My name's Alec, I'm a postdoctoral research associate working in the David Attenborough Building, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI). I know so many acronyms...
My research is all focused on trying to make conservation more evidence-based and much of my PhD was on exploring the challenges that we face in doing that. I work on a project called Conservation Evidence (www.conservationevidence.com) which is one synthesis group working to collate and summarise the evidence on what works to conserve species and habitats. It's growing all the time and focuses on summarising scientific studies that test different conservation actions (interventions) - it's a great tool to see whether actions are supported by scientific evidence, as well as where we lack evidence and need more studies. Do check it out and share it around your networks!
My current work on synthesising and disseminating the evidence on invasive species management at BioRISC (Biosecurity Research Initiative at St Catherine's) also focuses on the metadataset project (www.metadataset.com). It's a prototype tool at the moment, but its aim is to make meta-analyses more interactive and customised to the local decision context of different decision-makers - i.e., filtering the evidence so you get a relevant answer that's specific to your local question, rather than generic guidance.
Another tool I've worked on co-designing with conservation practitioners is called the Evidence-to-Decision tool (https://www.evidence2decisiontool.com/shiny/evidence2decisiontool/). It aims to guide practitioners through making transparent and documented evidence-based decisions through combining evidence from diverse sources. It prints out a customised report (using information that users fill in that are relevant to their decision context), which we hope can be used to store and document how and why decisions have been made (i.e., the logic, evidence, and reasoning), share best practice, and help practitioners revisit past decisions and undertake adaptive management. It's a working prototype and template that has been tested by over 10 conservation organisations - mostly in the UK and some international NGOs - and I hope it can make a difference to how decisions are made in conservation.
If you have any questions about any of this work, do get in touch with me or the Conservation Evidence project. Really pleased to be joining such an interesting community and connecting with you all soon.