Professor Peter Smith
FRS, FRSE, FNA, FEurASc, FRSB, F I Soil Sci.
Chair in Plant & Soil Science
After obtaining a PhD in 1991, Pete Smith worked as a Higher- then Senior-Scientific Officer at the MAFF Central Science Laboratory until 1994. He then worked as a Band 6 and Band 5 Senior Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research before joining the University of Aberdeen as a Senior Lecturer in 2001.
He became a Reader in 2003, and Professor of Soils & Global Change in 2005. His main areas of expertise are in modelling greenhouse gas / carbon mitigation, bioenergy, biological carbon sequestration, global food systems modelling and greenhouse gas removal technologies.
He is co-leader with Prof Jo Smith of the Environmental Modelling Group (2 Academic staff, 2 Senior Research Fellows, 15 Post-docs, 12 PhDs). He is also Science Director of Scotland's Climate Change Centre of Expertise (www.climatexchange.org.uk), and was Director of Food Systems of the Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops (www.sfsa-crops.org), and Theme Leader of the University-wide theme, Environment and Food Security (www.abdn.ac.uk/environment-food-security/), until 2015. He is editor for Global Change Biology and Global Change Biology Bioenergy.
He was a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award holder (2008-2013), Royal Society Research Fellow (2008-2013), and is a Fellow of the Society of Biology (FSB; elected 2008), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE; elected 2009), a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Science Acedemy (FNA; elected 2017); a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc; elected 2018) and a Fellow of the Royal Society (London; elected 2017).
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
- Science Director of Scotland’s Climate Change Centre of Expertise (2011-present)
- External Memberships
- Science Director of Scotland’s Climate Change Centre of Expertise (2011-present)
- Director-Food Systems of the Scottish Food Security Alliance – Crops (2013-2016)
- Theme Leader of cross-University theme on Environment & Food Security (2012-2015)
- Member of Science and Technical Committee for the International 4per1000 initiative (2016-2018)
- Member of Science Advisory Board to UK Global Food Security programme (2016-present)
- Convening Lead Author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Claimet Change and Land (2016-2019)
- Convening Lead Author for Agriculture and Forestry Chapter of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, Mitigation volume (2010-2014)
- Convening Lead Author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, Mitigation volume, Chapter 8 Agriculture (2004-2007)
- Lead Author for Cross Sectoral Perspectives Chapter of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, Mitigation volume (2018-present)
- Lead Author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Good Practice Guidelines 2006 (2004-2006)
- Convening Lead Author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Good Practice Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Inventories for Land-Use, Land-Use Change & Forestry (2002-2004).
- Convening Lead Author for UN-FAO Status of World Soil Resources Report (2014-2015)
- Scientific Steering Group member of International Soil Carbon Network (2013-present)
- Member of DfID’s Research Advisory Group (2017-present)
- Member of Defra’s Science Advisory Council (2011-2013)
- Science Leader (and management committee member) for the UK community land surface model of the UK global climate model: JULES (soil C & N component) (2007-2014).
- Expert Advisor on bioenergy issues to UK Committee on Climate Change (2011)
- UK National Ecosystem Assessment Expert Group Member (2009-2011)
- Coordinating Lead Author for UK National Ecosystem Assessment Chapter on Regulating Services (2009-2011).
- UK Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures, Expert Review Leader on Competition for Land (2009-2010).
- Member of Programme Development Group for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2008-2013).
- New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre’s International Science Advisory Group (ISAG) (2010-present).
- Royal Society of Edinburgh Convener for the Organismal and Environmental Biology sectional committee (A3) (2011-2013)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship Committee Member (2009-2013)
- Royal Society of Edinburgh BP Fellowship Committee Member (2010-present)
- Steering Committee Member of European Union – Framework V/VI CarboEurope Consortium (2002-2003)
- Lead Author for the IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (published in 2000)
- Member of IPCC/OECD Working Group on the IPCC Revised Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories (1996)
- Chair of Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE)’s Global Soil Organic Matter Network (SOMNET) (1996-2002)
- Co-leader of GCTE's research focus on Soil Organic Matter (1996-2000)
- Professorial selection committee for Danish Institute of Ag. Sciences (2002-2003)
- NERC/BBSRC Soil Science Advisory Committee member (2003-2008)
- Member of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) Global Carbon Cycle Project (1998-present).
- Chair and Convenor of EU-Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Initiative (TERI) Workgroup 8 on Policy Conflicts in Terrestrial Ecosystems Research (1999)
- Management Committee of EU-COST Action 627 “Carbon Storage in Grasslands” (2000-2006)
- Workgroup 3 (modelling) Chair of EU-COST Action 627 “Carbon Storage in Grasslands” (2000-2006)
- European Climate Change Programme Working Group Agriculture (WG7) member (2001)
- European Climate Change Programme Working Group “Soil Carbon Sinks” (WG7a) member (2002)
- European Climate Change Programme Working Group Research (WG6) member (2001)
- Member of Scientific Organising Committee of European Society of Agronomy (ESA) annual modelling symposia 1999 and 2001
- International Review Panel member of Australian Greenhouse Office National Carbon Accounting System (1999-2001)
- International Scientific Steering Committee member of the Federal US-funded multi-institutional project on carbon sequestration in US agriculture, CASMGS (2001-2005).
- Steering Committee of International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development-International Policy Council Platform on Climate Change, Agriculture and Trade (2009-2010)
- UK Co Chair of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Working Group of UK-China Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (2009-2013).
- Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality (1997-2003)
- Editorial Board Member of Acta Agronomica Hungarica (1998-present)
- Editorial Board Member of International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2006–present)
- Editorial Board Member of Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (2006-2015).
- Editorial Board Member of Greenhouse Gas Management & Measurement (2010-present).
- Editorial Board Member of Journal of Subtropical Resources and Environment (2006-present)
- Editorial Board Member of Pedosphere (2014-present)
- Editorial Board of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2015-present)
- Editorial Board of Land Degradation and Development (2016-2017)
- Editorial Board of Current Research in Environmental Sustainability (2019-present)
- Editor of Global Change Biology (2007-present)
- Editor of Global Change Biology Bioenergy (2009-present)
- Subject Editor (Ecology, Conservation and Global Change Biology) of Royal Society Open Science (2019-present).
Global change impacts on ecosystems, soils, agricultural and land based options to mitigate climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental and agricultural sustainability, global carbon cycle, ecosystem modelling, food security, ecosystem services, bioenergy (including BECCS)
Numerous projects on the above areas funded mainly by the research councils and the EU
Numerous - all over the world
Funding and Grants
Funding during last 10 years
Title Funding body Dates Partner share (£) Are tropical uplands regional hotspots for methane and nitrous oxide? NERC 01/03/10-28/02/13 358,391 Estimates of future agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation in China Defra/DfID 01/11/09-30/10/12 425,569 GHG Europe EU 01/01/10-30/09/13 324,687 Provide a Quantitative Estimate of and Review the Contribution of Priority Habitats to Mitigation of Climate Change Defra 01/01/10-30/03/11 42,140 Spatial mapping and evaluation of energy crop distribution in GB to 2050 NERC/UKERC 01/04/10-30/10/11 110,179 GACA Unilever 01/04/10-30/04/11 21,104 CARBONES EU 01/05/10-30/04/13 87,273 Review of GHG emissions from agriculture Unilever 01/05/10-31/05/10 3,783 Policy options for LULUCF in Europe EU 10/11/09-09/11/10 8,244 GHG emissions from agriculture Princeton / HP Foundation 01/05/10-30/08/10 6,667 Accounting for the GHG impacts of LULUC due to biobased ingredients Unilever 22/08/10-31/03/11 47,336 Interaction between C, N and water in UK soils (Homan Wong's PhD) NERC 01/04/10-30/09/13 75,000 UK NEA Coordinating Lead Author fund UNEP 01/07/10-31/03/10 10,000 Scoping study SP1105-populating the land use cmponent of the LULUCF GHG Inventory Defra/NERC 01/07/10-02/03/10 32,653 India Partnering award BBSRC 01/05/10-30/04/14 24,476 GHG mitigation from Chinese agriculture NERC 01/07/10-31/11/10 6,352 Development of an assessment on GHG emissions from the agricultural sector FAO 24/08/10-23/11/10 7,700 Jenny Farmer PhD project CLSM/Macaulay 01/09/09-30/08/12 3,000 Cool livestock farming in Europe Greenpeace International 01/11/10-30/04/11 4,315 Jon Hillier KET Award University of Aberdeen 12/12/10-30/07/10 12,175 InveN2Ory Defra 01/12/10-31/03/15 694,858 Data management and modelling for the agricultural