Nick Paling

BSc. MSc. PhD.


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Nick is Head of Evidence & Engagement at the Westcountry Rivers Trust and specialises in the analysis, visualisation and communication of strategic information to engage stakeholders and ensure work to improve rivers and catchments is targeted in the most important areas. At the Trust, Nick manages a highly qualified team of environmental scientists and ecologists, who have broad expertise in environmental modelling and monitoring, data analysis and visualisation and stakeholder/community engagement.

Research development & evaluation: For the last two years Nick has been working as a Technical Expert (in association with Manchester City Council) for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and as a Horizon 2020 Expert Evaluator for the European Commission. He has also been a reviewer for the Ecosystem Services Journal and has been invited to present at several national and international science conferences – including the EU’s Green Week Conference 2018.

Strategic evidence & local collaborative governance: Nick has been working on the spatial assessment, visualisation and quantification of ecosystem services provision across rural and urban landscapes and to target environmental interventions for over 10 years. During that time, he has increasingly come to recognise the huge need for the information generated via these processes to be incorporated into an integrated overarching planning process for landscape management in partnership with local stakeholders and practitioners. Through participatory interrogation of spatial evidence and information of this kind, ‘knowledge brokers’ or facilitators can work with stakeholders, technical specialists and policy-makers in environmental partnerships to build consensus about the challenges faced in any particular landscape and to develop a shared vision of what the solutions might be.

Launch of Pesticides Simulator

In July 2018, Nick Paling completed the development work of the Upstream Thinking Pesticides Simulator and presented it to South West Water and University of Exeter.

Presentation at EU Green Week

In May 2018, Nick Paling was invited to give a TED-style talk at the EU Green Week Conference in Brussels on the subject of ‘Greener Cities for a Greener Future’

Environmental science techniques & data analysis: Nick has over 14 years experience in a wide variety of ecological and environmental monitoring techniques (especially water quality monitoring, biological/ecological survey, phase I habitat assessments, species diversity monitoring and hydro-geomorphological surveys) and has considerable expertise in experimental design. He has also developed strong expertise in environmental data analysis/visualisation, ecological statistics, parametric & non-parametric multivariate analysis (GLM, CART, CA, CCA), spatial modelling and the calculation of biodiversity indices.

Geographic information systems & remote sensing: Nick is an advanced user of the ESRI ArcInfo GIS software. He particularly specialises in spatial data creation, spatial analysis, 3-D analysis and the mapping of spatial data and geographic information. He is also experienced in the use of ERDAS Imagine for supervised/unsupervised image classification and the delivery of web-based mapping via the Google Maps and OS Open Space APIs.

Launch of Pesticides Simulator

In July 2018, Nick Paling completed the initial development work on the UsT Pesticides Simulator and presented it to members of the South West Water and University of Exeter teams working on the project.

Launch of Pesticides Simulator

In July 2018, Nick Paling completed the initial development work on the UsT Pesticides Simulator and presented it to members of the South West Water and University of Exeter teams working on the project.

Career Experience


Head of Evidence & Engagement

Westcountry Rivers Trust


Principle Officer for GIS

EA, Thames Region


Teaching Associate in Applied Ecology

University of Reading


Post-Doctoral Researcher

University of Bath

Education & Qualifications


MSc Wildlife Management & Conservation

University of Reading


PhD Molecular Immunology

University of Bath


BSc (Hons) Molecular & Cell Biology

University of Bath

Nick’s Project Portfolio

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Nicholas R. D. Paling and Amanda Callaghan (2007) The ‘Animal Diversity CD-ROM’: Developing a multimedia learning resource to support a self-taught undergraduate zoology module. The Proceedings of the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 2007: p274-276.

Paling, N. R. D. (2005) Identification of Key Determinants of Abundance for Native British Orchids at the Warburg Nature Reserve, Oxfordshire. MSc Thesis, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

Paling, N. R. D. and Welham, M. J. (2005) Tyrosine Phosphatase SHP-1 acts at Different Stages of Development to Regulate Hematopoiesis. Blood 105 (11): p4290-4297.

Paling, N. R. D., Wheadon, H. and Welham, M. J. (2004) Regulation of Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal by Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase-Dependant Signalling. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279 (46): p48063-48070.

Paling, N. R. D. and Welham, M. J. (2002) Role of the Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase SHP-1 (Src Homology Phosphatase-1) in the Regulation of Interleukin-3-Induced survival, proliferation and Signalling. Biochemical Journal 368 (3): p885-894.

Wheadon, H., Paling, N. R. D. and Welham, M. J. (2002) Molecular Interactions of SHP-1 and SHP-2 in IL-3 Signalling. Cellular Signaling 14 (3): p219-229.

Paling, N. R. D. (2002) The Role of the Tyrosine Phosphatase SHP-1 in Interleukin-3 Signal Transduction. PhD Thesis, University of Bath, Bath, UK.