Principal Investigators

Pete Smith | Lead Co-PI and Project Coordinator

Pete is a systems modeller interested in food systems, agriculture, land, climate change mitigation and adaptation in the land based sectors and negative emission technologies. He is Professor of Soils and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen, Science Director of Scotland’s ClimateXChange and Director of Food Systems for the Scottish Food Security Alliance – Crops.


Deb Roberts | Lead Co-PI and Project Coordinator

Deb is an agricultural economist with experience in agricultural policy analysis and farm household modelling. She has a particular interest in understanding the structure and drivers of rural economies and the reasons for disparities in rural development trajectories. She is Professor in Real Estate at the University of Aberdeen and leads the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute.


James Gerber | Food Production

James is the co-Director and Lead Scientist of the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. His research develops solutions for improving global food security while minimizing agriculture’s impact on earth’s ecosystems. He leads the team’s efforts to collect, map, and analyze global-scale data on agricultural practices and the evolving vulnerability of the world’s food supply.

Paul West | Food Production

Paul is the co-Director and Lead Scientist of the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. His research develops solutions for increasing global food security while decreasing the negative effects of agriculture on water, climate, and biodiversity. He leads the team’s efforts to get its science out of the ivory tower and into the hands of people effecting change.


Jennie Macdiarmid | Food Demand

Jennie is a public health nutritionist with a PhD from the University of Leeds (Psychology). Her current research focuses on integrating nutritional needs for health with reducing the environmental impact to achieve sustainable dietary intakes.

Robin Matthews | Agent Based Modelling

Robin has a background in plant science, and for over 35 years has been involved in modelling biological systems, ranging from the gene level to the global level and from crops to soil processes. He is Leader of the Nurturing Vibrant and Low Carbon Communities Research Theme at The James Hutton Institute, and coordinates climate change activities across the Institute.

Jean-François Soussana | Scenario Analysis

Jean-François is a specialist in grassland ecosystems and global change and Scientific Director for Environment at INRA. He has participated in the IPCC since 1998 and chairs several international scientific committees, including the scientific advisory board of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI).

Bob Scholes | Regional Impact Assessment

Bob is a systems ecologist with a particular interest in the savannas of Africa with over three decades of field experience in many parts of Africa and the world. He is Distinguished Professor in the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has held leadership positions in the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Diversitas, been a Lead Author on several Assessment Reports of the IPCC , and was a working group co-chair for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 


Amaresh K Nayak | Regional Impact Assessment: Asia

Amaresh has worked for 20 years on problem soil management, carbon sequestration, and nutrient management in rice-rice and rice-wheat systems. He and his team developed a wide range of reclamation technology and management strategies for saline sodic soils and waterlogged sodic soil and he has developed tools for real time N management and identifying nutrient disorders in rice.  He is acting Director of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute in India.

Nina Buchmann | Knowledge Exchange and Outreach

Nina is an ecologist with particular interest in process- and system-oriented understanding of functional plant diversity and biogeochemistry in agroecosystems and forests. She is professor of Grassland Sciences at ETH Zurich, and since 2011, chair of the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich.

Associated Researchers 


University of Aberdeen

Mukta Aphale
Nuala Fitton
Amy Molotoks*
Jim Reilly*

Kings College London

Terry Dawson

University of Dundee

Charlotte Hall*
John Rowan

James Hutton Institute

Gary Pohill


Jean Ometto (Lead, South America)
Luciana Soler
João Pavanelli*
Yara Ferreira
Rafael Rodiani
Jacqueline M. Gerage

Wits University

Catherine Van Den Hoof
Ndoni Mcunu*


Mario Herrero

ETH Zurich World Food System Center

Michelle Grant
Anna K. Gilgen


Mohammad Shahid
Rahul Tripathi
Biswajit Mondal
SD Mohapatra
BR Dhal
Sudhir Barik
Ashutosh K. Nayak

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Lijun Zuo

Former Project Contributors



Léa Lugassy

University of Aberdeen

Henri De Ruiter*
Laura Philips*

ETH Zurich World Food System Center

Aimee Shreck
Jonna Cohen

*PhD students