Andrew “Chop” Hunter

Increasing performance though optimising the trade-off between speed and accuracy


PhD Candidate



PhD (2014 - present), The University of Queensland

MSc Organisational Psychology (2003-2004), The University of Queensland

BPsych Honours (2002), The University of Queensland


Research History & Interests

It all started this day, 38 years ago when I popped out of my beloved mother to pee all over the doctor – thus started my love of science. My fondness for animals was hindered as a kid due to my parents only allowing budgies as a pet – they are rubbish pets. I dunno how I got to studying Psych at uni, it just seemed to happen. After 6 years of faffing, I somehow ended up with a Masters in Organisational Psych which led me to a boring HR career – short lived.


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Since my brain was dying from boredom, I escaped to Canada for 3 years of snowboarding, mtn-biking & climbing. Here, I developed a green thumb in my favourite working holiday job as a land-sculpturer. At some point, I thought I should start being a real human, so I returned to Australia with no real plan. Many a beer and BBQs later in Robbie’s front yard, numerous white-board assisted musings led to my birth into the Wilson Cult – doing a soccer PhD in the biology school, WTF?

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Basically I setup little penalty shoot-out competitions where the goalkeeper and shooter compete against each other for a pot of cold hard cash, film it in high-speed, then measure a whole lot of variables like shot speed, accuracy, deception & keeper behavior. With this data I am building a mathematical model that will identify the perfect strategy for both the shooter and keeper. Its pretty fun when “data collection” is hanging out with your mates talking smack to each other.

When I’m not PhD-ing, I’m up on Groote Eylandt being Gwen’s side kick in the Dust & Health study. Hopefully I will catch a giant birthday fish today….see below photo of the outcome…


Well half a fish anyway...

Well half a fish anyway...


Hunter AH, Angilletta MJ Jr and Wilson RS. 2018. Behaviors of shooter and goalkeeper interact to determine the outcome of soccer penalties. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2018;00:1–9.10.1111/sms.13276 Link to paper

Hunter AH, Murphy SC, Angilletta MJ Jr and Wilson RS. 2018. Anticipating the direction of soccer penalty shots depends on the speed and technique of the kick. Sports 2018, 6, 73. doi:10.3390/sports6030073 Link to paper

Hunter AH, Pavlic TP, Angilletta MJ and Wilson RS. 2018.  Modelling the two-dimensional accuracy of soccer kicks. Journal of Biomechanics 72:159-166. Link to paper

Wilson RS, David GK, Murphy SC, Angilletta MJ, Jr, Niehaus AC, Hunter AH and Smith MD. 2017. Skill not athleticism predicts individual variation in match performance of soccer players 284. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284.  Link to paper

Wilson RS, James RS, David G, Hermann E, Morgan OJ, Niehaus AC, Hunter AH and Smith, M. 2016. Multivariate analyses of individual variation in soccer skill as a tool for talent identification and development: utilizing evolutionary theory in sports science. Journal of Sports Sciences. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1151544.

Wilson RS, Niehaus AC, David G, Hunter AH & Smith M. 2014. Individual quality masks the detection of performance trade-offs: A test using analyses of human physical performance. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 545-55.