GHG inventory Defra 01/12/10-31/03/15 60,000 Andy Robertson PhD Shell/CEH 01/02/11-31/01/14 48,000 Centre of Expertise on Climate Change - Mitigation Scottish Government 01/04/11-31/03/14 522,270 Committee on Climate Change - Bioenergy Expert CCC 01/04/11-31/12/11 6,674 ELUM ETI 01/06/11-31/04/14 599,800 Centre of Expertise on Climate Change - Directorate Scottish Government 01/04/11-31/03/16 210,000 RSE International Exchange Programme India Royal Society of Edinburgh 19/09/11-16/10/11 2,100 SmartSoil EU 01/11/11-30/07/15 299,540 Iniobong Essiet PhD College funding CLSM 01/10/11-30/09/14 9,000 IPCC CLA Support DECC 01/04/11-31/03/14 30,000 Impact on global ecosystem services of UK energy supply UKERC 01/01/12-31/03/14 300,000 SEER ESRC 01/03/12-31/12/12 43,619 RSE International Exchange Programme (Rafaele Casa) Royal Society of Edinburgh 02/06/12-23/06/12 1,813 Saana Tykka's PhD fund James Hutton Institute 01/10/12-31/03/16 42,000 Permafrost catchments in transition: hydrological controls on carbon cycling and greenhouse gas budgets NERC 01/10/12-31/09/16 273,875 FACCE-JPI MACSUR Cropland Hub BBSRC 01/08/12-31/07/15 64,734 EFS Theme Budget University of Aberdeen 01/09/12-31/08/13 30,000 Saana Tykka - 51232501 -RTSG PhD funding University of Aberdeen 01/09/12-31/03/16 3,000 Joseph Oyesiku-Blakemore - 51233548-RTSG PhD funding University of Aberdeen 01/09/12-31/03/16 3,000 GREENHOUSE NERC 01/04/13-31/03/17 211,388 Pete Smith secondment to the JHI (10%) James Hutton Institute 01/08/12-31/03/16 61,070 The Counterfactual land uses to bioenergy crops (Phase I and II) DECC 01/12/12-31/01/14 170,000 Capture crop and grassland management impact in UK soil carbon LULUCF Inventory Defra 22/10/12-28/02/14 98,094 Wales Glastir Axis II Project Welsh Government 01/05/13-31/08/14 51,823 Khadiza Begum PhD fund CLSM 01/08/13-30/07/16 3,000 Henri de Ruiter's PhD fund EFS Theme 01/10/13-31/03/17 17,500 Impacts of sugar cane production in Brazil BBSRC 31/07/14-30/07/18 48,980 India diet health and environmental impacts Wellcome Trust 01/11/14-31/10/16 25,146 Scaling soil process modelling to national Irish EPA 01/01/13-31/12/14 9,633 Dagmar Henner PhD RTSG (CLSM 50%) Shell/CLSM 01/10/14-31/03/18 1,500 Dagmar Henner PhD RTSG (Shell 50%) Shell/CLSM 01/10/14-31/03/18 31,759 Renaud Heckle PhD - £1k per year CLSM 01/10/14-31/03/18 3,000 Laura Philips PhD - £1k per year CLSM 01/10/14-31/03/18 3,000 MAGLUE EPSRC 01/01/15-31/12/17 169,299 U-Grass NERC 01/07/15-30/06/18 259,798 DEVIL Belmont Forum (via NERC) 01/02/15-31/01/20 399,997 Global N and India Mitigation Strategies Analysis CIMMYT 01/02/15-31/07/16 193,972 Science based emissions targets for agriculture and forestry commodities KR Foundation 01/05/2015-31/05/16 216,168 MACSUR2 BBSRC 01/06/15-31/05/17 52,782 ADVENT NERC 01/07/15-30/06/18 181,712 Amy Molotoks EastBio PhD fund EastBio 01/10/15-30/04/19 17,500 N-Circle BBSRC/Newton Fund 01/01/16-31/12/19 2,403,479 CXC-2 Scottish Government 01/04/16-31/02/21 131,968 Including perennial crops in the Cool Farm Tool NERC 01/04/16-28/02/17 96,532 Developing a Modelling Tool to Assist with Prioritising Investments in Natural Capital Defra (via University of Exeter) 01/01/17-30/06/17 6,000 Assess-BECCS UKERC 01/03/17-28/02/19 400,000 Juan Pablo Inamagua RTSG Uni. Aberdeen 01/08/17-30/07/18 3,000 Soils-R-GRREAT NERC and others 20/06/17-31/05/21 420,898 SHEFS Welcome Trust 359,072 BALI project NERC 01/04/14-31/03/18 209,366 Ziyin (Sally) Shang PhD - £1k per year SBS/CSC 01/10/17-30/09/21 3,000 Yang Guo PhD - £1k per year SBS/CSC 01/10/17-30/09/21 3,000 VERIFY EU 01/02/18-31/01/22 234,614 CIRCASA EU 01/04/18-31/03/22 123,768 AFRICAP NERC 01/10/17-31/12/21 383,410 SUPERG EU 01/06/18-31/05/23 419,702 UNISECO EU 01/05/18-30/04/21 264,846 BEIS contribution to Pete Smith CLA role BEIS 01/06/17-30/07/19 20,000 Juan Pablo Inamagua IRSAE travel grant IRSAE 20/03/18-19/03/19 739 Land Use Modelling Review - Valuing Nature Network NERC 01/12/18-31/05/19 57,000 Total 12622841
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Natural Climate Solutions for China: The Last Mile to Carbon NeutralityAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences, vol. 38, pp. 889–895Contributions to Journals: Editorials
Learning in lockdown: Using the COVID-19 crisis to teach children about food and climate changeNutrition Bulletin, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 206-215Contributions to Journals: Articles
The consolidated European synthesis of CH4and N2O emissions for the European Union and United Kingdom: 1990-2017Earth System Science Data, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 2307-2362Contributions to Journals: Review articles
