Lara Keytel’s role in the First African in Space project is to conduct research into the effect of microgravity on the measurement of 24-hour energy expenditure, using the techniques of heart rate monitoring (previously validated in her PhD work) and Doubly Labeled Water (previously validated in space).
She is completing her PhD in exercise physiology at the University of Cape Town’s MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, based at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Newlands. She is the recipient of the 2002 Medical Research Council PhD Scholarship.
Lara is local to Cape Town, having grown up in the natural wetlands of Zeekoevlei. She completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town.
Lara’s PhD work, under the supervision of Professor Vicki Lambert, is investigating the determinants of 24-hour free-living energy expenditure. She has been intimately involved with the construction of the university’s metabolic chamber, a small room in which someone will live for a minimum of a 24hr period for the accurate assessment of energy use. This is one of only 20 such metabolic chambers in the world, and currently one of three chambers in the southern hemisphere. Brazil and Australia are currently constructing the other two.
In her spare time, Lara can be found off-shore Cape Town, where she and an all-women crew of four are training to compete in 2002 International Sailing Federation sailing Games, to be held in France during July next year. This event is second only to the Olympics in sailing circles.
Click here for more information on Lara’s experiment on the First African In Space Project.
See below for Lara’s logs.