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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Civil disobedience movements such as School Strike for the Climate are raising public awareness of the climate change emergencyGlobal Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 1042-1044Contributions to Journals: Editorials
PopFor: A new model for estimating poplar yieldsBiomass & Bioenergy, vol. 134, 105470Contributions to Journals: Articles
Potential yield challenges to scale-up of zero budget natural farmingNature Sustainability, vol. 3, pp. 247-252Contributions to Journals: Articles
Which practices co-deliver food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and combat land-degradation and desertification?Global Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 1532-1575Contributions to Journals: Articles
How to measure, report and verify soil carbon change to realize the potential of soil carbon sequestration for atmospheric greenhouse gas removalGlobal Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 219-241Contributions to Journals: Articles
The 4p1000 initiative: opportunities, limitations and challenges for implementing soil organic carbon sequestration as a sustainable development strategyAmbio, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 350-360Contributions to Journals: Articles
Climate change: 'no get out of jail free card'Veterinary Record, vol. 186, no. 2, pp. 71Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Multimodel Evaluation of Nitrous Oxide Emissions From an Intensively Managed GrasslandJournal of geophysical research-Biogeosciences, vol. 125, no. 1, e2019JG005261Contributions to Journals: Articles
Assessing agro-ecological practices using a combination of three sustainability assessment toolsLandbauforschung-Journal of sustainable and organic agricultural systems, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 129-144Contributions to Journals: Articles
Midiendo los cambios topográficos y las variaciones climáticas para detectar la isla de calor urbano en la ciudad de Málaga (España)Geographical Research Letters, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 521-543Contributions to Journals: Articles
Contribution of the land sector to a 1.5 °C worldNature Climate Change, vol. 9, pp. 817-828Contributions to Journals: Articles
Towards more predictive and interdisciplinary climate change ecosystem experimentsNature Climate Change, vol. 9, pp. 809-816Contributions to Journals: Articles
Weakened growth of cropland‐N2O emissions in China associated with nationwide policy interventionsGlobal Change Biology, vol. 25, no. 11, pp. 3706-3719Contributions to Journals: Articles
Land-Management Options for Greenhouse Gas Removal and Their Impacts on Ecosystem Services and the Sustainable Development GoalsAnnual Review of Environment and Resources, vol. 44, pp. 255-286Contributions to Journals: Articles
Assessing the potential of soil carbonation and enhanced weathering through Life Cycle Assessment: A case study for Sao Paulo State, BrazilJournal of Cleaner Production, vol. 233, pp. 468-481Contributions to Journals: Articles
Mitigation potential and environmental impact of centralized versus distributed BECCS with domestic biomass production in Great BritainGlobal Change Biology. Bioenergy, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 1234-1252Contributions to Journals: Articles
Potential carbon loss from Scottish peatlands under climate changeRegional Environmental Change, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 2101-2111Contributions to Journals: Articles
The paleoclimatic footprint in the soil carbon stock of the Tibetan permafrost regionNature Communications, vol. 10, 4195Contributions to Journals: Articles
Deriving Emission Factors and Estimating Direct Nitrous Oxide Emissions for Crop Cultivation in ChinaEnvironmental Science & Technology, vol. 53, no. 17, pp. 10246-10257Contributions to Journals: Articles
Assessment of ecosystem services of rice farms in eastern IndiaEcological Processes, vol. 8, no. 1, 35Contributions to Journals: Articles
Long-term marginal abatement cost curves of non-CO2 greenhouse gasesEnvironmental Science & Policy, vol. 99, pp. 136-149Contributions to Journals: Articles
The vulnerabilities of agricultural land and food production to future water scarcityGlobal Environmental Change, vol. 58, 101944Contributions to Journals: Articles
Top climate scientist: I put myself through hell as an IPCC convening lead author, but it was worth itThe ConversationContributions to Specialist Publications: Articles
A critical review of the impacts of cover crops on nitrogen leaching, net greenhouse gas balance and crop productivityGlobal Change Biology, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 2530-2543Contributions to Journals: Literature Reviews
