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
Agricultural Ecology and Biodiversity
Evidence synthesis for environmental and agricultural decision making, Systematic Review, Systematic Mapping, Ecological Policy, Dissemination and use of research information.
Advisory Board member for Ceres2030 Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger
Methods Expert Group Eklipse EU mechanism
Editorial Board member Environmental Evidence Journal (Systematic Review Journal of CEE)
Chair - Systematic Mapping Methods Group - Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE)
Committee Member British Ecological Society - Agroecology Methods Group
Recent funding (last 5 years)
£545,000 for research and training from funders including:
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,
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).
Current PhD student supervision
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) BBSRC/Syngenta icase Director of studies
Stuart Norris - The effect of maize cultivation on invertebrate biodiversity
Helen Bayliss - The use of information and research synthesis methods with reference to invasive species
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: