Imperial College London

Dr Alexandra Collins

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Lecturer in Environmental Sustainability
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 5538alexandra.collins

 
 
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Location

 

109Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

13 results found

Collins AM, Haddaway NR, Macura B, Thomas J, Randall N, Taylor JJ, Cooke S, Gilbert Aet al., 2019, What are the impacts of within-field farmland management practices on the flux of greenhouse gases from arable cropland in temperate regions? A systematic map protocol, ENVIRONMENTAL EVIDENCE, Vol: 8

Journal article

Hillier JK, Saville GR, Smith MJ, Scott AJ, Raven EK, Gascoigne J, Slater LJ, Quinn N, Tsanakas A, Souch C, Leckebusch GC, Macdonald N, Milner AM, Loxton J, Wilebore R, Collins A, MacKechnie C, Tweddle J, Moller S, Dove M, Langford H, Craig Jet al., 2019, Demystifying academics to enhance university–business collaborations in environmental science, Geoscience Communication, Vol: 2, Pages: 1-23, ISSN: 2569-7110

In countries globally there is intense political interest in fostering effective university–business collaborations, but there has been scant attention devoted to exactly how an individual scientist's workload (i.e. specified tasks) and incentive structures (i.e. assessment criteria) may act as a key barrier to this. To investigate this an original, empirical dataset is derived from UK job specifications and promotion criteria, which distil universities' varied drivers into requirements upon academics. This work reveals the nature of the severe challenge posed by a heavily time-constrained culture; specifically, tension exists between opportunities presented by working with business and non-optional duties (e.g. administration and teaching). Thus, to justify the time to work with business, such work must inspire curiosity and facilitate future novel science in order to mitigate its conflict with the overriding imperative for academics to publish. It must also provide evidence of real-world changes (i.e. impact), and ideally other reportable outcomes (e.g. official status as a business' advisor), to feed back into the scientist's performance appraisals. Indicatively, amid 20–50 key duties, typical full-time scientists may be able to free up to 0.5 day per week for work with business. Thus specific, pragmatic actions, including short-term and time-efficient steps, are proposed in a “user guide” to help initiate and nurture a long-term collaboration between an early- to mid-career environmental scientist and a practitioner in the insurance sector. These actions are mapped back to a tailored typology of impact and a newly created representative set of appraisal criteria to explain how they may be effective, mutually beneficial and overcome barriers. Throughout, the focus is on environmental science, with illustrative detail provided through the example of natural hazard risk modelling in the insurance sector. However, a new conceptual model of ac

Journal article

Collins AM, Coughlin D, Randall N, 2019, Engaging environmental policy-makers with systematic reviews: challenges, solutions and lessons learned, Environmental Evidence, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2047-2382

The creation and accumulation of robust bodies of knowledge, along with their dissemination, utilisation and integration in decision support are key to improving the use of evidence in decision-making. Systematic reviews (SRs), through their emphasis on transparency, replicability and rigour, offer numerous benefits throughout the policy-making cycle and for improving the use of evidence in environmental policy-making. As a result there have been numerous calls to increase the use of SRs in environmental policy-making. This commentary paper introduces the challenges of engaging policy-makers with SRs and, using experiences of producing SRs with Government Departments and Agencies within the UK and Europe, identifies possible solutions and shares our lessons learned. It highlights that co-production can help to overcome a number of challenges by ensuring that review questions are policy-relevant, that the context of the review is taken into consideration and that review’s findings are communicated so that they are recognised and used in policy decision-making processes. Additionally, a pragmatic approach to the review’s methodology may be required to respond to policy-making requirements. Here, a risk-based approach can communicate the trade-offs between the rigour and timeliness of the review. Ensuring that systematic approaches are upheld at all times can help address impartiality concerns and can develop skills in both reviewers and policy-makers to increase awareness of systematic methods, leading to changes in practice and culture within decision-making organisations and the promotion of evidence informed policy development and decisions.

Journal article

Sutherland WJ, Broad S, Butchart SHM, Clarke SJ, Collins AM, Dicks LV, Doran H, Esmail N, Fleishman E, Frost N, Gaston KJ, Gibbons DW, Hughes AC, Jiang Z, Kelman R, LeAnstey B, le Roux X, Lickorish FA, Monk KA, Mortimer D, Pearce-Higgins JW, Peck LS, Pettorelli N, Pretty J, Seymour CL, Spalding MD, Wentworth J, Ockendon Net al., 2019, A horizon scan of emerging issues for global conservation in 2019, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol: 34, Pages: 83-94, ISSN: 1872-8383

We present the results of our tenth annual horizon scan. We identified 15 emerging priority topics that may have major positive or negative effects on the future conservation of global biodiversity, but currently have low awareness within the conservation community. We hope to increase research and policy attention on these areas, improving the capacity of the community to mitigate impacts of potentially negative issues, and maximise the benefits of issues that provide opportunities. Topics include advances in crop breeding, which may affect insects and land use; manipulations of natural water flows and weather systems on the Tibetan Plateau; release of carbon and mercury from melting polar ice and thawing permafrost; new funding schemes and regulations; and land-use changes across Indo-Malaysia.