Data for long-term marginal abatement cost curves of non-CO2 greenhouse gasesData in brief, vol. 25, 104334Contributions to Journals: Articles
Invited review: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, and food—A case of shifting cultivation and historyGlobal Change Biology, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 2518-2529Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Review and Comparison of Models used for Land Allocation and Nature Valuation44 pagesBooks and Reports: Other Reports
"More crop per drop": Exploring India's cereal water use since 2005Science of the Total Environment, vol. 673, pp. 207-217Contributions to Journals: Articles
Nitrogen Surplus Benchmarks for Controlling N Pollution in the Main Cropping Systems of ChinaEnvironmental Science & Technology, vol. 53, no. 12, pp. 6678-6687Contributions to Journals: Articles
The relationship between forest cover and diet quality: a case study of rural southern MalawiFood Security, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 635-650Contributions to Journals: Articles
A global, empirical, harmonised dataset of soil organic carbon changes under perennial cropsScientific Data, vol. 6, 57Contributions to Journals: Articles
A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCSEnergies, vol. 12, no. 9, 1747Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Modelling greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation potentials in fertilized paddy rice fields in BangladeshGeoderma, vol. 341, pp. 206-215Contributions to Journals: Articles
Environmental impacts of dietary shifts in India: a modelling study using nationally-representative dataEnvironment International, vol. 126, pp. 207-215Contributions to Journals: Articles
Matching policy and science: Rationale for the '4 per 1000 - soils for food security and climate' initiativeSoil and Tillage Research, vol. 188, pp. 3-15Contributions to Journals: Articles
Modelling biological N fixation and grass-legume dynamics with process-based biogeochemical models of varying complexityEuropean Journal of Agronomy, vol. 106, pp. 58-66Contributions to Journals: Articles
Sustainability in global agriculture driven by organic farmingNature Sustainability, vol. 2, pp. 253-255Contributions to Journals: Articles
Using agent-based modelling to simulate social-ecological systems across scalesGeoInformatica, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 269-298Contributions to Journals: Articles
Cost-effective opportunities for climate change mitigation in Indian agricultureScience of the Total Environment, vol. 655, pp. 1342-1354Contributions to Journals: Articles
Natural climate solutions are not enoughScience, vol. 363, no. 6430, pp. 933-934Contributions to Journals: Editorials
Is the expansion of sugarcane over pasturelands a sustainable strategy for Brazil's bioenergy industry?Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 102, pp. 346-355Contributions to Journals: Articles
Evaluation of four modelling approaches to estimate nitrous oxide emissions in China's croplandScience of the Total Environment, vol. 652, pp. 1279-1289Contributions to Journals: Articles
Corrigendum to “Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural food production to supply Indian diets: Implications for climate change mitigation” [Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 237 (2017) 234–241](S0167880916306065)(10.1016/j.agee.2016.12.024)Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, vol. 272, pp. 83-85Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Ecosystem services in different agro-climatic zones in eastern India: impact of land use and land cover changeEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol. 191, no. 2, 98Contributions to Journals: Articles
The increase of rainfall erosivity and initial soil erosion processes due to rainfall acidificationHydrological Processes, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 261-270Contributions to Journals: Articles
Using plant, microbe and soil fauna traits to improve the predictive power of biogeochemical modelsMethods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 146-157Contributions to Journals: Articles
Decarbonizing anthropogenic activity: The oil and gas industry is a major component of the solutionChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
Long-term organic farming on a citrus plantation results in soil organic carbon recoveryCuadernos de Investigación Geográfica, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 271-286Contributions to Journals: Articles
Carbon emission avoidance and capture by producing in-reactor microbial biomass based food, feed and slow release fertilizer: potentials and limitationsScience of the Total Environment, vol. 644, pp. 1525-1530Contributions to Journals: Articles
Put more carbon in soils to meet Paris climate pledgesNature, vol. 564, no. 7734, pp. 32-34Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates