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Graduate scoops international research award


An alumnus from the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University has won the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) New Investigator Public Health award.

Dr Matt Hobbs completed his PhD at Leeds Beckett in 2018, which focused on tackling obesity. He is now a postdoctoral researcher in the GeoHealth Laboratory, GeoSpatial Research Institute, at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

As the winner of the award, Matt will present his research – a combination of his postdoctoral research in New Zealand (2018-Present) and his PhD (2013-2018) at Leeds Beckett - at the EASO congress in April: the research focuses on the complexity of associations between environments, parents and childhood obesity. The award marks out rising stars of obesity and public health in Europe. 

Matt said: “I can't quite believe it! There have been several excellent winners of this award previously and it is highly respected among the scientific community, so I feel very honoured. 

“My aim as a researcher is to provide policymakers with high-quality evidence, to plan healthier places while considering health inequity.  

“I am grateful for the support of Dr Claire Griffiths and Professor Jim McKenna throughout my PhD - I wouldn't have been able to be on the trajectory I am today if it wasn't for the positive environment they created for me. A special thanks also to Dr Mark Green (University of Liverpool) and Joanna Saunders (Leeds Beckett University) who acted as external advisers throughout my PhD and beyond." 

Dr Claire Griffiths, senior lecturer from Leeds Beckett added: “Matt was a fantastic scholar and a pleasure to work with. He thoroughly deserves this award; I wish him every success and look forward to working on future projects together.”

Matt also completed his undergraduate degree in physical education at Leeds Beckett.

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