• 28328 Citations
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Personal profile


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 Reseatch Fellows, 18 Post-docs, 19 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), Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE; elected 2009), a Rothamsted Research Fellow (2010-2015) and Fellow of the Royal Society (London; elected 2017).

Research Interests:

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)

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  • 11 Similar Profiles
greenhouse gas Earth & Environmental Sciences
bioenergy Earth & Environmental Sciences
soil carbon Earth & Environmental Sciences
soil Earth & Environmental Sciences
mitigation Earth & Environmental Sciences
carbon Earth & Environmental Sciences
crop Earth & Environmental Sciences
carbon sequestration Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Research Output 1994 2019

3 Citations (Scopus)

A critical review of the impacts of cover crops on nitrogen leaching, net greenhouse gas balance and crop productivity

Abdalla, M., Hastings, A., Cheng, K., Yue, Q., Chadwick, D., Espenberg, M., Truu, J., Rees, R. M. & Smith, P., 1 Aug 2019, In : Global Change Biology. 25, 8, p. 2530-2543 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
cover crop
Greenhouse gases
greenhouse gas
6 Downloads (Pure)

A global, empirical, harmonised dataset of soil organic carbon changes under perennial crops

Ledo, A., Hillier, J., Smith, P., Aguilera, E., Blagodatskiy, S., Brearley, F. Q., Datta, A., Diaz-Pines, E., Don, A., Dondini, M., Dunn, J., Feliciano, D., Lang, R., Liebig, M. A., Llorente, M., Zinn, Y. L., McNamara, N., Ogle, S. M., Qin, Z., Rovira, P. & 5 others, Rowe, R., Vicente-Vicente, J. L., Whitaker, J., Yue, Q. & Zerihun, A., 13 May 2019, In : Scientific Data. 6, 57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Organic carbon
2 Citations (Scopus)

A Review of Criticisms of Integrated Assessment Models and Proposed Approaches to Address These, through the Lens of BECCS

Gambhir, A., Butnar, I., Li, P-H., Smith, P. & Strachan, N., 8 May 2019, In : Energies. 12, 9, 21 p., 1747.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Assessing the potential of soil carbonation and enhanced weathering through Life Cycle Assessment: A case study for Sao Paulo State, Brazil

Lefebvre, D., Goglio, P., Williams, A., Manning, D. A. C., de Azevedo, C., Bergmann, M., Meersmans, J. & Smith, P., 1 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Cleaner Production. 233, p. 468-481 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Life cycle
Carbon dioxide
life cycle

Assessment of ecosystem services of rice farms in eastern India

Nayak, A. K., Shahid, M., Nayak, A. D., Dhal, B., Moharana, K. C., Mondal, B., Tripathi, R., Mohapatra, S. D., Bhattacharyya, P., Jambhulkar, N. N., Shukla, A. K., Fitton, N., Smith, P. & Pathak, H., 2 Sep 2019, In : Ecological Processes. 8, 1, 16 p., 35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
ecosystem service


Fellow of the Royal Society

Pete Smith (Recipient), 5 May 2017

Prize: Election to learned society

Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society

Philippe Duchaufour Medal of European GeoSciences Union (EGU)

Pete Smith (Recipient), 25 Apr 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

soil science

Press / Media

Removing CO2 from the atmosphere won’t save us: we have to cut emissions now

Pete Smith


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Articles in 'The Conversation'


Carbon-calculating: the development of Scottish Windfarms

Joanne Ursula Smith (Coordinator), Pete Smith (Coordinator), Dali Rani Nayak (Coordinator)

Impact: Quality of life Impacts

Inorganic arsenic in rice bran and its products are an order of magnitude

Pete Smith (Coordinator), Jon Hillier (Coordinator), Joanne Ursula Smith (Coordinator)

Impact: Quality of life Impacts