My main interests are in the fields of agricultural ecology and sustainable food production, and in 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 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
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
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 (>£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, Bayer, 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
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
Christelle leDroite - Ecological Implications and sustainability of organic and biodynamic farming in comparison to conventional and BT-conventional farming. (at Coventry University). 2nd supervisor
Recent PhD student projects
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
Other taught modules:
GuildHE Research Repositories is a joint repository for research outputs designed to capture the work of individuals and institutions who are Members of GuildHE.
Harper Adams University supports Food and Farming Futures, the online land-based library.
You can contact Dr Nicola Randall if you would like to discuss any of the following course modules: