Dr Darrell Smith, PhD

  • Lecturer in Environmental Modelling Programme Lead MSc Ecosystem Services Evaluation
  • Institute of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies
  • Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
  • Conservation
Dr Darrell Smith, PhD


I consider myself a conservation biologist and my current role is lecturer in environmental modelling at the University of Cumbria and I share programme leadership for the MSc Ecosystem Services Evaluation. In 2015 I completed a PhD with focus on the evaluation and integration of socio-cultural, ecological and economic values. I am primarily interested in how values inform the decision-making process. Coming into an academic position after 30 years’ experience in farming, I am continuing to develop a long held interest in relationships between society and nature and how these relationships inform thoughts of natural resource value.

I am module leader for:

MSc provision

Applied Research Methods; Applied Multi-Criteria Models for Ecosystem Evaluation; Independent Study

BSc provision

Research Methods and Data Analysis; Evolution and Biogeography; Dissertation; Conservation Strategies 

I also contibute to other modules delivered in the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas

Qualifications and memberships

PhD, Conservation Biology, Lancaster University

BSc (Hons) in Animal Conservation Science with the University of Central Lancashire

I am currently studying for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching for Higher Education.

Academic and research interests

My PhD research explored the evaluation of wood-fuel producing landscapes in Austria and Greece across a range of ownership models; large-scale public and private enterprise as well as community owned and small scale transhumance silvo-pastoral systems. Using novel fuzzy logic based techniques to articulate value, I investigated the tensions between sustainability and society’s continued use of natural resource. As I work towards building my research profile I continue to develop interest in value for natural resources related issues, especially with regard to society's muli-facetted expressions of value for natural resource, natural capital evaluation/environmental management applications and methodologies for values based decision making in socio-ecological systems. 

Currently my research contribution to the Centre for National Parks and Protected areas is specifically related to:

socio-ecological landscapes,

multi-criteria evaluation and decision-making in regard to issues such as biodiversity loss,

inter- and intra-generational equity and sustainable development.        

Current Research Projects    

DEFRA Catchment Pioneer. Working with Catchment Management Groups to develop integrated spatial plans and develop shared natural capital evidence base at the Cumbria and Community Scale to inform decision-making.       

Eco-innovation Cumbria. An ERDF funded four-year programme to support SME’s in meeting the challenge of sustainability and carbon reduction. Current involvement includes supervision and delivery of co-developed SME-based projects. 

Research supervision

Lead supervisor

Natural capital, ecosystem services, decision-making and the commons

Differences in stakeholder aesthetic valuation of the Lake District National Park - Neil Windett

Kendal Mountain Festival: Building a values-based measure of sustainability - Seonaid Lafferty

Supervisor team member

Fisheries and illegality in Peru: evaluating the goverance process of the mahi mahi and giant squid fisheries - Aimee leslie

Collaboration among stakeholders in efforts to protect World Heritage and promote sustainable development - Cecile Smith Christensen

Keystone species reintroduction in restoration ecology: measuring success - Sally Hawkins

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Local Renewable Energy Systems using Fuzzy Logic - Antoios Kalogeraki

Restoring Raised Bog with the cell bunding technique - David Harperly

Conifers: Their ornamental use in gardens and parkland (1837 - 1914) - Jane Roberts



Holt, C. D. S., Nevin, O. T., Smith, D., & Convery, I. (2018). Environmental niche overlap between snow leopard and four prey species in Kazakhstan. Ecological informatics. 48; 97-103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2018.09.005 

Smith, D.J., Convery, I., Ramsey, A., & Kouloumpis, V. (2016). Conserving natural heritage; shifting positions of culture and nature. In Convery, I. and Davies, P., eds., Shifting Interpretations of Natural Heritage, Boydell & Brewer Ltd, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Smith, D., Convery, I., Ramsey, A., & Kouloumpis, V. (2016). An Expression of Multiple Values: The Relationship Between Community, Landscape and Natural Resource. Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History. 3(1); 6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/rl.31


Ford, C., Wright, S., Convery, I., Smith, D. & Heron, G. (2019). Eden Vision: Analysis & Insight. An independent review of the evidence gathered during the Autumn 2018 Eden District Council public engagement exercise. 

