Mario Giampietro

Mario Giampietro

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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. He is the coordinator of the 7.4 M€ Horizon2020 project "Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security” (MAGIC).

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

Giampietro M & Funtowicz SO 2020, ‘From elite folk science to the policy legend of the circular economy‘, Environmental Science & Policy, 109, 64-72.

– Renner A & Giampietro M 2020, ‘Socio-technical discourses of European electricity decarbonization: Contesting narrative credibility and legitimacy with quantitative story-telling‘, Energy Research & Social Science, 59, 101279.

– Cadillo-Benalcazar JJ, Giampietro M, Bukkens SGF & Strand R 2020, ‘Multi-scale integrated evaluation of the sustainability of large-scale use of alternative feeds in salmon aquaculture’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 248, 119210.

– Cadillo-Benalcazar JJ, Renner A & Giampietro M 2020, ‘A multiscale integrated analysis of the factors characterizing the sustainability of food systems in Europe‘, Journal of Environmental Management, 271, 110944.

– Renner A, Cadillo-Benalcazar JJ, Benini L & Giampietro M 2020, ‘Environmental pressure of the European agricultural system: Anticipating the biophysical consequences of internalization‘, Ecosystem Services, 46, 101195.

– Parra R, Bukkens SGF & Giampietro M 2020, ‘Exploration of the environmental implications of ageing conventional oil reserves with relational analysis‘, Science of the Total Environment, 749, 142371,

– Velasco-Fernández R, Dunlop T & Giampietro M 2020, ‘Fallacies of energy efficiency indicators: Recognizing the complexity of the metabolic pattern of the economy‘, Energy Policy, 137, 111089.

– Saltelli A, Benini L, Funtowicz S, Giampietro M, Kaiser M, Reinert E & van der Sluijs JP 2020, ‘The technique is never neutral. How methodological choices condition the generation of narratives for sustainability‘, Environmental Science & Policy 106: 87-98.

– Marcos-Valls A, Kovacic Z, Giampietro M, Kallis G & Rieradevall J 2020, ‘Isolated yet open: A metabolic analysis of Menorca‘, Science of The Total Environment, 738, 139221.