Michelle Mottola, PhD, FACSM


Room 4187, TH
519 661-2111 x85480
Google Scholar
ORCID: 0000-0002-8707-4656


  • MSc, PhD (University of Alberta)
  • BSc (Western University)

Graduate Program Supervision

  • Integrative Biosciences MSc | PhD
  • Anatomy & Cell Biology MSc | PhD

Research In Profile

Michelle Mottola is a professor with a joint position in the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences and the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the Western University. She is the director of the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation–Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory; chair of the Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Health Division of the Children’s Health Research Institute; and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and founding chair of the Pregnancy and Postpartum Special Interest Group. She was recently appointed as a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Professor Mottola is an anatomist (embryologist) and exercise physiologist who has conducted research on the effects of maternal exercise on both the mother and the developing fetus. She was co-lead author on the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy which was based on rigorous evaluation of the current scientific literature through 12 systematic reviews published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. She also helped develop the Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy and the companion document for Health Care Providers, released on April 15th, 2021. Her current research focuses on the impact of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and postpartum on chronic disease risks such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease for both mother and her offspring.

Featured Publications and Projects

Chapters and Reports

  • MOTTOLA, MF, Thornton, J, Davenport, MH. 2023. Pregnancy and Other Considerations for the Female Endurance Athlete (Chpt. 7). In: Endurance Sports Medicine – A Clinical Guide (2nd ed) (T. Miller Ed). Springer Nature: Switzerland. In Press.

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

  • Visit PubMed for a comprehensive list.

Current Grants and Research Projects

  • MOTTOLA MF, Prapavessis H, Pila E, Melling J, Burke S, Tucker P, Thornton J, Jackson K, Archibald L. Maternal and child lifestyle health initiative. Children’s Health Foundation – Research Initiative. April 1st, 2022 – March 30th, 2025. $150,000.00
  • MOTTOLA, MF, Prapavessis H, Pila E, Nagamatsu L, Melling J, Burke S, Tucker T, Thornton J. Emerging team initiative to reduce inequities in maternal and child lifestyle health. Interdisciplinary Development Initiatives – Funded at the Letter of Intent stage. May 2021-April 2023. $25,000.00

Featured Graduate Student Projects

Nutrition and exercise interventions during pregnancy: How important is adherence?

  • Nagpal, Taniya (2019). PhD, Kinesiology.

Effects of a Pregnancy Lifestyle Intervention on Emotion Regulation in Infants Responding to a Toy Removal Task at One-Year of Age.

  • Manley, Mollie (2020). MSc, Kinesiology.

Visit Scholarship@Western for a list of student theses and dissertations in the repository.

Additional Information

Academic Appointments and Research Affiliations

Media Highlights


  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences - 2021
  • Fellow, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology – 2020
  • Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine - 2004
  • Recognition of Excellence in Teaching in Faculty of Health Sciences – 2011-2022
  • University Student’s Council Honour Roll Award of Excellence for Teaching – 2010-11
  • Our Nutrition & Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP) was selected and posted on the Canadian Best Practice Portal (Public Health Agency of Canada).
  • YMCA-YWCA London 2009 Women of Distinction - Nominee

Professional Activities

  • Consultant and invited project expert for the New Era of Pregnancy and Postpartum Exercise (NEPPE) Project; funded by Unia Europejska, Poland 2021-2023
  • Founding Chair – Special Interest Group – Pregnancy & Postpartum – American College Sports Medicine (ACSM) 2018-2022
  • Elected Board of Trustee -Basic & Applied Science – ACSM 2016-2019
  • Invited Guest Editor. Journal of Pregnancy. Pregnancy and lifestyle – short and long-term effects on health (special issue) - 2013.