An extremely established specialist in rural history, Professor Matthew Cragoe is Chair of the UK committee for the Man and Biosphere Programme.
As an historian of British rural and landscape history, Matthew has led a major AHRC-funded project into the role played by parliamentary enclosure in reshaping rural relations in eighteenth century Northamptonshire and has written extensively on landed society in Wales.
Professor Cragoe is heavily invested in conservation and sustainable development, and his research embraces a variety of themes in Modern British History including rural history (particularly parliamentary enclosure). He is currently working on two projects, one focused on the history of 18th century cricket, the second involving a survey of the epitaphs used on gravestones since c. 1700 as a means of accessing shifts in popular understandings of death and the possibility of salvation.
Through his role as chair of the Committee for the Man and the Biosphere Programme, Matthew combines his love for the land and sociology as he works to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. The committee bridges the gap between natural and social sciences in order to pool research and make informed decisions about how best to safeguard our natural and managed ecosystems.
Alongside his Fellowships of the Royal Historical Society and of the Learned Society of Wales; until 2019 Matthew was Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln. He also chaired the University’s Environment & Sustainability Committee and currently retains a role at the University as a Visiting Professor.