The consolidated European synthesis of CO2emissions and removals for the European Union and United Kingdom: 1990-2018Earth System Science Data, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 2363-2406Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Is domestic agricultural production sufficient to meet national food nutrient needs in Brazil?PloS ONE, vol. 16, no. 5, e0251778Contributions to Journals: Articles
1,135 ionomes reveal the global pattern of leaf and seed mineral nutrient and trace element diversity in Arabidopsis thalianaThe Plant Journal, vol. 106, no. 2, pp. 536-554Contributions to Journals: Articles
Projecting the effect of crop yield increases, dietary change and different price scenarios on land use under two different state security regimesInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol. 19, no. 3-4, pp. 288-304Contributions to Journals: Articles
Co-benefits and trade-offs of climate change mitigation actions and the Sustainable Development GoalsSustainable Production and Consumption, vol. 26, pp. 805-813Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Getting the message right on nature-based solutions to climate changeGlobal Change Biology, vol. 27, no. 8, pp. 1518-1546Contributions to Journals: Articles
Comparison of carbon footprint and net ecosystem carbon budget under organic material retention combined with reduced mineral fertilizerCarbon Balance and Management, vol. 16, 7Contributions to Journals: Articles
Technologies to deliver food and climate security through agricultureNature Plants, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 250-255Contributions to Journals: Articles
A systematic analysis and review of the impacts of afforestation on soil quality indicators as modified by climate zone, forest type and ageScience of the Total Environment, vol. 757, 143824Contributions to Journals: Literature Reviews
Ensemble modelling, uncertainty and robust predictions of organic carbon in long-term bare-fallow soilsGlobal Change Biology, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 904-928Contributions to Journals: Articles
Impacts of land use, population, and climate change on global food securityFood and Energy Security, vol. 10, no. 1, e261Contributions to Journals: Articles
Food and Nutrition Security under Global Trade: A relation-driven agent-based global trade modelRoyal Society Open Science, vol. 8, no. 1, 201587Contributions to Journals: Articles
Climate warming from managed grasslands cancels the cooling effect of carbon sinks in sparsely grazed and natural grasslandsNature Communications, vol. 12, pp. 1-10Contributions to Journals: Articles
Articulating the effect of food systems innovation on the Sustainable Development GoalsThe Lancet Planetary Health, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. e50-e62Contributions to Journals: Articles
Delayed impact of natural climate solutionsGlobal Change Biology, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 215-217Contributions to Journals: Articles
China’s future food demand and its implications for trade and environmentNature Sustainability, vol. 4, pp. 1042-1051Contributions to Journals: Articles
The Top 100 questions for the sustainable intensification of agriculture in India's rainfed drylandsInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 106-127Contributions to Journals: Articles
Achieving Net Zero emissions requires the knowledge and skills of the oil and gas industryFrontiers in Climate, vol. 2, 601778Contributions to Journals: Articles
Soil organic carbon and nitrogen pools are increased by mixed grass and legume cover crops in vineyard agroecosystems: Detecting short-term management effects using infrared spectroscopyGeoderma, vol. 379, 114619Contributions to Journals: Articles
Evaluating the Potential of Legumes to Mitigate N2O Emissions From Permanent Grassland Using Process-Based ModelsGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 34, no. 12, e2020GB006561Contributions to Journals: Articles
Petroleum Industry: An Enabler or Pariah of Net Zero?Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
A New Approach Using Modeling to Interpret Measured Changes in Soil Organic Carbon in Forests: The Case of a 200 Year Pine Chronosequence on a Podzolic Soil in ScotlandFrontiers in Environmental Science, vol. 8, 527549Contributions to Journals: Articles
Modelling the potential for soil carbon sequestration using biochar from sugarcane residues in BrazilScientific Reports, vol. 10, 19479Contributions to Journals: Articles
Abundance changes of marsh plant species over 40 years are better explained by niche position water level than functional traitsEcological Indicators, vol. 117, 106639Contributions to Journals: Articles
The influence of nutrient management on soil organic carbon storage, crop production, and yield stability varies under different climatesJournal of Cleaner Production, vol. 268, 121922Contributions to Journals: Articles
Robust paths to net greenhouse gas mitigation and negative emissions via advanced biofuelsPNAS, vol. 117, no. 36, pp. 21968-21977Contributions to Journals: Articles
Global Research Alliance N2O chamber methodology guidelines: Summary of modeling approachesJournal of Environmental Quality, vol. 49, no. 5, pp. 1168-1185Contributions to Journals: Articles
The impact of interventions in the global land and agri‐food sectors on Nature’s Contributions to People and the UN Sustainable Development GoalsGlobal Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 9, pp. 4691-4721Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Not seeing the carbon for the trees? Why area-based targets for establishing new woodlands can limit or underplay their climate change mitigation benefitsLand Use Policy, vol. 97, 104690Contributions to Journals: Articles
A deep dive into the modelling assumptions for biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS): A transparency exerciseEnvironmental Research Letters, vol. 15, no. 8, 084008Contributions to Journals: Articles
Soil carbon sequestration in grazing systems: managing expectationsClimatic Change, vol. 161, pp. 385-391Contributions to Journals: Articles
The value of habitats of conservation importance to climate change mitigation in the UKBiological Conservation, vol. 248, 108619Contributions to Journals: Articles
Ensemble modelling of carbon fluxes in grasslands and croplandsField Crops Research, vol. 252, 107791Contributions to Journals: Articles
Calibration and validation of the DNDC model to estimate nitrous oxide emissions and crop productivity for a summer maize-winter wheat double cropping system in Hebei, ChinaEnvironmental Pollution, vol. 262, pp. 114199Contributions to Journals: Articles
Changes in soil organic carbon under perennial cropsGlobal Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 7, pp. 4158-4168Contributions to Journals: Articles
Climate drives global soil carbon sequestration and crop yield changes under conservation agricultureGlobal Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 3325-3335Contributions to Journals: Articles
Achieving Net Zero emissions: The oil and gas industry is a major component of the solutionContributions to Conferences: Papers
Forests and Decarbonization: roles of natural and planted forestsFrontiers in Forests and Global Change, vol. 3, 58Contributions to Journals: Articles
Innovation can accelerate the transition towards a sustainable food systemNature Food, vol. 1, pp. 266-272Contributions to Journals: Articles
The role of soil carbon in natural climate solutionsNature Sustainability, vol. 3, pp. 391-398Contributions to Journals: Articles
Impacts of Enhanced Weathering on biomass production for negative emission technologies and soil hydrologyBiogeosciences, vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 2107–2133Contributions to Journals: Articles
Dynamics of pedogenic carbonate in the cropland of the North China Plain: Influences of intensive cropping and salinizationAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment, vol. 292, 106820Contributions to Journals: Articles
Measurement of N2O emissions over the whole year is necessary for estimating reliable emission factorsEnvironmental Pollution, vol. 259, 113864Contributions to Journals: Literature Reviews
Interacting with Members of the Public to Discuss the Impact of Food Choices on Climate Change: Experiences from Two UK Public Engagement EventsSustainability, vol. 12, no. 6, 2323Contributions to Journals: Articles
Comparing the impact of future cropland expansion on global biodiversity and carbon storage across models and scenariosPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 375, no. 1794, 20190189Contributions to Journals: Articles
National mitigation potential from natural climate solutions in the tropicsPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, vol. 375, no. 1794, 20190126Contributions to Journals: Articles
A review of the impacts of land use change, climate zone, forest type and age on soil organic carbon and other soil quality indicators following afforestationEGU General Assembly 2020Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts