Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Honorary Research Fellow in Urban Ecology



+44 (0)20 7594 9326linda.davies




16 Prince's GardensSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

11 results found

Riesch H, Potter C, Davies L, 2016, What Is Public Engagement, and What Is It for? A Study of Scientists’ and Science Communicators’ Views, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Vol: 36, Pages: 179-189, ISSN: 0270-4676

Journal article

Lakeman-Fraser P, Gosling L, Moffat AJ, West SE, Fradera R, Davies L, Ayamba MA, van der Wal Ret al., 2016, To have your citizen science cake and eat it? Delivering research and outreach through Open Air Laboratories (OPAL), BMC Ecology, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1472-6785

BACKGROUND: The vast array of citizen science projects which have blossomed over the last decade span a spectrum of objectives from research to outreach. While some focus primarily on the collection of rigorous scientific data and others are positioned towards the public engagement end of the gradient, the majority of initiatives attempt to balance the two. Although meeting multiple aims can be seen as a 'win-win' situation, it can also yield significant challenges as allocating resources to one element means that they may be diverted away from the other. Here we analyse one such programme which set out to find an effective equilibrium between these arguably polarised goals. Through the lens of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme we explore the inherent trade-offs encountered under four indicators derived from an independent citizen science evaluation framework. Assimilating experience from the OPAL network we investigate practical approaches taken to tackle arising tensions. RESULTS: Working backwards from project delivery to design, we found the following elements to be important: ensuring outputs are fit for purpose, developing strong internal and external collaborations, building a sufficiently diverse partnership and considering target audiences. We combine these 'operational indicators' with four pre-existing 'outcome indicators' to create a model which can be used to shape the planning and delivery of a citizen science project. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that whether the proverb in the title rings true will largely depend on the identification of challenges along the way and the ability to address these conflicts throughout the citizen science project.

Journal article

Davies L, Fradera R, Riesch H, Lakeman-Fraser Pet al., 2016, 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, BMC Ecology, Vol: 16, Pages: 17-17, ISSN: 1472-6785

BACKGROUND: This paper provides a short introduction to the topic of citizen science (CS) identifying the shift from the knowledge deficit model to more inclusive, participatory science. It acknowledges the benefits of new technology and the opportunities it brings for mass participation and data manipulation. It focuses on the increase in interest in CS in recent years and draws on experience gained from the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme launched in England in 2007. METHODS: The drivers and objectives for OPAL are presented together with background information on the partnership, methods and scales. The approaches used by researchers ranged from direct public participation in mass data collection through field surveys to research with minimal public engagement. The supporting services focused on education, particularly to support participants new to science, a media strategy and data services. RESULTS: Examples from OPAL are used to illustrate the different approaches to the design and delivery of CS that have emerged over recent years and the breadth of opportunities for public participation the current landscape provides. Qualitative and quantitative data from OPAL are used as evidence of the impact of CS. CONCLUSION: While OPAL was conceived ahead of the more recent formalisation of approaches to the design, delivery and analysis of CS projects and their impact, it nevertheless provides a range of examples against which to assess the various benefits and challenges emerging in this fast developing field.

Journal article

Bates AJ, Lakeman Fraser P, Robinson L, Tweddle JC, Sadler JP, West SE, Norman S, Batson M, Davies Let al., 2015, The OPAL bugs count survey: exploring the effects of urbanisation and habitat characteristics using citizen science, Urban Ecosystems, Vol: 18, Pages: 1477-1497, ISSN: 1083-8155

Journal article

Seed L, Wolseley P, Gosling L, Davies L, Power SAet al., 2013, Modelling relationships between lichen bioindicators, air quality and climate on a national scale: Results from the UK OPAL air survey, ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, Vol: 182, Pages: 437-447, ISSN: 0269-7491

Journal article

Bertuzzi S, Davies L, Power SA, Tretiach Met al., 2013, Why lichens are bad biomonitors of ozone pollution?, ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, Vol: 34, Pages: 391-397, ISSN: 1470-160X

Journal article

Davies L, 2013, Combining citizen science and public engagement: Open Air Laboratories Programme, JCOM : Journal of Science Communication, ISSN: 1824-2049

Journal article

Lee MA, Davies L, Power SA, 2012, Effects of roads on adjacent plant community composition and ecosystem function: An example from three calcareous ecosystems, ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, Vol: 163, Pages: 273-280, ISSN: 0269-7491

Journal article

Davies L, Bell JN, Bone J, Head M, Hill L, Howard C, Hobbs SJ, Jones DT, Power SA, Rose N, Ryder C, Seed L, Stevens G, Toumi R, Voulvoulis N, White PCet al., 2011, Open Air Laboratories (OPAL): a community-driven research programme., Environmental Pollution, Vol: 159, Pages: 2203-2210

OPAL is an English national programme that takes scientists into the community to investigate environmental issues. Biological monitoring plays a pivotal role covering topics of: i) soil and earthworms; ii) air, lichens and tar spot on sycamore; iii) water and aquatic invertebrates; iv) biodiversity and hedgerows; v) climate, clouds and thermal comfort. Each survey has been developed by an inter-disciplinary team and tested by voluntary, statutory and community sectors. Data are submitted via the web and instantly mapped. Preliminary results are presented, together with a discussion on data quality and uncertainty. Communities also investigate local pollution issues, ranging from nitrogen deposition on heathlands to traffic emissions on roadside vegetation. Over 200,000 people have participated so far, including over 1000 schools and 1000 voluntary groups. Benefits include a substantial, growing database on biodiversity and habitat condition, much from previously unsampled sites particularly in urban areas, and a more engaged public.

Journal article

Davies L, Kwiatkowski L, Gaston KJ, Beck H, Brett H, Batty M, Scholes L, Wade R, Sheate W, Sadler J, Perino G, Andrews B, Kontoleon A, Bateman I, Harris Jet al., 2011, Urban, UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2011) The National Ecosystem Assessment Technical Reprot UNEP-WCMC, 219 Huntingdon, Publisher: United Nations environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), Pages: 361-410, ISBN: 978-92-807-3164-4

The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA), carried out between mid-2009 to early 2011 is the first analysis of the UK natural environmetn in terms of the benefits it provides to society and continuing prosperity. The Urban Chapter reviews data on the urban habitat and the goods and benefits arising from the various sub-habitats within it.

Book chapter

Davies L, Bates JW, Bell JNB, James PW, Purvis OWet al., 2007, Diversity and sensitivity of epiphytes to oxides of nitrogen in London, ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, Vol: 146, Pages: 299-310, ISSN: 0269-7491

Journal article

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