University of Aberdeen
Current Position Professor of Soil Organic Matter & Nutrient Modelling
Telephone +44 (0)1224 272702
Departments School of Biological Sciences
Quadrat Core Themes Environmental Management
Methods I Use Modelling


Key Research Interests

  • Soil organic matter and nutrient turnover
  • Carbon life cycle analysis from windfarms on peats
  • Systems analysis of use of carbon, nutrient, energy, water, labour and finances in small-holder farms in lower and middle income countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Soil degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa, India and China
  • Anaerobic digestion – household use in lower and middle income countries

Recent Key Papers

  • Bansal, V., Tumwesige, V., Smith, J.U., 2017. Water for small-scale biogas digesters in sub-Saharan Africa. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 9(2):339–357.
  • Smith, J.U., Fischer, A., Hallett, P.D., Homans, H.Y., Smith, P., Abdul-Salam, Y., Emmerling, H.H., Phimister, E.C., 2015. Sustainable use of organic resources for bioenergy, food and water provision in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 50:903-917.
  • Smith, J., Abegaz, A., Matthews, R. B., Subedi, M., Orskov, E. R., Tumwesige, V., Smith, P., 2014. What is the potential for biogas digesters to improve soil carbon sequestration in Sub-Saharan Africa? Comparison with other uses of organic residues. Biomass & Bioenergy. 70:73-86.

Summary Title of Current Studentships

  • Predicting the impact of different treatments of organic wastes on spread of pathogens in rural Nigeria
  • Carbon and greenhouse gas implications of integrated energy security and climate change mitigation options for Scotland
  • Resolving the Conflict Between Demands on Organic Wastes in Rural Ethiopia – Optimum Solutions for Food, Energy and Water Security
  • Modelling current and future greenhouse gas balances from forest soils in the UK