Professor Peter Smith
Professor Peter Smith

Professor Peter Smith

FRS, FRSE, FNA, FEurASc, FRSB, F I Soil Sci.

Chair in Plant & Soil Science


Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences
School of Biological Sciences
University of Aberdeen
23 St Machar Drive (Room G45)
Aberdeen, AB24 3UU
Scotland, UK


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 (, and was Director of Food Systems of the Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops (, and Theme Leader of the University-wide theme, Environment and 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).

Research Overview

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) 

Current Research

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

Page 22 of 31 Results 526 to 550 of 775

  • Energy intensities and greenhouse gas emission mitigation in global agriculture

    Schneider, U. A., Smith, P.
    Energy Efficiency, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 195-206
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The carbon footprints of food crop production

    Hillier, J., Hawes, C., Squire, G., Hilton, A., Wale, S., Smith, P.
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 107-118
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas fluxes from cropland soils: climate opportunities and threats

    Falloon, P., Smith, P., Betts, R., Jones, C. J., Smith, J., Hemming, D., Challinor, A.
    Climate Change and Crops. Singh, S. N. (ed.). Springer-Verlag, pp. 81-111, 31 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Future energy potential of Miscanthus in Europe

    Hastings, A. F. S. J., Clifton-Brown, J., Wattenbach, M., Mitchell, C. P., Stampfl, P., Smith, P.
    Global Change Biology. Bioenergy, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 180-196
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Increase in soil organic carbon stock over the last two decades in China's Jiangsu Province

    Liao, Q., Zhang, X., Li, Z., Pan, G., Smith, P., Jin, Y., Wu, X.
    Global Change Biology, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 861-875
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The development of MISCANFOR, a new Miscanthus crop growth model: towards more robust yield predictions under different climatic and soil conditions

    Hastings, A., Clifton-Brown, J., Wattenbach, M., Mitchell, C. P., Smith, P.
    Global Change Biology. Bioenergy, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 154-170
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The role of soil organic matter in maintaining the productivity and yield stability of cereals in China

    Pan, G., Smith, P., Pan, W.
    Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, vol. 129, no. 1-3, pp. 344-348
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • GEOC 4-Physical and thermodynamical evidence for liquid water on Mars

    Renno, N. O., Bos, B. J., Catling, D., Clark, B. C., Drube, L., Fisher, D., Goetz, W., Hviid, S. F., Keller, H. U., Kok, J. F., Kounaves, S. P., Leer, K., Lemmon, M., Madsen, M. B., Markiewicz, W. J., Marshall, J., McKay, C., Mehta, M., Smith, M., Zorzano, M. P., Smith, P. H., Stoker, C., Young, S. M. M.
    Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Review of existing information on the iterrelations between soil and climate change

    Schils, R., Kuikman, P., Liski, J., van Oijen, M., Smith, P., Webb, J., Alm, J., Somogyi, Z., van den Akker, J., Billett, M., Evans, C., Lindner, M., Palosuo, T., Bellamy, P., Jandl, R., Hiederer, R.
    Brussels, Belgium: European Commission. 208 pages
    Books and Reports: Other Reports
  • Soil organic carbon dynamics and land-use change

    Smith, P.
    Land Use and Soil Resources. Springer Netherlands, pp. 9-22, 14 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Potential of Miscanthus grasses to provide energy and hence reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    Hastings, A., Clifton-Brown, J., Wattenbach, M., Stampfl, P., Mitchell, C. P., Smith, P.
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 465-472
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Commentary: Do agricultural and forestry carbon offset schemes encourage sustainable climate solutions?

    Smith, P.
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 169-170
    Contributions to Journals: Editorials
  • Global nitrogen deposition and carbon sinks

    Reay, D. S., Dentener, F., Smith, P., Grace, J., Feely, R. A.
    Nature Geoscience, vol. 1, no. 7, pp. 430-437
    Contributions to Journals: Literature Reviews
  • Spatial predictions of greenhouse gas emissions associated with production of Miscanthus and short rotation coppice in the UK

    Hillier, J. G., Dailey, G., Aylott, M., Riche, A., Taylor, G., Richter, G., Smith, P.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, vol. 150, no. 3 Supplement 1, pp. S181-S182
    Contributions to Journals: Special Issues
  • Calculating carbon savings from wind farms on Scottish peat lands: a new approach

    Nayak, D. R., Miller, D., Nolan, A., Smith, P., Smith, J. U.
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom: RERAD, Scottish Government. 83 pages
    Books and Reports: Other Reports
  • Land use change and soil organic carbon dynamics

    Smith, P.
    Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 169-178
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Sectoral approaches to improve regional carbon budgets

    Smith, P., Nabuurs, G., Janssens, I. A., Reis, S., Marland, G., Soussana, J., Christensen, T. R., Heath, L., Apps, M., Alexeyev, V., Fang, J., Gattuso, J., Guerschman, J. P., Huang, Y., Jobbagy, E., Murdiyarso, D., Ni, J., Nobre, A., Peng, C., Walcroft, A., Wang, S. Q., Pan, Y., Zhou, G. S.
    Climatic Change, vol. 88, no. 3-4, pp. 209-249
    Contributions to Journals: Literature Reviews
  • For peat's sake

    Smith, P.
    New Scientist, vol. 198, no. 2658, pp. 22
    Contributions to Journals: Letters
  • Estimating the pre-harvest greenhouse gas costs of energy crop production

    St Clair, S., Hillier, J., Smith, P.
    Biomass & Bioenergy, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 442-452
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Yield and spatial supply of bioenergy poplar and willow short-rotation coppice in the UK

    Aylott, M. J., Casella, E., Tubby, I., Street, N. R., Smith, P., Taylor, G.
    New Phytologist, vol. 178, no. 2, pp. 358-370
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Assessing scale effects on modelled soil organic carbon contents as a result of land use change in Belgium

    Dendoncker, N., van Wesemael, B., Smith, P., Lettens, S., Roelandt, C., Rounsevell, M.
    Soil Use & Management, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 8-18
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture

    Smith, P., Martino, D., Cai, Z., Gwary, D., Janzen, H., Kumar, P., McCarl, B., Ogle, S., O'Mara, F., Rice, C., Scholes, B., Sirotenko, O., Howden, M., McAllister, T., Pan, G., Romanenkov, V., Schneider, U., Towprayoon, S., Wattenbach, M., Smith, J.
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological sciences, vol. 363, no. 1492, pp. 789-813
    Contributions to Journals: Literature Reviews
  • Cool Farming: Climate impacts of agriculture and mitigation potential

    Bellarby, J., Foereid, B., Hastings, A. F. S. J., Smith, P.
    Amsterdam, Netherlands: Greenpeace International. 44 pages
    Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports
  • Bioenery technology: balancing energy output and environmental benefits

    Clifton-Brown, J., Hastings, A. F. S. J., Smith, P., Stampfl, P., Valentine, J., Jones, M., Donnison, I.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, vol. 150, no. 3 Suppl. 1, pp. S174-S175
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Deriving marginal abatement cost curves (MACC) for crops and soil mitigation measures in the UK

    Moran, D., MacLeod, M., Wall, E., Eory, V., Pajot, G., Matthews, R. B., McVittie, A., Barnes, A., Rees, B., Moxey, A., Williams, A., Smith, P.
    Aspects of Applied Biology, vol. 88, pp. 39-42
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
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