Professor Jo Smith

Professor Jo Smith
Professor Jo Smith
Professor Jo Smith

Personal Chair

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Office Address

Room G45
23 St Machar Drive

School of Biological Sciences


Educational Background and Qualifications

InstitutionPeriod AttendedQualificationYear Obtained
University College London 1983 - 1986 BSc (Hons) Chemistry 1986
University of Reading 1987 - 1991 PhD, Acidic dissolution of clay minerals 1991

Employment History

Post/GradeEmployerPeriod of EmploymentMain Duties
Senior Lecturer to Professor University of Aberdeen 2001 - present Systems modelling; soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics
Band 5 - Senior Research Scientist IACR Rothamsted 1998 - 2000 Simulation of soil organic matter and nitrogen dynamics
Band 6 - Postdoctoral research scientist IACR Rothamsted 1991 - 1997 Simulation of soil organic matter and nitrogen dynamics
Research Scientist British Petroleum 1990 - 1991 Computer simulation of zeolite materials
Research Assistant University of Birmingham 1986 - 1987 Extraction and Characterisation of Humic Substances from Ancient Graves at Sutton Hoo

External Memberships

  • Associate Editor - Journal Environmental Quality

Research Overview

  • Systems modelling
  • Soil organic matter and nutrient modelling
  • Decision support
  • Nitrogen fertilizer recommendation
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Greenhouse gas emissions

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Environmental Management
  • International Agriculture
  • Mathematical Modelling
  • Soil Science

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

Systems modelling: Impact of use of organic wastes on resource flows in farming households (carbon, nitrogen, water, energy, labour, finances)

Modelling soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics in:

  • Highly organic soils (Scotland, Africa and South Asia)
  • Tropical and nutrient depleted soils (Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia)
  • High nutrient input soils (China and India)

Past Research

Projects completed in

  • estimation of carbon payback time associated with wind farm developments
  • anaerobic digestion
  • use of organic resources to improve soils
  • poverty alleviation in households in Sub-Saharan Africa

Knowledge Exchange

  • The Scottish Government Wind farm Carbon Calculator (now used in planning for wind farm developments)
  • Installation of demonstration biogas digesters in villages in Uganda and Ethiopia. 
  • Determination of options for use of organic resources for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa (technical document and policy brief)
  • Engagement with villagers in South Asia on reducing waste of nitrogen in farming systems.



  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology - Mark Sutton (nitrogen use efficiency), Ute Skibe (measurement of greenhouse gas emissions), Julia Drewer (greenhouse gas emissions).
  • James Hutton Insitute - Lisa Avery (Bioslurry and pathogens); Jagadeesh Yeluripati (Zero Budget Natural Farming)
  • Rothamsted Research - Tom Misselbrook (N use in livestock systems).
  • University of Edinburgh - Jon Hillier (Cool Farm Tool); Alfie Gathorne-Hardy (Biodiversity and nitrogen use).
  • Scottish Rural College - Bob Rees (Field trials on nitrogen use efficiency).
  • Moredun Institute - Phillip Skuce (Health impacts of organic resource use)

AFGHANISTAN Kabul University - Safi Zikrullah (Nitrogen use in villages in Afghanistan)


  • Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University - Md. Mizanur Rahman (N use in villages in Bangladesh)
  • University of Rajshahi - Md Toufiq Iqbal (N use in villages in Bangladesh)
  • Bangladesh Rice Research Institute - Umme Aminun Naher (N use in villages in Bangladesh)


  • Catholic University Cameroon - Kenneth Yongabi (Anaerobic digestion for poverty alleviation)


  • Nanjing Agricultural University - Genxing Pan (Use of crops residues to produce biochar)


  • Addis Ababa University - Assefa Abegaz (Household energy and recycling of nutrients)
  • Hawassa University - Tewodros Tefera (Social impacts of organic resource use)
  • Southern Agricultural Research Institute – Getahun Yakob (Measurement of changes in soil properties with management of organic resources)
  • International Water Management Institute – Wolde Bori (Changes in ecosystem services in exclosure areas)


  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute - Sanjoy Bandyopadhyay (Nitrogen use in villages in Haryana); Rabindra Nath Pradaria (Socio-economic survey of villages); Arti Bhatia (Measurement of nitrogen flows).
  • National Rice Research Institute - Himanshu Pathak (Nitrogen use in villages in Odisha)
  • KIIT University – Rabi Subudhi (Nitrogen use in villages in Odisha)
  • The Energy and Resources Institute – Arindam Datta (Use of crops residues to produce biochar)


  • University of Faisalabad - Abdul Wakeel (Nitrogen use in villages in Pakistan)


  • National University of Maldives - Shazla Mohamed (Nitrogen use on agricultural islands in the Maldives)


  • Tribhuvan University - Khem Raj Dahal (Nitrogen use in villages in Nepal)


  • International Food Policy Research Institute (Social impacts of different uses of organic wastes)


  • University of Peradeniya - Sarath Nissanka (Nitrogen use in villages in Sri Lanka)


  • Makerere University - Johnny Mugisha (Social impacts of anaerobic digestion)
  • Centre for Research in Energy & Conservation - Vianney Tumwesige (Impacts of biogas)

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Coordinator of BI4017 / BI4517 (Honours Essay)
  • Lecturer on BI25P4 - People plants and environment
  • Lecturer on BI1511 - Ecology and Environmental Science
  • Contributes to BI4016 (Honours projects)
  • Contributes to Masters Project Course
  • Marker on EV4802 (Environmental Risk Assessment
  • Marker on BI1009 (Written summaries)

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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Non-textual Forms