Zachary Fielding

Introduce yourself...

I study biomechanics. I am fascinated by human anatomy and how that relates to our movement. I fell in love with the field of science in high school (thanks to some amazing teachers) and have been on the search for more ever since! My years of being a strength and conditioning coach combined with my interest in anatomy led me to the field of biomechanics.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

My research is interested in the gluteal muscles, specifically gluteus medius and minimus. The goal of my research is to better define the function of these muscles and how we may use different exercises to strengthen them. Weakness in gluteus medius and minimus has been related to back and knee pains, and current recommendations are believed to be inadequate.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

Presenting a 3MT helped me step back and look at the bigger picture of my research. Sometimes in research you can get very narrow-sighted, but the style of the 3MT (brief, engaging, accessible), pushes you to truly understand your own research and how it relates to the greater public. The 3MT lets you step out of this bubble we create in academia, and reminds you of a greater goal—developing our global knowledge.

What inspires you to do research?

My fascination for the search for new knowledge and continued questioning of our current knowledge!

What are three keywords important to your 3MT?

muscles, maps, exercise

How has your research changed during COVID-19?

COVID-19 has slowed research down for everyone, but in particular, exercise research can be tricky. My research requires a lot of high-tech equipment that can't be used just anywhere—requiring me to be in the laboratory. Luckily, with the easing of restrictions and strict protocols, I can come back in and continue searching for answers to our muscle-related questions!

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future—who would it be and why?

I would dedicate my research to my family and friends. They've always supported me on my journey through academics and always lend an ear when I ramble about research. The support and motivation they've provided me have been a big part of where I am now, and hopefully will do so until I've decided it's time for a different journey.