Journal article

Bennett MG, Lee SS, Schofield KA, Ridley C, Norton SB, Webb A, Nichols SJ, Ogden R, Collins AMet al., 2018, Using systematic review and evidence banking to increase uptake and use of aquatic science in decision-making, Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, Vol: 27, Pages: 103-109, ISSN: 1539-607X

To support sound decision‐making in environmental management, we need rigorous, defensible, and transparent synthesis of scientific evidence. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography and associated aquatic science societies are leaders in applying science to decision‐making, and yet many environmental decisions are still at risk of having to be made without a comprehensive, well‐synthesized evidence base to support them. In this article, we discuss two synergistic approaches that can help science inform decision‐making: systematic review and evidence banking. Our aim is to promote the use of these approaches, and to enlist support and action from you, the aquatic science community. We propose that you can improve the use and uptake of science in decision‐making by making your research more compatible with synthesis efforts by: considering risk of bias when designing your study and reporting results; reporting all relevant contextual information; analyzing your data using standard effect size approaches; and publishing your raw data. Awareness of how primary research feeds into informing policies can help you broaden the impact of your research, making it more directly relevant to decision‐making and more likely to contribute to the protection of aquatic ecosystems.

Journal article

Norton SB, Webb JA, Schofield KA, Nichols SJ, Ogden R, Bennett M, Lee S, Ridley C, Gibbs D, Collins Aet al., 2018, Timely delivery of scientific knowledge for environmental management: a Freshwater Science initiative, FRESHWATER SCIENCE, Vol: 37, Pages: 205-207, ISSN: 2161-9549

Journal article

Haddaway NR, Collins AM, Coughlin D, Kohl Cet al., 2017, Including non-public data and studies in systematic reviews and systematic maps, ENVIRONMENT INTERNATIONAL, Vol: 99, Pages: 351-355, ISSN: 0160-4120

Journal article

Haddaway NR, Collins AM, Coughlin D, Kirk Set al., 2017, A rapid method to increase transparency and efficiency in web-based searches, ENVIRONMENTAL EVIDENCE, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2047-2382

Journal article

Haddaway NR, Woodcock P, Macura B, Collins Aet al., 2015, Making literature reviews more reliable through application of lessons from systematic reviews, CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, Vol: 29, Pages: 1596-1605, ISSN: 0888-8892

Journal article

Haddaway NR, Collins AM, Coughlin D, Kirk Set al., 2015, The role of Google Scholar in evidence reviews and its applicability to grey literature searching, PLoS ONE, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1932-6203

Google Scholar (GS), a commonly used web-based academic search engine, catalogues between 2 and 100 million records of both academic and grey literature (articles not formally published by commercial academic publishers). Google Scholar collates results from across the internet and is free to use. As a result it has received considerable attention as a method for searching for literature, particularly in searches for grey literature, as required by systematic reviews. The reliance on GS as a standalone resource has been greatly debated, however, and its efficacy in grey literature searching has not yet been investigated. Using systematic review case studies from environmental science, we investigated the utility of GS in systematic reviews and in searches for grey literature. Our findings show that GS results contain moderate amounts of grey literature, with the majority found on average at page 80. We also found that, when searched for specifically, the majority of literature identified using Web of Science was also found using GS. However, our findings showed moderate/poor overlap in results when similar search strings were used in Web of Science and GS (10–67%), and that GS missed some important literature in five of six case studies. Furthermore, a general GS search failed to find any grey literature from a case study that involved manual searching of organisations’ websites. If used in systematic reviews for grey literature, we recommend that searches of article titles focus on the first 200 to 300 results. We conclude that whilst Google Scholar can find much grey literature and specific, known studies, it should not be used alone for systematic review searches. Rather, it forms a powerful addition to other traditional search methods. In addition, we advocate the use of tools to transparently document and catalogue GS search results to maintain high levels of transparency and the ability to be updated, critical to systematic reviews.

Journal article

Collins A, Voulvoulis N, 2014, Ecological assessments of surface water bodies at the river basin level: a case study from England, ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, Vol: 186, Pages: 8649-8665, ISSN: 0167-6369

Journal article

Collins A, Ohandja D-G, Hoare D, Voulvoulis Net al., 2012, Implementing the Water Framework Directive: a transition from established monitoring networks in England and Wales, Environmental Science and Policy, Vol: 17, Pages: 49-61

Journal article

Dhaniram D, Collins A, Singh K, Voulvoulis Net al., 2012, Industrial Chemicals, Pages: 147-179

Journal article

This data is extracted from the Web of Science and reproduced under a licence from Thomson Reuters. You may not copy or re-distribute this data in whole or in part without the written consent of the Science business of Thomson Reuters.

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