• 29406 Citations
1994 …2020
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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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  • 13 Similar Profiles
greenhouse gas Earth & Environmental Sciences
soil carbon Earth & Environmental Sciences
bioenergy Earth & Environmental Sciences
soil Earth & Environmental Sciences
mitigation Earth & Environmental Sciences
carbon sequestration Earth & Environmental Sciences
carbon Earth & Environmental Sciences
organic carbon Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Research Output 1994 2020

Comparing the impact of future cropland expansion on global biodiversity and carbon storage across models and scenarios

Molotoks, A., Henry, R., Stehfest, E., Doelman, J., Havlík, P., Krisztin, T., Alexander, P., Dawson, T. P. & Smith, P., 27 Jan 2020, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 375, 1794, 10 p., 20190189.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
carbon sequestration
Land use

Dynamics of pedogenic carbonate in the cropland of the North China Plain: Influences of intensive cropping and salinization

Lu, T., Wang, X., Xu, M., Yu, Z., Luo, Y. & Smith, P., 10 Jan 2020, In : Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment. 292, 106820.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

intensive cropping
soil salinization
cropping practice
3 Citations (Scopus)

How to measure, report and verify soil carbon change to realize the potential of soil carbon sequestration for atmospheric greenhouse gas removal

Smith, P., Soussana, J-F., Angers, D., Schipper, L., Chenu, C., Rasse, D. P., Batjes, N. H., van Egmond, F., McNeill, S., Kuhnert, M., Arias-Navarro, C., Olesen, J. E., Chirinda, N., Fornara, D., Wollenberg, E., Álvaro-Fuentes, J., Sanz-Cobeña, A. & Klumpp, K., Jan 2020, In : Global Change Biology. 26, 1, p. 219-241 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
atmospheric gas
soil carbon
Greenhouse gases
carbon sequestration
greenhouse gas

PopFor: A new model for estimating poplar yields

Henner, D. N., Hastings, A., Pogson, M., McNamara, N., Davies, C. A. & Smith, P., 13 Jan 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Biomass & Bioenergy.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Potential yield challenges to scale-up of Zero Budget Natural Farming

Smith, J., Yeluripati, J., Smith, P. & Nayak, D. R., 20 Jan 2020, In : Nature Sustainability. 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nitrogen fixation
farming systems


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: Awards, Medals, Prizes and Distinctions

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 Smith (Coordinator), Pete Smith (Coordinator), Dali 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 Smith (Coordinator)

Impact: Quality of life Impacts