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Laurence Smith

Laurence Smith
Researcher at the Department of Biosystems and Technology


Laurence is an interdisciplinary food system modeller, working on holistic sustainability assessments, and, together with his colleague Prof. Harry Blokhus, the co-coordinator for PATHWAYS (a 9M EUR Horizon 2020 project) involving over 30 partners across Europe in the development of policy pathways for sustainable livestock systems. He has over 12 years’ experience in leading projects, work-packages, and tasks within multinational collaborative projects such as FP7 SOLID, H2020 iSAGE and the FACCE ERA NET project SustainFARM and he is co-leading a UK Global Food Security Programme project investigating the sustainability costs and benefits of Pasture Fed Livestock Farming, SEEGSLIP. He has also fostered excellent links within the agri-food and policy sectors through leading a knowledge exchange focused work-package within the UK Greenhouse Gas Platform and has expertise in modelling of production systems and the role of Life Cycle Assessment in supporting decision making at policy level. Laurence coordinated the development of the Defra funded Public Goods tool (PG tool) which has been applied on over 1000 farms within a range of projects to assess diverse aspects of sustainability and he established and led the Environment, Sustainability and Health (ESH) research group at the Organic Research Centre.


Laurence is keen to engage in primary research and student supervision at SLU in the teaching and application of food system modelling. He is particularly eager to encourage students to think creatively about how models can be applied and/or adapted to explore sustainability trade-offs and leverage points for behaviour change in food systems.


Selected publications

Smith, L.G., Westaway, S., Mullender, S., Ghaley, B.B., Xu, Y., Lehmann, L.M., Pisanelli, A., Russo, G., Borek, R., Wawer, R. (2022). Assessing the multidimensional elements of sustainability in European agroforestry systems. Agricultural Systems 197, 103357.

Barbieri, P., Pellerin, S., Seufert, V., Smith, L.G., Ramankutty, N., Nesme, T. (2021). Global option space for organic agriculture is delimited by nitrogen availability. Nature Food, 2(5), 363-372.

Mullender, S., Smith, J., Sandor, M., Pisanelli, A., Kozyra, J., Borek, R., Ghaley, B., Gliga, A., von Oppenkowski, M., Roesler, T., Salkanovic, E., Smith, L.G. (2020): A Delphi-style Approach for the Stakeholder-led Development of an Agroforestry-relevant Sustainability Assessment Tool. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 84, 106415.

Smith, L.G., Kirk, G.J., Jones, P.J., Williams, A.G. (2019): The greenhouse gas impacts of converting food production in England and Wales to organic methods. Nature Communications 10, 1-10.

Knudsen, M.T., Dorca-Preda, T., Djomo, S.N., Peña, N., Padel, S., Smith, L.G., Zollitsch, W., Hörtenhuber, S., Hermansen, J.E. (2019): The importance of including soil carbon changes, ecotoxicity and biodiversity impacts in environmental life cycle assessments of organic and conventional milk in Western Europe. Journal of Cleaner Production 215, 433-443.


Publications list: