Mat White, BSc MSc PhD

Mat White is Senior Scientist at the Vienna CogSciHub. He is a health and environmental psychologist researching the following areas:

  1. The positive benefits of exposure to natural environments for health and wellbeing.  
  2. Public understanding of anthropogenic and natural environmental hazards.
  3. Pro-environmental attitudes, behaviours and behaviour change. 
  4. Connectedness to nature, wellbeing, and pro-environmentalism.
  5. Aquatic (‘bluespace’) settings and mental health.

Mat is a health and environmental psychologist specialising in Ecological Public Health, in particular the role of urban and different types of natural environments (green and blue spaces) on mental health and health-related behaviours (e.g. physical activity, smoking). He completed his PhD in 2004 at the University of Sheffield and has since worked at the universities of Jena (Germany), Plymouth and Exeter (UK) before moving to the University of Vienna in October 2020 with his long-term collaborator Prof. Sabine Pahl (Chair of Urban and Environmental Psychology).

Mat has worked on several large-scale international projects looking at aquatic environments and human/public health including the EU H2020 funded 'BlueHealth' (19 Countries across Europe, North America, Australia) and 'SOPHIE' (Seas Oceans and Public Health in Europe; 15 Countries Europe & Australia) projects, and the GCRF funded Blue Communities project (Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam). His work in this area was recognised with the 2019 Delcroix Prize for Oceans and Human Health.

Currently he is Principal Investigator on the EU Horizon Europe RESONATE project (2023-2027) exploring how nature-based therapies might build individual and community resilience, and a Co-Investigator on two further Horizon Europe projects ZeroPM (looking at 'forever chemicals' (PFAS) and health) and GOLIAT (looking at 5G technology and health).

A key part of his current role at the University of Vienna is to bridge the research being conducted within the Vienna CogSciHub and the Urban and Environmental Psychology group.