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Staff Directory

Dr Nicola Randall

BSc (Hons) PhD CertTHE

Principal Lecturer


Research Interests

My main interests are in the fields of agricultural ecology and sustainable food production, and in the use of scientific evidence 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 am also on the editorial board for Environmental Evidence, a journal for the publication of systematic reviews and evidence syntheses on the effectiveness of environmental management interventions and on the impact of human activities on the environment. Other 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.

External Roles 

Advisory Board member for Ceres2030 Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger  

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 

Funding last 5 years

Over £1 million (>£650,000 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.

Industry, advisory and other organisations: Syngenta, 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.


Current PhD student supervision

Michael Suttle - Productivity, natural pest control and arable plants in population wheat. What are the trade-offs compared with single varieties? BBSRC MIBTP student Director of Studies

Edward Baxter - 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

Colin Fernley- How are national government, local planning authorities and local communities defining sustainable development in the context of rural housing in England? 2nd supervisor

Christelle Ledroite - Ecological Implications and sustainability of organic and biodynamic farming in comparison to conventional and BT-conventional farming. Coventry University. 2nd supervisor

PhD students recently completed 

Claire Cresswell  - Multifunctional field margins for delivery of ecosystem services (water quality protection, pollinator support and bio-control) Director of studies

Stuart Norris - The effect of maize cultivation on invertebrate biodiversity Director of Studies 

Helen Bayliss - The use of information and  research synthesis methods with reference to invasive species Director of Studies


Course leader: 

Agroecology MSc/PgD/PgC

Module leader:

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

Other taught modules:

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (PG level 7)
  • Ecological Entomology (PG level 7)
  • Integrated Countryside Management (UG level 6)
  • Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Populations (UG level 6)
  • Contemporary countryside and environmental issues (UG level 4)


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

  • 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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