Smith D, Convery I, Hawkins S (2017) A National Consultation Report. Prepared for the Lynx UK Trust. University of Cumbria, UK

Convery I, Smith D, Brady D, Hawkins S, Mayhew M, Iversen, S & Lipscombe, S (2017). Community Consultation Report: Kielder. Prepared for the Lynx UK Trust. University of Cumbria, UK.

Smith, D.J., Convery, I., Bold, V. & Sinclair, B. (2016). The Solway Estuary as an Energy Coast: Renewable Energy & Changing Place. University of Glasgow, Crichton Institute, Dumfries. DOI: http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.34798.97603 

Smith, D.J., O’Donoghue, P., Convery, I., Eagle, A., Piper, S. & White, C. (2016). Lynx UK Trust A National Stakeholder Consultation: An interim consultation document

Convery, I., Baibagysov, A., Baiturbayev, K., Deecke, V.B., Harpley, D., Holt, C., Janyspayev, A.D, Nevin, O.T., Nurtazin, S, Smith, D.J. & van der Velden, N.K. (2015) Fuzzy Logic Modelling of Snow Leopard Populations in Response to Threats from Climate Change. Centre for Wildlife Conservation, University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK.

Smith, D.J., O’Donoghue, P., Convery, I., Eagle, A., Piper, S., White, C. & van Maanen, E. (2015). Application to Natural England for the Trial Reintroduction of Lynx to England. Lynx UK Trust/Clifford Chance/University of Cumbria.

Smith, D.J., O’Donoghue, P., Convery, I., Eagle, A., & Piper, S. (2015). Reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to the United Kingdom: Results of a public survey.

Smith, D.J., O’Donoghue, P., Convery, I., Eagle, A., Piper, S., White, C. & van Maanen, E. (2015). Application for the trial reintroduction of lynx to Scotland. Lynx UK Trust/Clifford Chance/University of Cumbria.

White, C., Convery, I., Eagle, A., O’Donoghue, P., Piper, S., Rowcroft, P., Smith, D., & van Maanen, E. (2015). ‘Cost-benefit analysis for the reintroduction of lynx to the UK: Main report’, Application for the reintroduction of Lynx to the UK government, AECOM.

White, C., Convery, I., Eagle, A., O’Donoghue, P., Piper, S., Rowcroft, P., Smith, D., & van Maanen, E. (2015). ‘Cost-benefit analysis for the reintroduction of lynx to the UK: Site selection appendix’, Application for the reintroduction of Lynx to the UK government, AECOM. 

Oral Presentations

Smith, D. (2019). Place-based decision-making: Working with young people to build landscapes and communities for the future. Outdoor Learning Research & Development Symposium. Outdoor Learning NW Regional Hub Meeting. Learning, Education and Development Research Centre, University of Cumbria, Ambleside, 11th Apr., 2019

Smith, D. (2018). Catchment Pioneer. National Capital Assessment Knowledge Sharing Workshop for the Environment Agency. DEFRA, London, UK.

Smith, D. & White, C.(2017). Using natural capital tools, methodologies and approaches: A fuzzy approach to landscape evaluation. Nature and Culture: Achieving Balance — A Challenge for Future Generations. Centre for National Parks & Protected Areas, University of Cumbria, Ambleside, 11th Sept., 2017.

Hoelterhoff, M. & Smith, D. (2017).The role of social capital in developing flood resilience. The 38th Annual Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society, Hong Kong, China, 5th– 7th Jul., 2017

Smith D.J., Kouloumpis, V., Ramsey, A. & Convery, I. (2014). Can’t see the wood for the trees: renewable energy landscapes, assessment beyond monetary valuations. Wellbeing and Equity Within Planetary Boundaries, International Society for Ecological Economics, University of Iceland, Reykavik.

Smith, D.J. & Thomas, A. (2011). Integration of bio-energy in a low carbon future: an ecosystem services approach. Department for Energy and Climate Change. A UKERC presentation for Charles Hendry MP, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, London, 4th Jul., 2011.

Recent external roles

The Lifescape Project - Board of Directors