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    Dr Nicola Randall

    BSc (Hons) PhD CertTHE

    Principal Lecturer Agroecology/Director Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture

    Photograph of Nicola

    Research Interests

    My main interests are relate to two key areas :

    • the fields of agricultural ecology and sustainable food production, 
    • the use of scientific evidence/evidence synthesis in order to support and underpin policy and management decision making.

    I am director of the Centre for Evidence Based Agriculture, a reviewing, training and co-ordinating hub for the collation and synthesis of agri-food evidence, and part of the UK Collaboration for Environmental Evidence Centre. I also founded, and acted as interim lead for the the Sustainable Agri-food Systems research group (SAFS), a cross cutting research group that brings together representatives from research fields across the University and beyond. 

    External roles and links can be found in the additional informaton section at the bottom of the page.

    Author of: Randall NP and Smith (2019) The Biology of Agroecosystems. Oxford University Press 

    Research fields

    Agricultural Ecology and Biodiversity

    Evidence synthesis for environmental and agricultural decision making, Systematic Review, Systematic Mapping, Ecological Policy, Dissemination and use of research information.

    Board and Advisory Roles 

    • Working Group member Food Standards Agency Science Council Wider Impacts project 2024
    • Advisory Board member for Ceres2030 Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger  2018-2021
    • Methods Expert Group  2016-2020 Eklipse EU mechanism
    • Editorial Board member  Environmental Evidence Journal (Systematic Review Journal of CEE)
    • Section Editor CABI Agriculture and Bioscience
    • Chair - Systematic Mapping Methods Group - Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE)
    • Committee Member British Ecological Society - Agroecology Methods Group 
    • Chair - Research Degrees Awarding Board - Harper Adams University 2016-2021

    Funding last 5 years

    Over £1 million (>£800,000 as project lead). Funders include :

    Research councils: Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

    European and UK policy organisations: European Food Safety Authoriity (EFSA), Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Scottish Government, Environment Agency, Natural England

    Industry, advisory and other organisations: Syngenta, Bayer, Morrisons, British Ecological Society, John Oldacre Foundation, Mistra Council for Evidence Based Environmental Management, Sweden (Mistra Eviem), Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) Humane Slaughter Association, EU H2020.

    Current PhD students and projects 

    • Todd Jenkins - The Potential of Small Landscape Features to Increase Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Arable Farmland. EU Horizon 2020 - Cropdiva. Director of Studies
    • Abigail Cooke - Productivity, Natural Pest Control, and Arable Plants in Population Wheat. What are the Trade-offs Compared to Single Varieties . BBSRC. Director of Studies
    • Claire Griffiths - Cultivating Interest: The Ability of Community-based Urban Agricuture to Provide Key Ecosystem Services. Director of Studies
    • Edwin Tapiwa Toreveyi - Potential of Pre-harvest Prediction of Potato Storage Disorders. Second Supervisor
    • Ashley Roberts -Ancient Grains for Modern Times: Diversity of naked barley for human health and agroecology. EU Horizon 2020 - Cropdiva. 2nd Supervisor
    • Busiswa Madikazi - The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in agricultural development of smallholder farmers in Eastern Cape, South Africa

    Recent PhD student projects 

    • Christelle leDroite - Ecological Implications and sustainability of organic and biodynamic farming in comparison to conventional and BT-conventional farming. (at Coventry University). 2nd supervisor
    • Conservation at the crop edge: The botanical composition of wild headlands and their impact on provision of invertebrates for grey partridge chick diet (Perdix Perdix) (With James Hutton) Director of studies
    • How are national government, local planning authorities and local communities defining sustainable development in the context of rural housing in England? 2nd supervisor
    • Multifunctional field margins for delivery of ecosystem services (water quality protection, pollinator support and bio-control) Director of studies
    • The effect of maize cultivation on invertebrate biodiversity Director of Studies 
    • The use of information and  research synthesis methods with reference to invasive species. BBSRC/Syngenta Director of Studies


    Course leader

    • Agroecology MSc/PgD/PgC

    Module leader

    • Fundamentals of Agroecology (PG level 7)
    • International Agroecology (PG level 7)
    • Applied Ecology for Management (UG level 6)

    Other taught modules

    • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (PG level 7)
    • Plant health principles (PG level 7)
    • Sustainable crop production systems (UG level 6)
    • Contemporary countryside and environmental issues (UG level 4)

    Field courses

    • International perspectives on the Management of Wildlife Populations (UG level 6) KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    • Geography and Environmental field course (UG level 6), Anglesey, UK

    Professional Memberships

    • British Ecological Society (Committee member  Agro-ecology special interest group)
    • Society for Conservation Biology
    • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy

    Academic Department: Agriculture and Environment

    Tel: +44 (0)1952 815347

    Fax: +44 (0)1952 814783

    Twitter: @NicolaPRandall

    Office: F57 Jubilee Adams, Tudor Lodge and NW Building

    Research profile: ORCID


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    Other publications

    • Landschoot, S., Zustovi, R., Dewitte, K., Randall, N., Maenhout, S. and Haesaert, G.J.W., (2024) Cereal-legume intercropping: a smart review using topic modelling Frontiers in Plant Science 14, p.1228850.
    • De Oleo. D., McIntyre. L., Randall. N., Nayak. R., Manning. L. (2023) Systematic mapping of food safety outbreaks in the hospitality sector in the Dominican Republic. British Food Journal 25 (2) pp 500-521
    • Cooke, S.J., Cook, C.N., Nguyen, V.M., Walsh, J.C., Young, N., Cvitanovic, C., Grainger, M.J., Randall, N.P., Muir, M., Kadykalo, A.N. and Monk, K.A. (2023) Environmental evidence in action: on the science and practice of evidence synthesis and evidence-based decision-making. Environmental Evidence 12(1), p.10.
    • Beacham, A.M., James, K.L., Randall, N.P. and Monaghan, J.M., (2023) Challenges and recommendations for the development of cultural control of aerial oomycete-associated diseases in protected horticulture European Journal of Plant Pathology 167, pp207-219
    • Kiely C, Randall N and Kaczorowska-Dolowry M (2023) The application of allelopathy in integrated pest management systems to control temperate European crop pests: a systematic map CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 4(1) p. 42
    • Jenkins, T., Landschoot, S., Dewitte, K., Haesaert, G., Reade, J. and Randall, N., (2023) Evidence of development of underutilised crops and their ecosystem services in Europe: a systematic mapping approach CABI Agriculture and Bioscience 4(1), p.55
    • De Oleo, D.D., McIntyre, L., Randall, N., Nayak, R. and Manning, L (2022) A socio-technical approach to food safety incident analysis using the AcciMap model in the hospitality sector Food Control 136, p.108849
    • Pullin. AS., Cheng. SH., D’Urban Jackson. J., Eales. J., Envall. I, Fada. SJ., Frampton.GK., Harper. M., Kadykalo. AN., Kohl. C., Konno. K., Livoreil. B., Ouédraogo. D-Y., O’Leary. BC., Pullin G, Randall. N., Rees.R., Smith. A., Sordello. R., Sterling. EJ., Twardek. WM., Woodcock. P (2022) Standards of conduct and reporting in evidence syntheses that could inform environmental policy and management decisions Environmental Evidence 11 (16)
    • Collins, A.M., Haddaway, N.R., Thomas, J., Randall, N.P., Taylor, J.J., Berberi, A., Reid, J.L., Andrews, C.R. and Cooke, S.J., (2022) Existing evidence on the impacts of within-field farmland management practices on the flux of greenhouse gases from arable cropland in temperate regions: a systematic map. Environmental Evidence 11(1), pp.1-22.
    • James, K., Millington, A. and Randall, N. (2022) Food and feed safety vulnerabilities in the circular economy EFSA Supporting Publications 19(3), p.7226E.
    • Stewart, R., Aronson, J.K., Barends, E., Boruch, R., Brennan, M., Chislett, J., Cunliffe-Jones, P., Maynard, B., Oxman, M., Pullin, A. and Randall, N (2022) Lessons from working across fields to develop a framework for informed choices Research for All 6 (1)
    • Frampton, G., Whaley, P., Bennett, M., Bilotta. G., Dorne. J-L., Eales. J., James. K., Kohl. C., Land. M., Livoreil. B., Makowski. D., Muchiri. E., Petrokofsky. G., Randall. N. and Schofield K. (2022) Principles and framework for assessing the risk of bias for studies included in comparative quantitative environmental systematic reviews Environmental Evidence 11 (12)
    • Downey, H., T. et al (2021) Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management. Ecological Solutions and Evidence. 2 (1)
    • Nicolay, R., Jeffery, S. and Randall, N. (2021) Comparison of three soil health indicators between different vegetative strip compositions African Journal of Range & Forage Science 38(sup1), pp.S104-S109.
    • Visser ME, Schoonees A, Ezekiel CN, Randall NP, Naude CE (2020) Agricultural and nutritional education interventions for reducing aflatoxin exposure to improve infant and child growth in low- and middle-income countries Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 4. Art. No.: CD013376
    • Ricciardi V., Wane A., Sidhu B.S., Goode C., Solomon D., McCullough E., Diekmann F., Porciello J., Jain M., Randall N., & Mehrabi Z. (2020) Scoping review of research funding for small-scale farmers in water scarce regions. Nature Sustainability (
    • Priatna, A.G. Ramos, N. Randall, R.M. Richards, E.G. Ritchie, D.L. Roberts, R. Rocha, J.P. Rodríguez, R. Sanderson, T. Sasaki, S. Savilaakso, C. Sayer, C. Sekercioglu, M. Senzaki, G. Smith, R.J. Smith, M. Soga, C.D. Soulsbury, M.D. Steer, G. Stewart, E.F. Strange, A.J. Suggitt, R.R.J. Thompson, S. Thompson, I. Thornhill, R.J.Trevelyan, H.O. Usieta, O. Venter, A.D. Webber, R.L. White, M.J. Whittingham, A. Wilby, R.W. Yarnell, V. Zamora and W.J. Sutherland. In Press. (2020) Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management. Ecological Solutions and Evidence.
    • Konno, K., Cheng, S.H., Eales, J., Frampton, G., Kohl, C., Livoreil, B., Macura, B., O’Leary, B.C., Randall, N.P., Taylor, J.J. and Woodcock, P., 2020. (2020) The CEEDER database of evidence reviews: An open-access evidence service for researchers and decision-makers. Environmental Science & Policy 114 pp 256-262
    • Whaley P, Aiassa E, Beausoleil C, Beronius A, Bilotta G, Boobis A, de Vries R, Hanberg A, Hoffmann S, Hunt N, Kwiatkowski CF, Lam J, Lipworth S, Martin O, Randall NP, Rhomberg L, Rooney AA, Schünemann HJ, Halsall C (2020) (2020) Recommendations for the conduct of systematic reviews in toxicology and environmental health research (COSTER) Environment International 143
    • Cresswell, C.J., Cunningham, H.M., Wilcox, A. and Randall, N.P. (2019) A trait?based approach to plant species selection to increase functionality of farmland vegetative strips Ecology and Evolution 9 (8), pp.4532-4543
    • Aronson JK, Barends E, Boruch R, Brennan M, Chalmers I, Chislett J, Cunliffe-Jones P, Dahlgren A, Gaarder A, Haines A, Heneghan C, Matthews R, Maynard B, Oxman M, Pullin A, Randall N, Roddam H, Schoonees A, Sharples J, Stewart R, Stott J, Tallis R, Thomas N, Vale L (2019) Key concepts for making informed choices Nature 572 (303-306)
    • Collins, A.M., Coughlin, D. and Randall, N (2019) Engaging environmental policy-makers with systematic reviews: challenges, solutions and lessons learned Environmental Evidence 8(1), p.2
    • Randall NP and Smith B (2019) The Biology of Agroecosystems (Oxford University Press)
    • Blowers CJ, Cunningham HM, Wilcox A, Randall NP (2018) What specific plant traits support ecosystem services such as pollination, bio-control and water quality protection in temperate climates? A systematic map Environmental Evidence 7:2
    • Blowers CJ, Cunningham HM, Wilcox A and Randall NP (2017) What specific plant traits support ecosystem services such as pollination, bio-control and water quality protection in temperate climates? A systematic map protocol Environmental Evidence Journal 6:3 (doi 10.1186/s13750-017-0081-3)
    • Norris SL, Blackshaw RP, Critchley CNR, Dunn RM, Smith KE, Williams J, Randall NP and Murray PJ (2017) Intercropping flowering plants in maize systems increases pollinator diversity. Agricultural and Forest Entomology
    • Norris, S.L., Blackshaw, R.P., Dunn, R.M., Critchley, N.R., Smith, K.E., Williams, J.R., Randall, N.P. and Murray, P.J., (2016) Improving above and below-ground arthropod biodiversity in maize cultivation systems. Applied Soil Ecology 108, pp.25-46.
    • James KL, Randall NP, Walters KFA, Haddaway NR, and Land M (2016) Evidence for the e?ects of neonicotinoids used in arable crop production on non-target organisms and concentrations of residues in relevant matrices: a systematic map protocol Environmental Evidence 5:22 (DOI 10.1186/s13750-016-0072-9)
    • Natalie Rebelo Da Silva1, Hazel Zaranyikal, Laurenz Langer, Nicola Randall, Evans Muchiri1, and Ruth Stewart (2016) Making the Most of What We Already Know: A Three-Stage Approach to Systematic Reviewing Evaluation Review early view available
    • Hardman C, Potts S, Dicks L & Randall NP Notes (2016) Spatial targeting brings new opportunities for agri-environment schemes Living with Environmental Change Policy and Practice Notes Note No 28. March 2016
    • Katy L. James, Nicola P. Randall and Neal R. Haddaway (2015) A methodology for systematic mapping in environmental sciences Environmental Evidence 5:7
    • Ruth Stewart, Laurenz Langer, Natalie Rebelo Da Silva, Evans Muchiri, Hazel Zaranyika, Yvonne Erasmus, Nicola Randall, Shannon Rafferty, Marcel Korth, Nolizwe Madinga, Thea de Wet (2015) The Effects of Training, Innovation and New Technology on African Smallholder Farmers’ Wealth and Food Security: A Systematic Review The Campbell Library - International Development Group 11 (16) ( View this systematic review at:
    • Nicola P Randall, Louise M Donnison, Paul J Lewis and Katy L James (2015) How effective are on-farm mitigation measures for delivering an improved water environment? A systematic map Environmental Evidence 4:18 ( )
    • Ruth Stewart, Yvonne Erasmus, Hazel Zaranyika, Natalie Rebelo Da Silva, Marcel Korth, Laurenz Langer, Nicola Randall,Nolizwe Madingaa & Thea de Wet (2014) The size and nature of the evidencebase for smallholder farming in Africa: a systematic map Journal of Development Effectiveness (To link to this article:
    • Dicks L. V., Ahpole J.E., Danhardt J., James K., Jönsson A., Randall N., Showler D. A., Smith R. K., Turpie S., Williams D.,and Sutherland W. J. (2014) Dicks L. V., Ahpole J.E., Danhardt J., James Farmland Conservation. Evidence for the effectiveness of interventions in northern and western Europe. Pelagic Publishing
    • Millingon A and Randall NP (2013) How effective are farmland interventions for reducing Faecal Indicator Organisms (FIOs) in bathing and shellfish waters (especially Escherichia Coli and Intestinal Enterococci) coming from river catchments? A Quick Scoping Review
    • Waterson A and Randall NP (2013) What impact does the alteration of timing to slurry applications have on leaching of nitrate, phosphate and bacterial pathogens? A Rapid Evidence Assessment.
    • Dicks, L. V., Hodge I, Smith R.K., Scharlemann, J.P.W., Siriwardena G., Randall N.P., Smith H.G., and Sutherland W. J. (2013) A transparent Process for Evidence Informed Policy-making. Conservation Letters 7 (2) pp 119-125
    • Bayliss HR, Stewart GB, Wilcox A and Randall NP (2013) A perceived gap between invasive species research and stakeholder priorities Neobiota 19 (pp 67-82)
    • Bayliss HR, Wilcox A, Stewart GB and Randall NP (2012) Does research information meet the needs of stakeholders? Exploring evidence selection in the global management of invasive species. Evidence and Policy 8 (1) 35-56
    • Randall NP and James KL (2012) The effectiveness of integrated farm management, organiscfarming and agri-environment schemes as interventions for conserving farmland biodiversity - a systematic map. Environmental Evidence 1:4
    • Randall NP Donnison LM and Lewis PJ (2012) How effective are slurry storage, cover or catch crops, woodland creation, controlled trafficking or break up of compacted layers, and buffer strips as on-farm mitigation measures for delivering an improved water environment? Systematic Review Protocol Environmental Evidence 1:12
    • Bayliss HR and Randall NP (2011) Perceptions of the role of research in invasive species management In Practice 72 (14-15)
    Additional Information




    Research projects


    You can contact Dr Nicola Randall if you would like to discuss any of the following course modules:



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