area, perimeter, surface area, shape), satellite cell activity and positioning, mitochrondrial supply and location, and trans-sarcolemmal transport mechanisms and sites.
Faculty: Applied Health Sciences- Brock University
CSEP member: since 1978
What do you wish you had known when you were in graduate school?
- How useful the other faculty members on my Advisory Committee could be, so that I could have taken advantage of their respective backgrounds, expertise, and experience.
- What opportunities existed within the Department, the Faculty, and across the University for me to gain knowledge and experience beyond conducting research and writing grants and papers.
- How knowledgeable and useful the Librarians are in terms of literature research, use of copy-written material, and presentation of organized materials.
What information/ advice did you learn in graduate school that has been most influential?
- The critical role that patience has in research;
- Appreciating the usefulness and potential strength of graphical analysis in revealing physiological and anatomical connections and integrated responses;
- Understanding the meaning and efficacy of using mathematical analysis and curve fitting to ascertain relationships between variables – beyond simple linear regression;
- The importance of taking criticism – in any form, to improve one’s thinking, writing, and overall development; this is an area that many students, and faculty, fail to use to help their development as they rail against the individuals and/or the manner by which the criticism was delivered rather than taking advantage of, and benefiting from, what is being conveyed.
Where do you think exercise physiology graduates are most needed?
The training that graduate students get within their degree programs, and the opportunities that now exist to develop and hone various “professional” skills and competencies, provide students with all the tools to be successful in many areas of society, whether that be in academic areas, business, government, or becoming an entrepreneur.
Where do you see your overall area of research headed in the next 5 years?
This is an exciting time in the area of investigating the function, role, and adaptive responses of the capillary network. There was a lull in this area of research for about 15 years prior to 2000, but as our understanding of the integration of various systems has developed, along with the efficacy of the tools provided through the use of antibodies and computerized image analysis, there has been a resurgence in the area as individuals from any number of disciplines have turned to exploring the microcirculation and its critical importance to bodily function.
Why is being a CSEP Academic Member important to you?
CSEP (formally CASS) has been critical to me in a number of ways.
It has provided me and my students with a forum in which to interact with colleagues concerning our research, to learn from them about new developments in our various fields, and to exchange research ideas based on their latest findings.
The CSEP Annual Meeting has provided a setting for me to discuss opportunities that exist for research collaboration, laboratory interactions and visits, and potential grants, and has furnished opportunities to discuss with prospective students from across Canada about our research and the potential of joining the lab. Similarly, I have been able to discuss face to face future research collaborations, laboratory interactions and relationships with my colleagues.
CSEP, through its Annual Meeting and its journal, has provided me and my students with opportunities to disseminate our research, for my graduate students to present their work in a supportive atmosphere, to hear from their peers about their work and ideas, and for them to become knowledgeable about what who is who, opportunities that exist, and to interact with other graduate students.
For all of us in the field, CSEP has afforded those of us involved in research and university teaching opportunities to interact, to publish and communicate our research, and to build consensus and positions papers based on our research and experience; for our students and colleagues involved in the fitness and clinical areas of the field, CSEP has provided opportunities for them to develop further their knowledge and skills, and for all of us, CSEP presented opportunities to talk about our field, to explore issues that involve all of us, and to mobilize collectively to provide research and practical support to the Canadian public.