Dr Matt Wilkes

Dr Matt Wilkes


  • Centre for Aviation, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine
  • PhD Researcher, Extreme Environments Laboratory, University of Portsmouth
  • Registrar in Anaesthesia and Critical Care (South-East Scotland)
  • Member, Royal Geographical Society Medical Cell
  • British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Pilot Development Committee
  • Altitude Lead, Diploma in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine (RCPSG)
  • Director, Adventure Medic Ltd


  • GP Olley Award in Aviation Medicine (RAeS, 2017)
  • Excellence in Remote Medicine Award (WEM, 2014)
  • Nick Gordon Research Medal (EESSA, 2011)
  • Distinction in MBChB (University of Edinburgh, 2007)


  • Registrar in Anaesthesia and Critical Care in Edinburgh
  • Founder and Director of Adventure Medic magazine.
  • Lead Doctor/Medical Advisor on a number of high altitude expeditions


Matt is currently leading The Free Flight Physiology Project: a multidisciplinary bid to use novel telemetry to investigate the physiology, cognitive performance and safety of pilots during free flight. He lectures in aviation physiology on the UCL Extreme Environment Physiology undergraduate BSC module.


  • Wilkes M. In a Heartbeat: the Free Flight Physiology Project. Cross Country. 2018 Feb; 187:46-53.

  • Wilkes M. MacInnis MJ, Hawkes LA, Massey HC, Eglin C, Tipton M. The physiology of paragliding flight at moderate and extreme altitudes. High Alt Med Biol. 2017 Dec 21. Epub ahead of print.

  • Wilkes M. Paragliding: the sky is the limit for sports’ medicine. British Journal of Sports Medicine Blog 2017 Dec 11.

  • Wilkes M, McGlurg G. Paragliding Trauma and Flying at Extreme Altitude. The Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast. 2017 Jun: Episode 43.

  • Wilkes M, MacInnis MJ, Witt MJ, Vergalla M, Verschave-Keysers M, Thomas A, Hawkes LA. Paragliding and the study of extreme altitude. High Alt Med Biol. 2017 Jan 10.

  • Wilkes M. Adventure Medicine for pilots. Cross Country. 2016 Oct; 173:56-65.

  • Wilkes M. CHALET Card: What to do in an emergency. Cross Country. 2016 Oct; 173:56-65.

  • Wilkes M. Flying High: Altitude, Hypoxia and Safety. Cross Country. 2016 Feb-Mar; 167:57-64.

  • Mellor A, Dodds N, Joshi R et al. Faculty of Prehospital Care Consensus Guidelines Guidelines for Medical Provision for Wilderness Medicine. Extrem Physiol Med. 2015 Dec 1;4-22.

  • Wilkes M, Simpson A, Knox M, Summers L. Kilimanjaro Score for assessing fitness to fly paragliders at high altitude. High Alt Med Biol. 2013 Sep;14(3):304-7.


Matt’s professional interests lie in remote medicine and extreme physiology. He completed the Master of Clinical Sciences (Mountain Medicine) in 2016, investigating cerebral altitude illness in the Bolivian Andes. He has been the Lead Doctor and/or Medical Advisor to several large international expeditions, practiced anaesthesia in New Zealand and Nepal, and flown all over East Africa with the AMREF Flying Doctor Service. Matt spent the 2017 post-monsoon season as a volunteer physician at the IPPG(UK) high altitude clinics at Machermo and Gokyo in the Khumbu region of Nepal. He is passionate about paragliding, and founded the Free Flight Physiology Project to improve pilot safety, performance and trauma care following accidents.

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