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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Declines in soil carbon storage under no tillage can be alleviated in the long runGeoderma, vol. 425, 116028Contributions to Journals: Articles
Establishing a climate target within the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity FrameworkPLOS ClimateContributions to Journals: Articles
Current NPP cannot predict future soil organic carbon sequestration potential. Comment on “Photosynthetic limits on carbon sequestration in croplands”Geoderma, vol. 424, 115975Contributions to Journals: Editorials
A New Convergent Science Framework for Food System Sustainability in an Uncertain ClimateFood and Energy Security, e423Contributions to Journals: Articles
How can we possibly resolve the planet’s nitrogen dilemma?Microbial BiotechnologyContributions to Journals: Articles
Direct N2O emissions from global tea plantations and mitigation potential by climate-smart practicesResources, Conservation and Recycling, vol. 185, 106501Contributions to Journals: Articles
Negative erosion and negative emissions: Combining multiple land-based carbon dioxide removal techniques to rebuild fertile topsoils and enhance food productionFrontiers in Climate, vol. 4, 928403Contributions to Journals: Articles
How modelers model: the overlooked social and human dimensions in model intercomparison studiesEnvironmental Science & TechnologyContributions to Journals: Articles
Planetary Boundaries and the Doughnut frameworks: A review of their local operabilityAnthropoceneContributions to Journals: Articles
Temperate Regenerative Agriculture practices increase soil carbon but not crop yield—a meta-analysisEnvironmental Research Letters, vol. 17, no. 9, 093001Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Biophysical and Economic Constraints on China’s Natural Climate SolutionsNature Climate Change, vol. 12, no. 9, pp. 847-853Contributions to Journals: Articles
Evaluating indices of soil organic carbon stability.: A case study for forest restoration projects near Beijing, ChinaEcological Indicators, vol. 142, 109222Contributions to Journals: Articles
What can the Glasgow Declaration on Forests bring to global emission reduction?The Innovation, vol. 3, no. 6, 100307Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Divergent changes in particulate and mineral-associated organic carbon upon permafrost thawNature Communications, vol. 13, 5073Contributions to Journals: Articles
Global systematic review with meta-analysis reveals yield advantage of legume-based rotations and its driversNature Communications, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 4926Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Soil Carbon Sequestration and BiocharGreenhouse Gas Removal Technologies. Bui, M., Mac Dowell, N. (eds.). Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 194 - 243Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Progress on improving agricultural nitrogen use efficiency: UK-China virtual joint centers on nitrogen agronomyFrontiers of Agricultural Science & EngineeringContributions to Journals: Articles
Land-based climate solutions for the United StatesGlobal Change Biology, vol. 28, no. 16, pp. 4912-4919Contributions to Journals: Articles
Modelling soil carbon stocks following reduced tillage intensity: a framework to estimate decomposition rate constant modifiers for RothC-26.3, demonstrated in north west EuropeSoil & Tillage Research, vol. 222, 105428Contributions to Journals: Articles
A new integrated assessment framework for climate-smart nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa: the integrated Future Estimator for Emissions and Diets (iFEED)Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, vol. 6, 868189Contributions to Journals: Articles
Agroecological practices in combination with healthy diets can help meet EU food system policy targetsScience of the Total EnvironmentContributions to Journals: Articles
Use of Unoccupied Aerial Systems to Characterize Woody Vegetation across Silvopastoral Systems in Ecuador.Remote Sensing, vol. 14, pp. 3386-3407Contributions to Journals: Articles
Soil carbon sequestration potential in global croplandsPeerJ, vol. 10, e13740Contributions to Journals: Articles
Exploring the environmental impact of crop production in China using a comprehensive footprint approachScience of the Total Environment, vol. 824, 153898Contributions to Journals: Articles
Soil quality both increases crop production and improves resilience to climate changeNature Climate Change, vol. 12, pp. 574-580Contributions to Journals: Articles
Cropping leads to the loss of soil organic matter: how can we prevent it?PedosphereContributions to Journals: Articles
Observation-based global soil heterotrophic respiration indicates underestimated turnover and sequestration of soil carbon by terrestrial ecosystem modelsGlobal Change BiologyContributions to Journals: Articles
Permanent grasslands in Europe: Land use change and intensification decrease their multifunctionalityAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment, vol. 330, 107891Contributions to Journals: Articles
Can Regenerative Agriculture increase national soil carbon stocks?: Simulated country scale adoption of reduced tillage, cover cropping, and ley-arable integration using RothCScience of the Total Environment, vol. 825, 153955Contributions to Journals: Articles
Impacts of crop type, management and soil quality indicators on background nitrous oxide emissions (BNE) from Chinese croplands: a quantitative review and analysisEnvironmental Science: AtmospheresContributions to Journals: Articles
Does liming grasslands increase biomass productivity without causing detrimental impacts on net greenhouse gas emissions?Environmental Pollution, vol. 300, 118999Contributions to Journals: Articles
An Integrated Framework to Assess GreenwashingSustainability, vol. 14, no. 8, 4431Contributions to Journals: Articles
Actions to halt biodiversity loss generally benefit the climateGlobal Change Biology, pp. 2846-2874Contributions to Journals: Articles
How do we best synergise climate mitigation actions to co-benefit biodiversity?Global Change Biology, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 2555-2577Contributions to Journals: Articles
China's low-emission pathways toward climate-neutral livestock production for animal-derived foodsThe Innovation, vol. 3, no. 2, 100220Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Deceleration of Cropland-N2O Emissions in China and Future Mitigation PotentialsEnvironmental Science and Technology, vol. 56, no. 7, pp. 4665-4675Contributions to Journals: Articles
Corrigendum to ‘Co-benefits and trade-offs of climate change mitigation actions and the Sustainable Development Goals’ [Sustainable Production and Consumption 26 (2021) 805–813](S2352550920314330)(10.1016/j.spc.2020.12.034)Sustainable Production and Consumption, vol. 30, pp. 1096-1097Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Elevated CO2 does not necessarily enhance greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddiesScience of the Total Environment, vol. 810, 152363Contributions to Journals: Articles
The Potential Co-benefits and Trade-offs Between Improved Soil Management, Climate Change Mitigation and Agri-food ProductivityFood and Energy Security, e352Contributions to Journals: Articles
Sustainable futures over the next decade are rooted in soil scienceEuropean Journal of Soil Science, vol. 73, no. 1, e13145Contributions to Journals: Articles
Evaluation of the DNDC Model to Estimate Soil Parameters, Crop Yield and Nitrous Oxide Emissions for Alternative Long-Term Multi-Cropping Systems in the North China PlainAgronomy, vol. 12, no. 1, 109Contributions to Journals: Articles
Agricultural systemsBalancing Greenhouse Gas Budgets. Elsevier, pp. 375-402, 28 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Essential outcomes for COP26Global Change Biology, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 1-3Contributions to Journals: Editorials
Soil inorganic carbon sequestration through alkalinity regeneration using biologically induced weathering of rock powder and biocharSoil Ecology Letters, pp. 1-14Contributions to Journals: Articles
Climate change and drinking water from Scottish peatlands: Where increasing DOC is an issue?Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 300, 113688Contributions to Journals: Articles
China’s future food demand and its implications for trade and environmentNature Sustainability, vol. 4, pp. 1042-1051Contributions to Journals: Articles
Climate change may interact with nitrogen fertilizer management leading to different ammonia loss in China’s croplandsGlobal Change Biology, vol. 27, no. 24, pp. 6525-6535Contributions to Journals: Articles
Impacts of Land Use and Salinization on Soil Inorganic and Organic Carbon in the Middle-lower Yellow River DeltaPedosphere, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 839-848Contributions to Journals: Articles
Land-based measures to mitigate climate change: potential and feasibility by countryGlobal Change Biology, vol. 27, no. 23, pp. 6025-6058Contributions to Journals: Articles
Erratum: The role of soil in regulation of climate (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (2021) 376 (20210084) DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0084)Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 376, no. 1838, 20210420Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates