Browse our publications and read about OPAL research
Findings and Lessons Learnt Report (2016)
Report on outcomes of OPAL-UK, latest results of national surveys, lessons learnt and OPAL's vision for the future.
Community Environment Report (2013)
A major report documenting findings from the first five years of the OPAL project.
OPAL Update 2009/2010
Information on the second and third national surveys, OPAL Community Champions and OPAL's work with natural history societies.
OPAL Update 2008/2009
Information on OPAL's launch at the Natural History Museum, the first national survey and the work of the National Centres and regions.
- Slawson, D.D.; Moffat, A.J (2020) How Effective Are Citizen Scientists at Contributing to Government Tree Health Public Engagement and Surveillance Needs—An Analysis of the UK Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) Survey Model. Insects, 11, 550.
- Rae, M., Miró, A., Hall, J., O’Brien, B, O’Brien, D (2018) Evaluating the validity of a simple citizen science index for assessing the ecological status of urban drainage ponds. Ecological Indicators 98: 1-8
- Neil L. Rose,, Simon D. Turner, Handong Yang, Congqiao Yang, Charlotte Hall, Stuart Harrad, Palaeotoxicity: reconstructing the risk of multiple sedimentary pollutants to freshwater organisms, (2018), Environ Geochem Health
- N. A. Welden, P. A. Wolseley and M. R. Ashmore, Citizen science identifies the effects of nitrogen deposition, climate and tree species on epiphytic lichens across the UK, (2017) Environmental Pollution
- S. D. Turner, N. L. Rose, B. Goldsmith, J. M. Bearcock, C. Scheib & H. Yang, Using public participation to sample trace metals in lake surface sediments: the OPAL Metals Survey, (2017), Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 189:241
- Riesch, H., Potter, C., Davies, L., What is public engagement, and what is if for? A study of scientists’ and science communicators’ views, (2017), Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, pp. 1-129
- Linda Davies, Roger Fradera, Hauke Riesch and Poppy Lakeman-Fraser, Surveying the citizen science landscape: an exploration of the design, delivery and impact of citizen science through the lens of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme, (2016), BMC Ecology
- Glyn Everett and Hilary Geoghegan, Initiating and continuing participation in citizen science for natural history, (2016), BMC Ecology
- N L. Rose, S. D. Turner, B. Goldsmith, L. Gosling and T. A. Davidson, Quality control in public participation assessments of water quality: the OPAL Water Survey, (2016), BMC Ecology
- Laura Gosling, Tim H. Sparks, Yoseph Araya, Martin Harvey and Janice Ansine, Differences between urban and rural hedges in England revealed by a citizen science project, (2016), BMC Ecology
- Poppy Lakeman-Fraser, Laura Gosling, Andy J. Moffat, Sarah E. West, Roger Fradera, Linda Davies, Maxwell, A. Ayamba and René van der Wal, To have your citizen science cake and eat it? Delivering research and outreach through Open Air Laboratories (OPAL), (2016), BMC Ecology
- Bates, A. J., Fraser, P. L., Robinson, L., Tweddle, J. C., Sadler, J. P., West, S. E., ... & Davies, L. (2015). The OPAL bugs count survey: exploring the effects of urbanisation and habitat characteristics using citizen science. Urban Ecosystems, 1-21. DOI:10.1007/s11252-015-0470-8
- Stagg, Bethan C., Donkin, Maria E. (2015) Mnemonics are an Effective Tool for Adult Beginners Learning Plant Identification. Journal of Biological Education. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/FgKueyUcnu3j6VKufifK/full
- Stagg, Bethan C., Donkin, Maria E., Smith, Alison M. (2014) Bryophytes for Beginners: The usability of a printed dichotomous key versus a multi-access computer-based key for bryophyte identification. Journal of Biological Education. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/aTFr3Jjc4S7VChbRzeJK/full
- Stagg, Bethan C., Donkin, Maria E. (2016) Apps for angiosperms: the usability of mobile computers and printed field guides for UK wild flower and winter tree identification. Journal of Biological Education. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/HhzX5J6WbGRCi9TdzDRR/full
- van der Wal, R., Anderson, H., Robinson, A., Sharma, N., Mellish, C., Roberts, S., ... & Siddharthan, A. (2015). Mapping species distributions: A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording. Ambio, 44(4), 584-600. DOI:10.1007/s13280-015-0709-x
- Yanga, C., Harrada, S., Abou-Elwafa Abdallahb, M., Desborougha, J., Rose, N.L., Turner, S.D., Davidson, T.A., Goldsmith, B (2014) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in English freshwater lakes, 2008–2012. Chemosphere 110: 41–47 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.03.028
- Bone, J., Barraclough, D., Eggleton, P., Head, M., Jones, D.T., Voulvoulis, N. (2014) Prioritising Soil Quality Assessment Through the Screening of Sites: the Use of Publicly Collected Data. Land Degradation and Development. In Press Accepted. DOI:10.1002/ldr.2138
- Riesch, H. and Potter, C. (2014). Citizen science as seen by scientists: Methodological, epistemological and ethical dimensions. Public Understanding of Science, 23 (1). pp. 107 - 120. DOI:10.1177/0963662513497324
- Ryder, C.L., and Toumi, R. An urban solar ﬂux island: Measurements from London Atmospheric Environment 45 (2011) 3414-3423. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.03.045
- Seed, L., Wolseley, P., Gosling, L., Davies, L., Power, S.A. (2013) Modelling relationships between lichen bioindicators, air quality and climate on a national scale: Results from the UK OPAL air survey. Environmental Pollution. (In press). DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.07.045
- Ahmad, M.N., Bujer, P., Khalid, S., Van Den Berg, L., Shah, H.U., Wahid, A., Emberson, L., Power, S.A., Ashmore, M. (2013), Effects of ozone on crops in north-west Pakistan, Environmental Pollution 174: 244-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.11.029.
- Fowler, A., Whyatt, J.D., Davies, G. and Ellis, R., 2013. How Reliable are Citizen‐Derived Scientific Data? Assessing the Quality of Contrail Observations Made by the General Public. Transactions in GIS, 17(4), pp.488-506. DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12034
- Stagg, Bethan C., Donkin, Maria E. (2013) Teaching botanical identification to adults: experiences of the UK participatory science project ‘Open Air Laboratories’. Journal of Biological Education. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/KpE8ttfwR6DbQUCAqW7b/full
- Lee, M. and Power, S.A. (2013). Direct and indirect effects of roads and road vehicles on the plant community composition of calcareous grasslands. Environmental Pollution. 176: 106- 113. DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2013.01.018
- Tregidgoa, D.J., West, S.E. and M.R. Ashmore (2013). Can citizen science produce good science? Testing the OPAL Air Survey methodology, using lichens as indicators of nitrogenous pollution. Environmental Pollution. Elsevier. DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2013.03.034
- Tripp, E. J., Crittenden, P. D. & Eichhorn, M. P. (2012). Plant diversity of a lowland heathland site on Lundy. Journal of the Lundy Field Society, 3: 33-40
- Bone, J., Archer, M., Barraclough, D., Eggleton, P., Flight, D., Head, M., Jones, D.T., Scheib, C., Voulvoulis, N. (2012) Public participation in soil surveys: lessons from a pilot study in England. Environmental Science and Technology, 46 (7), 3687–3696. DOI:10.1021/es203880p
- Hale J.D., Fairbrass A.J., Matthews T.J. & Sadler J.P. (2012) Habitat composition and connectivity predicts bat presence and activity at foraging sites in a large UK conurbation. Plos One 7: e33300. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0033300
- Lee, M., Davies, L. and Power, S.A. (2012). Effects of roads on adjacent plant community composition and ecosystem function: an example from three calcareous ecosystems. Environmental Pollution. 163: 273-280. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.038
- Hobbs, S. J., White, P. C. L. (2012). Motivations and barriers in relation to community participation in biodiversity recording. Journal for Nature Conservation. Volume 20, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 364-373, ISSN 1617-1381, DOI:10.1016/j.jnc.2012.08.002
- Bates A.J., Sadler J.P., Fairbrass A.J., Falk S.J., Hale J.D. & Matthews T.J. (2011) Changing Bee and Hoverfly Pollinator Assemblages along an Urban-Rural Gradient. Plos One 6(8): e23459. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0023459.
- Bone, J., Head, M., Jones, D.T., Barraclough, D., Archer, M., Scheib, C., Flight, D., Eggleton, P., Voulvoulis, N. (2011) From Chemical Risk Assessment to Environmental Quality Management: The Challenge for Soil Protection. Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Policy: Past, Present, and Future Special Issue, 45 (1), 104-110. DOI:10.1021/es101463y
- Davies, L. Bell, J.N. Bone, J. Head, M. Hill, L. Howard, C., Hobbs, S.J. Jones, D.T. Power, S.A. Rose, N. Ryder, C. Seed, L. Stevens, G. Toumi, R. Voulvoulis, N. White, P.C. (2011) Open Air Laboratories (OPAL): a community-driven research programme. Environmental Pollution, 159, 2203-2210. DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2011.02.053
- Donovan, S.M. Skartsila, A.M. Head, M. K. and Voulvoulis N. (2011) An Initial Investigation into the Use of a Flux Chamber Technique to Measure Soil-Atmosphere Gas Exchanges from Application of Biosolids to UK Soils. Applied and Environmental Soil Science. 2011: 10 pages. DOI:10.1155/2011/957181
- Bone, J., Head, M.K., Jones, D.T., Barraclough, D., Archer, M., Scheib, C., Flight, D., Eggleton, P., Voulvoulis, N. (2010) Soil Quality Assessment Under Emerging Regulatory Requirements. Environment International, 36 (6), 609-622. DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2010.04.010
- Desborough, J., Harrad, S., Abdallah, M. A-E. (2010) An overview of contamination of the UK environment with HBCD and its degradation products. Organohalogen Compounds 72: 193-196.
- Lee, M., Manning, P., Rist, J.,Powerm S.A. and Marsh, C. (2010) A global comparison of grassland biomass responses to CO2 and nitrogen enrichment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 365: 2047-2056. DOI:10.1098/rstb.2010.0028
- Harrad, S., Abdallah, M. A-E., Rose, N.L., Turner, S.D. & Davidson, T.A. (2009). Current-use brominated flame retardants in water, sediment and fish from English lakes. Environmental Science & Technology 43: 9077 – 9083. DOI:10.1021/es902185u
Hecker, S., Haklay, M., Bowser, A., Makuch, Z., Vogel, J. & Bonn, A. 2018. Citizen Science: Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy. London: UCL Press. https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781787352339
Sadler, J.P., Bates, A.J., Donovan, R. & Bodnar, S. (2011) Building for Biodiversity: accommodating people and wildlife in cities. In Niemela, J., Elmqvist, T., James, P. (eds.). Urban Ecology: Patterns, Processes, and Applications. Oxford University Press, pp.286-296 . Oxford. ISBN : 9780199563562
Sadler J., Bates A., Hale J., James P. 2010. Bringing cities alive: the importance of urban green spaces for pe ople and biodiversity 230-260 in Gaston KJ (ed.). Urban Ecology. Cambridge University Pre ss, 318pp. ISBN: 9780521760973
There are a number of other publications which contain material about OPAL including:
Biodiversity Solutions. 2010. Involving People in Biological Recording. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 382. Available from: http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/commissio n ed_reports/382.pdf
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (2012), Interim Chalara Control P lan, 6 December 2012. Available from: http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13843-chalara-control-plan-1212 06.pdf
House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (2010). Halting Biodiversity Loss. HC 743, Thirteenth Report of Session 2007-08 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence. The Stationary Office. UK. ISBN: 9780215524843. Available from http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmenvaud/cmenvaud.htm
Jeffery, S. Gardi, C. Jones, A. Montan arella, L. Marmo, L. Miko, L. Ritz, K. Peres, G. Römbke J. van der Putten, W. H. (eds.), 2010, European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity. European Commission, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. ISBN: 9789279158063 Available from: http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/library/maps/biodiversity_atlas/
Robinson, F. Zass-Ogilvie, I. (2012) Hudson, R. How Can Universities Support Disadvantaged Communities? Joseph Rowntree Foundation. UK. Available from: http ://www.jrf .org.uk/sites/files/jrf/disadvantaged-communities-and-universities-full.pdf
Roy, H.E., Pocock, M.J.O., Preston, C.D., Roy, D.B., Savage, J., Tweddle, J.C. & Robinson, L.D. (2012) Understanding Citizen Science & Environmental Monitoring. Final Report on behalf of UK-EOF. NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Natural History Museum. Available from: http://www.ukeof.org.uk
Turner, S., Rose, N., Goldsmith, B., Harrad, S., Davidson, T. (2013) OPAL Water Centre: Monitoring Report 2008-2012. Open Air Laboratories.
Batty, L.C.; Hallberg, K.B. (eds.) (2010) Ecology of Industrial Pollution. Cambridge University Press. UK ISBN:9780521514460
Muller, N. Werner, P. Kelcey, J. G. (2010) Urban Biodiversity and Design. Wiley Blackwell. UK ISBN: 1444332678
Hemming, H. (2011) Together: How Small Groups Achieve Big Things. John Murray, UK. ISBN: 9781848540552
New, T.M. (2012) Insect Conservation: Past, Present and Prospects. Springer, UK. ISBN: 9400729626
Waite, S. (2011) Children Learning Outside the Classroom: From Birth to Eleven. SAGE. UK. ISBN: 9780857020482
Bowater, L. Yeoman, K. (2012) Science Communication: A Practical Guide for Scientists. Wiley and Sons. UK. ISBN: 9781119993124
Parker, S. (2010) Museum of Life. Natural History Museum, UK. ISBN: 056509260X
Aanensen, D.M. Huntley, D.M. Feil, E.J. al-Own, F. Spratt, B.G. (2009) EpiCollect: Linking Smartphones to Web Applications for Epidemiology, Ecology and Community Data Collection. PLoS ONE 4(9): e6968. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0006968
Coffey, H. M. P., Fahrig, L. (2012), Relative effects of vehicle pollution, moisture and colonization sources on urban lichens. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49: 1467–1474. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02208.x
Everard, M. Fletcher, M.S. Powell, A. Dobson, M.K. (2011) The Feasibility of Developing Multi-Taxa Indicators for Landscape Scale Assessment of Freshwater Systems. Freshwater Reviews, 4(1):1-19. DOI:10.1608/FRJ-4.1.129
Giannachi, G. (2012) Representing, Performing and Mitigating Climate Change in Contemporary Art Practice, Leonardo, Vol. 45, No. 2 , Pages 124-131. DOI:10.1162/LEON_a_00278
Mackechnie, C. Maskell, L. Norton, L. Roy, D. (2011) The role of ‘Big Society’ in monitoring the state of the natural environment. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 10(13), 2687-2691 DOI:10.1039/C1EM10615E
Palmer Fry, B. Community forest monitoring in REDD+: the ‘M’ in MRV? (2011) Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 181-187, ISSN 1462-9011, DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2010.12.004
Scanlon, E.(2011) Open science: trends in the development of science learning. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning Vol. 26, Iss. 2, DOI:10.1080/02680513.2011.567456
Siddharthan, A. Mellish, C. Nguyen, H. Zeng, C. Pearce, I. Van Der Wal, R. Tell me a story about the birds and the bees: Using NLG to foster public engagement in nature conservation projects . In Proc. Digital Engagement '11 (Digital Economy All Hands Conference).
Silvertown, J. (2009) A new dawn for citizen science, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Volume 24, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 467-471, ISSN 0169-5347, DOI:10.1016/j.tree.2009.03.017.
Bone, J. (2012) Environmental quality management for soil protection: the role of citizen science in the process. Ph.D. Thesis. Imperial College London: UK.
Carne, D. (2013) A comparison of carbon sequestration potential and photosynthetic efficiency in evergreen and deciduous oaks g rowing in contrasting environments in the Southwest UK. Ph.D. Thesis. Plymouth University: UK.
Giannakopoulou, M.E. (2012) Land–Boundary Layer&ndas h;Sea Interactions in the Middle East. Ph.D. Thesis. Imperial College London : UK.
Hackling, J. (2013) The future of amateur natural history societies in England. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Central Lancashire: UK.
Hall, C. (2013) Trace metal contamination in lakes and ponds in London. Ph.D. Thesis. University College London: UK.
Hobbs, S. (2012) Community participation in biodiversity monitoring. Ph.D. Thesis. University of York: UK.
Lee, M. (2012) A ir Pollution and Climate Change Effects on Grassland Ecosystems. Ph.D. Thesis. Imperial College London: UK.
Rosenfeld, E. (2012) Assessing the e cological significance of linkage and connectivity for avian biodiversity in urban areas. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Birmingham: UK.
Tripp, E. (2012) Local and regional determinants of heathland composition and the likely direction of future change. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Nottingham: UK.
West, S. (2013) Evaluation of environmental education. Ph.D. Thesis. University of York: UK.
Whitelaw, M. (2012) Diversity and distribution of epiphytic bryophytes in apple orchards: Relationship with tree and substrate variables. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hertfordshire: UK.