dr. Fleur van Rens
PhD, MSc., MSc., BSc.

Lecturer Sports Psychology

About me

I am a sports psychology lecturer interested in the wellbeing and mental health of professional circus artists and athletes. I completed a BSc. in Social and Organisational Psychology at Utrecht University, a MSc. in Social Psychology at Tilburg University, a MSc. in Sport and Exercise psychology at Bangor University, and a PhD at Victoria University about the dual careers of junior elite athletes. Prior to Murdoch, I have taught sport psychology at Victoria University and Australian Catholic University. Further, I have worked as a researcher at the Mulier Institute, and at Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Teaching area

Primarily, I teach sport and exercise psychology units at Murdoch University, such as: EXS201 Sport and Exercise Psychology, and EXS301 Advanced Sport and Exercise Psychology. I am also involved in several other units concerning psychology, health, and research methods.

Research areas

Broadly speaking, my research offers a holistic perspective on the wellbeing and performance of professional circus artists and athletes. Within circus, my main areas of expertise are the wellbeing, mental health, and safety of circus artists. Within sport, my research focuses on the wellbeing of athletes in dual careers, and during career transitions such as athletic retirement. I have experience with qualitative and quantitative research methods (including questionnaire development) in Australia, the Netherlands, England, and Wales.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Doctoral student supervisions:

2017 (In progress): co-supervisor of Mr. Khaya Morris-Binelli. Principal supervisor: dr. Sean Muller.

2018 (In progress): co-supervisor of Ms. Serene Lee. Principal supervisor: Assoc Prof.  Jeremiah Peiffer.

Honours student supervisions:

4x psychology honours student completions.


International peer-reviewed publications:

Other relevant publications:

Conference proceedings and abstracts:

  • Van Rens, F., & Filho, E. My trampoline coach never told me “show me what you feel inside”: Transition experiences from gymnastics to circus. Imagineers in Circus and Science, Canberra, Australia, 2018. 
  • Van Rens, F., & Filho, E. From Olympic rings to the circus ring: gymnasts’ transition experiences into circus. British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences(BASES)/European Federation of Sport Psychology(FEPSAC) joint conference, Nottingham, UK, 2017. 
  • Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., Polman, R., Farrow, D. Role strain and life satisfaction in the dual careers of junior elite athletes. British Psychological Society Department of Sport and Exercise Psychology Conference, Leeds, UK, 2015. 
  • Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., Farrow, D., Polman, R. Role strain, coping and time management: the effects on stress and school performance of talented adolescent athletes. Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children/Australian Association for the Education of Gifted and Talented/International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence International Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 2015. 
  • Van Rens, F., Borkoles, E., Farrow, D., Polman, R. Role strain experienced by talented adolescent athletes: the balancing act between secondary school, sport and a social life. International Conference of Applied Psychology, Paris, France, 2014. 
  • Van Rens, F., Elling, A., Reijgersberg, N. The effectiveness of Topsport Talent Schools in the Netherlands: A retrospective analysis of performance in sport and education. World Conference of Performance Analysis in Sport, Worcester, UK, 2012.