Cobb began his atlas in 1978 and it was at a Magdalene reunion, prior to the first edition being published in 2003, that a fellow suggested he presented his research as a PhD. Several Magdalene fellows, including the then Senior Tutor, Mark Billinge, helped him to steer it through the board of Graduate Studies. 'The atlas is a remarkable piece of scholarship,' comments Richard Smith, Head of the Geography Department and one of Michael's PhD examiners.
'Magdalene is immensely proud of Michael' adds Mark Billinge, now the College's Development Director. 'We are delighted that a lifetime's labour of love should be recognised for the scholarly achievement it represents.
'Michael's extraordinary researches - which would have been remarkable at any age - serve as a powerful rebuke to anyone who considers PhD research to be the preserve of the younger scholar.'