Alison Smith

Senior research associate



Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
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Interests and expertise

My research focuses on solutions that tackle multiple environmental, economic and social problems at once, and identifying and mitigating the trade-offs that can arise. I focus mainly on nature-based solutions, natural capital, ecosystem services, green infrastructure, and the multiple benefits of climate adaptation and mitigation actions. My work includes developing methods of mapping and assessing land cover and natural capital, exploring land-use trade-offs and identifying evidence-based policy options that can meet climate, biodiversity and socio-economic goals. I have worked closely with Local Authorities and other stakeholders in the UK to develop and apply these methods in a way that can support decision-makers. I use a range of methods including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), spreadsheet models such as FABLE, and systematic literature reviews.


My first degree was in Natural Sciences (University of Cambridge) followed by an MSc in Exploration Geophysics. I worked for 15 years as a senior environmental consultant, specializing in climate change, transport, energy and waste management policy. I was then a freelance consultant and writer for a few years, and wrote The Climate Bonus: co-benefits of climate policy, which explores the additional benefits that society can gain through tackling climate change, including cleaner air, biodiversity protection, a more resource-efficient economy and healthier lifestyles. I joined the University of Oxford in 2014.

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