Dr Laurent Bannock DProf, MSc, CSCS, RNutr, SENr

Founder and Director

Laurent is the founder and director of The Institute of Performance Nutrition, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Laurent has over 20 years’ experience working with elite teams and athletes.

He’s currently a Nutrition Consultant to Stade Toulousaine (France), Edinburgh Rugby and British Curling (UK)

Notable past practitioner roles have included being team nutritionist to the Belgium Men’s national football team (2020 UEFA Euros & 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers) and the Egypt men’s national football team (2018 FIFA World Cup), Team GB fencing at the 2016 Olympics, and London Irish, London Broncos and London Scottish rugby teams.

Visiting / Guest lecturers

Prof. Don MacLaren PhD – Liverpool John Moores University

Prof. Craig Sale PhD – Nottingham Trent University

Prof. Emma Stevenson PhD – Newcastle University

Prof. Graeme Close PhD SENr – Liverpool John Moore’s University

Prof. James Morton PhD SENr – Liverpool John Moore’s University

Prof. Stu Phillips PhD – McMaster University

Prof. Kevin Tipton PhD – University of Stirling

Prof. Mark Russell PhD RNutr – Leeds Trinity University

Prof. Ben Jones PhD – Leeds Becket University

Prof. Dylan Thompson PhD – University of Bath

Prof. Craig Twist PhD – University of Chester

Prof. James Betts PhD – University of Bath

Prof. Andy Jones PhD – Exeter University

Dr Oliver Witard PhD – Kings College London

Dr Daniel Owens PhD – Liverpool John Moore’s University

Dr Leigh Breen PhD – University of Birmingham

Rin Cobb RD SENr, Clinical and Sports Performance Nutritionist

Dr Kevin Currell PhD RNutr SENr– English Institute of Sport

Dr Glenn Davison PhD – University of Kent

Dr Kirsty Elliot-Sale PhD – Nottingham Trent University

Dr Gethin Evans PhD – Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Javier Gonzales PhD – University of Bath

Dr David L Hamilton PhD – University of Stirling

Dr Mayur Ranchordas DProf SENr – Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Lewis James PhD – Loughborough University

Dr Sophie Killer PhD – Performance Nutritionist, English Institute of Sport

Dr Ian Lahart PhD – Wolverhampton University

Dr Duane Mellor PhD RD – University of Canberra

Lloyd Parker MSc RD – Nutritionist for Manchester City Football Club Academy and Salford Devils Rugby

Matt Reeves MSc – Head of Fitness and Conditioning, Leicester City Football Club

Dr Matthew Furber PhD – Senior Scientist, GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance Laboratory

Alex Ritson MSc

Head of Department (Online Education)

Alex is the Head of Department for Online Learning at the IOPN. His education includes a Master of Science in Sports and Exercise Nutrition (with distinction) from Middlesex University (London), and a Higher Education Teaching Certificate from Harvard University (USA). 

Alex is also a graduate with distinction of the IOPN Diploma in Performance Nutrition. Professional credentials include being a certified sports nutritionist (CISSN), a graduate registrant with the UK Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register, and a UKAD certified Anti-Doping Advisor.

Alex is primarily responsible for the management, design, and ongoing development of our online education programs and also serves as a member of our in-house research team, keeping up to date with the latest evidence-base in sports nutrition to ensure our courses remain cutting-edge. Adjunct to his dedication to academia, Alex maintains a successful online sports nutrition coaching and consulting practice.

Dr Stephen Smith BSc, MSc, PhD


Stephen has an MSc in Sport Nutrition from Liverpool John Moores University (UK) where he is also recently completed his PhD which focussed on how the gastrointestinal system responds to exercise. Stephen is also a certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN), a certified Anthropometrist (ISAK) and a certified Anti-Doping Advisor with UKAD.

Stephen has worked in a diverse spectrum of sports including professional motorsport, pro MMA, world-championship downhill mountain bike, cycling, triathlon and with the military. His written work has appeared in the UKSCA Journal as well as respected triathlon magazines, and his own blog covers a range of nutritional topics to help athletes improve their performance.

Dr Mark Hearris BSc, MSc, PhD


Mark has a BSc in Sport Science (Physiology), an MSc in Sports Nutrition, and recently completed his PhD at the Research Institute for Sport & Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moore’s University. His research interests focussed on the molecular and cellular responses of human skeletal muscle to endurance exercise and the impact of nutrition on modulating these responses as well as nutritional strategies to enhance team-sport performance. 

To date, Mark has authored four scientific research publications in the area of nutrition and exercise metabolism and has presented this work at both national and international conferences. Mark also has four years of experience teaching, designing module content, supervising work-based learning placements and providing both academic and pastoral support to students on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which has allowed him to become an Associated Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). Over the past four years, Mark has continued to work as an applied practitioner where he currently acts as a nutrition consultant within professional football and supports a variety of physiological testing for a range of external clients through LJMU.

Harvey Fortis BSc, MPhil


Harvey has a degree in Sport and Exercise Science from Liverpool John Moores University, where he is soon to complete a master’s degree in Exercise and Health Metabolism. He’s also completed our Diploma in Performance Nutrition. His current research is focused on molecular and cellular responses to health conditions and exercise performance in type 2 diabetic patients and athletic populations. He also has experience providing nutritional support for endurance athletes.

Dr Rianne Costello BSc MSc PhD, SENr, FHEA

Lead Assessor

Rianne is the Lead Assessor at the IOPN. Her education includes, a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Performance), MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition and holds a PhD from the University of Chichester. Her doctoral research examined the inter-individual response in exercise-induced muscle damage and New Zealand blackcurrant supplementation, specifically examining bioavailability response and genotypes. Rianne has previously been on the editorial advisory board for the quarterly BASES publication, The Sport and Exercise Scientist, and is a reviewer for several international journals. Rianne has held teaching and module coordinating roles at various UK Universities at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


Alongside her academic engagements, Rianne is a Practitioner registrant of the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr), a certified anthropometrist (ISAK) and certified by the International Association of Sciences in Medicine and Sport (IASMS) in using B-mode ultrasound as a tool for body composition assessment. For the last 9 years, Rianne has worked as an applied practitioner providing nutrition consultation services to a range of clients including, rowing teams, equestrian athletes, triathletes, ultra-endurance cyclists and marathon runners from grass-root level to the international stage.

Ramon Smit

Student Services Manager

Thomas Norman FMAAT

Business & Finance Manager

Thomas qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 2012, having previously qualified as part of the Association of Accounting Technicians. Thomas spent over ten years in a top 40 firm of Accountants in East Anglia, where he advised a wide range of businesses in respect of their business, accounting, and taxation affairs. Thomas brings his experience from practice to the IOPN, helping to manage and drive forward the business and finance function to help our ambitious team and business achieve its objectives. 

Sean Buxton MSc, BSc

Operations Manager (IOPN), Director of Product (SENPRO)

Sean is the Operations Manager at the IOPN and the Director of Product at SENPRO. His education includes a First Class Honours degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Exeter, and an MSc in Human Nutrition (with Distinction) from the University of Surrey. He is also an ISAK Level 1 Anthropometrist.

Sean has spent 7 years working closely with a large network of Sport and Exercise Nutritionists, including those working in global football organisations, Premier League football / rugby clubs, as well as startup nutrition coaching businesses. This has helped shape a truly unique client coaching software for the Sport and Exercise Nutritionist, SENPRO.