Mario Giampietro

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Engineering Sciences

Mario Giampietro was born in Italy in 1953. He graduated in Chemical Engineering (1978) and Biological Sciences (1981) at Universitá La Sapienza, Rome. He has a MS degree in Food System Economics (CEFAS/Universitá La Tuscia) and a PhD in Social Sciences (Wageningen University, NL). Mario was a researcher at Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione (INRAN) from 1985 to 2007, but pursued most of his research as visiting scientist at leading universities, such as Cornell University (1987-1989 and 1992-1995), Wageningen University (1997), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (1998-2000), University of Wisconsin, Madison (2002), Penn State University (2005-2006), and Arizona State University (2006-2007). He joined ICREA and UAB in 2007. He has more than 150 scientific publications and is author of several books.

Research interests

Mario works on integrated assessment of sustainability issues. Using concepts from complex systems theory, he has developed an innovative scientific approach: Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM). MuSIASEM integrates biophysical and socioeconomic variables across multiple hierarchical scales, thus establishing a link between the metabolism of socio-economic systems and potential constraints of the natural environment. MuSIASEM allows the use of integrated sets of indicators that can be chosen “à la carte” by social actors in relation to multiple criteria of performance. Recent research has focused on the analysis of energy systems and energy scenarios and directives (projects EUFORIE, NETEP, PARTICIPIA), food systems (GLAMUR), and the nexus between energy, food, and water in relation to sustainable development goals (MAGIC).

Selected publications

– Aragao A & Giampietro M 2016, ‘An integrated multi-scale approach to assess the performance of energy systems illustrated with data from the Brazilian oil and natural gas sector’, Energy, vol. 115, pp 1412-1423.

– Galli A, Giampietro M, Goldfinger S, Lazarus E, Lin D, Saltelli A, Wackernagel M & Müller F 2016, ‘Questioning the Ecological Footprint’, Ecological Indicators, vol. 69, pp. 224–232.

– Kovacic Z, Smit S, Musango JK, Brent AC & Giampietro M 2016, Probing uncertainty levels of electrification in informal urban settlements: A case from South Africa, Habitat International, vol. 56, pp. 212-221.

– Saltelli A & Giampietro M 2016, ‘The Fallacy of Evidence-Based Policy’, in: Science on the Verge, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, pp 31-69.

– Gamboa G, Kovacic Z, Di Masso M, Mingorría S, Gomiero T, Rivera-Ferré M & Giampietro M 2016, ‘The Complexity of Food Systems: Defining Relevant Attributes and Indicators for the Evaluation of Food Supply Chains in Spain’, Sustainability, vol. 8, issue 6, no. 515.

– Brunori G, Galli F, Barjolle D, van Broekhuizen R, Colombo L, Giampietro M, Kirwan J, Lang T, Mathijs E, Maye D, de Roest K, Rougoor C, Schwarz J, Schmitt E, Smith J, Stojanovic Z, Tisenkopfs T & Touzard J-M 2016, ‘Are Local Food Chains More Sustainable than Global Food Chains? Considerations for Assessment’, Sustainability, vol. 8, issue 5, no. 449.

– Miranda RFC, Grottera C & Giampietro M 2016, ‘Understanding slums: analysis of the metabolic pattern of the Vidigal favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’, Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 18, no. 5, pp 1297–1322.

Selected research activities

Grants awarded:

Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security (MAGIC), Grant Agreement No. 689669 (RIA), funded under H2020-EU.3.5.4.- Enabling the transition towards a green economy and society through eco-innovation (01 June 2016 – 31 May 2020). (Coordinator, total grant 7.45 M€).