UWM School & College Realignment: As part of UWM’s long-term strategic planning, several UWM schools and colleges are being realigned effective July 1, 2023. Learn more.
Portrait of Kevin Keenan

Kevin Keenan, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Chair, Kinesiology


Postdoctoral Research Fellow Sibley School of Mechanical and Aeropsace Engineering Cornell University 2008
Ph D Integrative Physiology University of Colorado 2005
MS Kinesiology University of Michigan 1998
BS Kinesiology University of Michigan 1992

Speaker Topics

  • Motor Control
  • Neurophysiology

Interests & Expertise

Kevin Keenan’s work is dedicated to understanding the interplay between motor function, physical activity and health. Experimental procedures used in the laboratory include high-density surface EMG arrays (up to 256 EMG recordings), long-term (>6 hrs) EMG recordings, indwelling EMG recordings, force sensors, motion capture and computational modeling.

Current collaborative projects being pursued in the lab include the role of physical activity on motor function in older adults; assessment of muscle coordination during finger pressing tasks in young and older adults; the role of EMG biofeedback to improve chronic neck pain; the change in neuromuscular control in stroke survivors; and the noninvasive assessment of neuromuscular properties using high-density EMG arrays.

Selected Publications

Gerstle, E., O'Connor, K. M., Keenan, K., Slavens, B. A., & Cobb, S. C. (2022, September). The Effect of Age and Fall History on Lower Extremity Neuromuscular Function During Descent of a Single Transition Step. Journal of aging and physical activity, 1-8.
Heintz Walters, B., Huddleston, W. E., O'Connor, K. M., Wang, J., Hoeger Bement, M., & Keenan, K. (2021, November). The role of eye movements, attention, and hand movements on age-related differences in pegboard tests. Journal of Neurophysiology, 126(5), 1710-1722.
Gerstle, E., O'Connor, K. M., Keenan, K., Slavens, B. A., & Cobb, S. C. (2021, October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). The influence of age and fall history on single transition step kinematics. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 89, 105456.
Keenan, K., Senefeld, J. W., & Hunter, S. K. (2018, January (1st Quarter/Winter)). Girls in the boat: Sex differences in rowing performance and participation. (Ed.). PLOS ONE, 13(1), e0191504.
Gerstle, E. E., O’Connor, K., Keenan, K., & Cobb, S. C. (2017, December). Foot and Ankle Kinematics During Descent From Varying Step Heights. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 33(6), 453-459.
Keenan, K., Huddleston, W. E., & Ernest, B. E. (2017, November). Altered visual strategies and attention are related to increased force fluctuations during a pinch grip task in older adults. Journal of Neurophysiology, 118(5), 2537-2548.
Dondzila, C. J., Swartz, A. M., Keenan, K., Harley, A., Azen, R., & Strath, S. J. (2016, December). Translating exercise interventions to an in-home setting for seniors: preliminary impact on physical activity and function. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 28(6), 1227-1235.
Lerma, N. L., Keenan, K., Strath, S. J., Forseth, B. M., Cho, C. C., & Swartz, A. M. (2016, October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). Muscle activation and energy expenditure of sedentary behavior alternatives in young and old adults. Physiological Measurement, 37(10), 1686-1700.
Hunter, S. K., Pereira, H. M., & Keenan, K. (2016, October (4th Quarter/Autumn)). The aging neuromuscular system and motor performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 121(4), 982-995.
Strath, S. J., Kate, R. J., Keenan, K., Welch, W. A., & Swartz, A. M. (2015). Ngram Time Series Model to Predict Activity Type and Energy Cost from Wrist, Hip and Ankle Accelerometers: Implications of Age. Physiological Measurement, 36(11), 2335-2351.
Dondzila, C. J., Swartz, A. M., Keenan, K., Harley, A., Azen, R., & Strath, S. J. (2014). Geospatial relationships between awareness and utilization of community exercise resources and physical activity levels in older adults. J Aging Research, 2014.
Huddleston, W. E., Ernest, B. E., & Keenan, K. (2014). Selective age effects on attentional components of a cued saccade task. Journal of Ophthalmology, 2014, 1-11.
Huddleston, W. E., Keenan, K., & Ernest, B. E. (2013). Relations among visual strategies, force fluctuations, and attention during a pinch grip task. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 117(3), 775-800.
Walters, T. J., Kaschinske, K. A., Strath, S. J., Swartz, A. M., & Keenan, K. (2013). Validation of a portable EMG device to assess muscle activity during free-living situations. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 23(5), 1012-1019.
Keenan, K., Massey, W. V., Collins, J. D., & Walters, T. (2012). Sensitivity of EMG-EMG coherence to detect the common oscillatory drive to hand muscles in young and older adults. J Neurophysiol, 107(10), 2866-2875.

Honors & Awards

Research Fellows Program (2010) University of Wisconsin Libraries.
Visits to Sponsors or Collaborators Travel Awards (VISTA) (2010) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.