Alison Smith is a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Change Institute. She is interested in using interdisciplinary research to find and promote solutions that tackle multiple environmental, economic and social problems. Her current work focuses mainly on natural capital, ecosystem services, green infrastructure, nature-based solutions and the multiple benefits of climate adaptation and mitigation actions.
Alison tested a variety of tools for mapping and assessing the value of urban green infrastructure as part of a NERC Green Infrastructure Innovation project, Tools for planning and assessing green infrastructure: Bicester and beyond. She also worked with the Ecosystems Knowledge Network to develop their Tool Assessor service, which synthesises knowledge on analytical tools for assessing ecosystem services.
As part of the European Commission's OPENNESS project, Alison carried out a major review of the links between natural capital attributes and ecosystem services, and worked with stakeholders in Essex and Warwickshire to explore methods for mapping ecosystem services, including hard-to-measure cultural services such as aesthetic value, recreation and a 'sense of place'. On the European Commission's IMPRESSIONS project, she explored the potential for integrated climate mitigation and adaptation pathways to tackle high levels of climate change. She is currently working with stakeholders in Oxfordshire and the wider Oxford-Cambridge growth arc to produce natural capital maps to inform strategic planning. She is also leading development of the eco-metric decision-support tool, for Natural England, which aims to help improve the design and outcomes of development by indicating relative changes in provision of 18 ecosystem services.
Prior to joining the ECI, Alison worked for 15 years as a senior environmental consultant, specializing in climate change, transport, energy and waste management policy. She then became a freelance consultant and writer, and is author of The Climate Bonus: co-benefits of climate policy. This book explores the additional benefits that society can gain through tackling climate change, including cleaner air, forest protection, a more resource-efficient economy and healthier lifestyles.
- Seddon, N., Chausson, A., Berry, P.M., Girardin, C., Smith, A.C. and Turner, B. (2020) Understanding the value and limits of nature-based solutions to climate change and other global challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 375(1794).
- Pedde, S., Kok, K., Hölscher, K., Frantzeskaki, N., Holman, I., Dunford, R., Smith, A. and Jäger, J. (2019) Advancing the use of scenarios to understand society’s capacity to achieve the 1.5 degree target. Global Environmental Change, 56: 75-85.
- Smith, A., Berry, P., Barker, J. and Lazarus, N. (2019) A toolkit for planning and evaluating urban GI – in Bicester and beyond. Town and Country Planning (special issue on Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure), 88(5): 171-176.
- Dick, J., Turkelboom, F., Woods, H., Iniesta-Arandia, I., Primmer, E., Saarela, S., Bezak, P., Mederly, P., Leone, M., Werheyden, W., Kelemen, E., Hauck, J., Andrews, C., Antunes, P., Aszalos, R., Baro, F., Barton, D.N., Berry, P., Bugter, R., Carvalho, L., Czucz, B., Dunford, R., Blanco, G., Geamana, N., Giuca, R., Crizzetti, B., Izakovicova, Z., Kertesz, M., Kopperoinen, L., Langemeyer, J., Lapola, D., Liquete, C., Luque, S., Pastur, G., Martin-Lopez, B., Mukhopadhyay, R., Niemela, J., Odee, D., Peri, P., Smith, A., (2018) Stakeholders’ perspectives on the operationalisation of the ecosystem service concept: Results from 27 case studies. Ecosystems Services, 29(c): 552-565.
- Dunford, R., Harrison, P., Smith, A., Dick, J., Barton, D.N., Lopez, B., Kelemen, E., Jacobs, S., Saarikoski, H., Turkelboom, F., Verheyden, W., Hauck, J., Antunes, P., Aszalos, R., Badea, O., Baro, F., Berry, P., Carvalho, P., Conte, G., Czuz, B., Blanco, G. and Howard, D. (2018) Integrating methods for ecosystem service assessment: Experiences from real world situations. Ecosystem Services, 29(C): 499-514.
- Furman, E., Barton, D., Harrison, P., Kopperoinen, L., Mederly, P., Perez-Soba, M., Potschin, M., Saarikoski, H., Schleyer, C., Smith, A., Watt, A., Young, J., Kelemen, E. and Gomez-Baggethun, E. (2018) Reconnecting natural and cultural capital - Contributions from science and policy. ISBN: 978-92-79-59948-4. ISSN: 1831-9424.
- Lenormand, M. et al. (2018) Multiscale socio-ecological networks in the age of information. Plos One.
- Dunford, R., Harrison, P., Smith, A., Dick, J., Barton, D.N., Martin-Lopez, B., Keleman, E., Jacobs, S., Saarikoski, H., Tukelboom, F., Verheyden, W., Hack, J., Antunes, P., Aszalos, R., Badea, O., Baro, F., Berry, P., Carvalho, L., Conte, G., Czucz, B., Blanco, G.G., Howard, D., Giuca, R., Gomez-Baggetun, E., Grizetti, B., Izakovicova, Z., Kopperoinen, L., Langemeyer, J., Luque, S., Lapola, D.M., Martinez-Pastur, G., Mukhopadhyay, R., Roy, S.B., Niemela, J., Norton, L., Ochieng, J., Odee, D., Palomo, I., Pinho, P., Priess, J., Rusch, G., Saarela, S., Santos, R., van der Wal, J.T., Vadineanu, A., Vari, A., Woods, H., Yli-Pelkonen, V. (2017) Integrating methods for ecosystem service assessment: Experiences from real world situations. Ecosystem Services.
- Smith, A.C., Harrison, P.A., Pérez Soba, M., Archaux, F., Blicharska, M., Egoh, B.N., Eros, T., Fabrega Domenech, N., György, A.I., Haines-Young, R., Li, S., Lommelen, E., Meiresonne, L., Miguel Ayala, L., Mononen, L., Simpson, G., Stange, E., Turkelboom, F., Uiterwijk, M., Veerkamp, C.J. and Wyllie de Echeverria, V. (2017) How natural capital delivers ecosystem services: A typology derived from a systematic review. Ecosystem Services, 26: 111-126.
- Smith, A.C. and Berry, P. (eds.) (2016) Mapping and assessing the condition of Europe's ecosystems: progress and challenges. European Environment Agency EEA Report 3/2016.
- Smith, A.C., Berry, P.M. and Harrison, P.A. (2016) Sustainable Ecosystem Management. In, Potschin, M. and Jax, K. (eds.) ): OpenNESS Ecosystem Services Reference Book. EC FP7 Grant Agreement no. 308428. .
- Smith, A.C., Pridmore, A., Hampshire, K., Ahlgren, C. and Goodwin, J. (2016) Scoping study on the co-benefits and possible adverse side effects of climate change mitigation. Final Report for DECC.
- Dunford, R.W., Smith, A.C., Harrison, P.A. and Hanganu, D. (2015) Ecosystem service provision in a changing Europe: adapting to the impacts of combined climate and socio-economic change. Landscape Ecology, 30(3): 443-461.
- Smith, A., Holland, M., Korkeala, O., Warmington, J., Forster, D., ApSimon, H., Oxley, T., Dickens, R. and Smith, S.M. (2015) Health and environmental co-benefits and conflicts of actions to meet UK carbon targets. Journal of Climate Policy, 16(3): 253-283.