Personal profile

Research Interests

Agroecology; Farmland Ecology; Pollination ecology; Ecosystem service provision; Impact of agricultural intensification


Alongside her post at Coventry University CAWR, Dr Barbara Smith is Associate Director of the Centre for Pollination Studies at Calcutta University (2012 –) and is Chair of the Agricultural Ecology Special Interest Group of the British Ecological Society (2011 -). She previously worked as a Senior Scientist in the Farmland Ecology Unit at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (2002 – 2015) developing and evaluating agri-environment scheme options. Barbara has also worked as consultant ecologist on habitat restoration projects, specialising in aggregate sites, carrying out primary botanical research and working in partnership with industry, local communities, local authorities and NGOs.

Areas of research include: management of ecosystem service provision with a focus on pollination; agricultural intensification and its impact on wild plants and insects; the role of semi-natural habitat in mitigating intensive agriculture; intra-specific variation in wild legumes; restoration ecology in calcareous grassland systems; heathland management for biodiversity; novel techniques for collating and validating local and traditional knowledge. Barbara has collaborated with industry and academic partners in the UK and academic partners across Europe. Much of her work has been carried out on farms and through this she has developed a supportive network of stakeholders. Recent work in India has resulted in strong partnerships with farmers, academic colleagues and policy makers.

Vision Statement

Working from a natural science perspective I am inspired by the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration to solve problems that are principally seen as environmental but have socio-economic dimensions. My background in farmland ecology was driven by a fascination with understanding ‘how the system works’ and the ecological principles that underlie functioning. Increasingly I am interested in investigating the socio-economic drivers of human behaviour and evaluating the subsequent ecological impacts, including the impact of agronomic changes on ecosystems at a range of scales. My work uses participatory research methods where practicable in order to empower stakeholders and embed change. I hope that my work will contribute to the development of sustainable, equitable food production systems.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2014 2017

Pollen Transport in the Dark: Hawkmoths Prefer Non CropPlants to Crop Plants in an Agricultural Landscape

Chakraborty, P., Smith, B. & Basu, P. 17 Apr 2017 In : Proceedings of the Zoological Society. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

light traps
1 Citations

Semi-natural habitats support biological control, pollination and soil conservation in Europe: A review

Holland, J., Douma, J., Crowley, L., Kor, L., Stevenson, D. & Smith, B. 24 Jul 2017 In : Agronomy for Sustainable Development. 37, 4, 23 p., 31

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Soil conservation
ecosystem services

Sainfoin as a resource for pollinators

Smith, L. & Smith, B. M. 2016 Cotswold Grass Seeds Direct. (Sainfoin Growers’ Guide: Sainfoin surprising science behind a forgotten forage)

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Open Access
3 Citations

Scale dependent drivers of wild bee diversity in tropical heterogeneous agricultural landscapes

Basu, P., Parui, A. K., Chatterjee, S., Dutta, A., Chakraborty, P., Roberts, S. & Smith, B. M. 4 Oct 2016 In : Ecology and Evolution. 6, 19, p. 6983–6992

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
agricultural intensification
18 Citations

Structure, function and management of semi-natural habitats for conservation biological control: a review of European studies

Holland, J. M., Bianchi, F. J. J. A., Entling, M. H., Moonen, A-C., Smith, B. M. & Jeanneret, P. 23 Jun 2016 In : Pest Management Science. 72, 9, p. 1638–1651

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Activities 2014 2014

  • 3 Participation in conference

Pollinators in Agriculture

Smith, B. (Organising Committee)
1 Apr 20143 Apr 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

Pathways to International Pollinator Partnerships

Smith, B. (Keynote Speaker)
13 Jul 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

UK – India Agro-ecology initiative

Smith, B. (Organising Committee)
21 Apr 201424 Apr 2014

Activity: Participation in conference