He wrote his PhD thesis on how the organic food and farming movement developed, which was published in 2010. Matt’s first role in professional research was working with farming families at the heart of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001. This research extended into a report on suicide amongst farmers and broader questions of well-being.
After this research, Matt returned to investigating the social, economic and linguistic footprints of organic farming and food through a series of projects for Defra and eventually the ESRC. Matt then went on to work on a project investigating the promotion of the emergent technologies around nutrigenomics – how we can match our diets to our biological inheritance.
Matt joined the CCRI in 2009 as an employee of UWE, later transferring to the University of Gloucestershire. Since joining the CCRI, Matt has led a wide range of projects on food marketing, commercial fishing, market towns, urban food, smartphone apps and forestry projects, to name a few. As well as research projects, he has worked as the CCRI’s representative at the Wales ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership and on the Academic Board. In 2021 Matt was appointed The Director of the CCRI.
Currently, Matt is working on the UrbanFarmers project, with colleagues in NIBIO, with funding from the Norwegian Research Council, SPRINT on sustainable pesticide transitions funded by the H2020 programme. In addition, he teaches in the undergraduate programme on international relations.
Food and farming policy, new technologies around food. Rural community developments. Urban food and farming.