#155 | Erika Schagatay | Science Deep Dive

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Erika Schagatay PhD grew up in northern Sweden, far from the sea but eventually went to Lund University in southern Sweden to study biology, focusing on physiology and marine biology. She completed her PhD in 1996 on the human diving response.

She started her own research group in 2001 at Mid Sweden University where she has been a professor since 2007.

She has also been very active developing freediving in Sweden and was part of the group that started competition freediving within the Swedish Sport Diving Federation.

She first appeared on Episode #42 of the podcast.

Erika Schagatay

In this episode we discuss:


Shout out to Nathan McClatchey for saving this interview, and Chou and Mireia in Barcelona!
Erika’s ‘Divelab’ in Dahab.
What is the apnea RAMP test?
Genetics vs Training.
Continued and upcoming research to take place.
Lactate threshold, and diving mammals.
Do aerobic training benefits also feed into apnea ability?
On Frank Pernett’s thesis on..
New theories on the dangers of hyperventilation in serial/repeated, shallow diving.
A question from Patreon supporter Tom Way about the perfect amount o2 and Co2 to have in the blood.
It’s easier to hyperventilate than you think.
Detecting hyperventilation with a chest strap.
Deep diving with accurate pulse oximetry.
Lung atelectasis and pulmonary oedema.
Is there a genetic component to strong desaturation and oedema?
Different lungs may have different sensitivities.
Deeper dives may not mean stronger dive response.
Can arrhythmia cause black out?
Blood pressure and freediving.
The spleen effect is not part of the diving response.
The strength of the dive response is not affected by hyperventilation.
Clarifying the blood shift.
What is myoglobin and can we use it? Increase it?
How does caffeine affect the diving response?
The effects of alcohol on freediving.
Can you train for high altitude with apnea training?
What role does CO2 play in high altitude adaptation?
A question from Tom about an educational pathway into Erika’s area of research.
Why does Erika freedive?

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