Alongside her post at Coventry University CAWR, Dr Barbara Smith is Associate Director of the Centre for Pollination Studies at Calcutta University and is Chair of the Agricultural Ecology Special Interest Group of the British Ecological Society. 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.
Her research interests include the 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. Her recent work in India has resulted in strong partnerships with farmers, academic colleagues and policy makers.