Dr Mario Herrero Acosta

Chief Research Scientist

Contact details:



Professor Mario Herrero CorrFRSE is Chief Research Scientist of Agriculture and Food. His research focuses on increasing the sustainability of food systems for the benefit of humans and ecosystems. He works in the areas of sustainable intensification of agriculture, climate mitigation and adaptation, livestock systems, and healthy and sustainable diets.

Professor Herrero is a regular contributor to important global initiatives at the heart of the sustainability of global food systems, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Lancet Commission on Obesity and the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. He has worked extensively in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Mario has published more than 170 peer reviewed publications and over 300 publications in his areas of expertise. He is currently on the editorial boards of The Lancet Planetary Health, Agricultural Systems, Global Food Security, Agriculture and Food Security, Tropical Grasslands, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, and has been a guest editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal (PNAS).

Professor Herrero is a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an Associate Fellow of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and an Honorary Professor of Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Current Roles

  • Chief Research Scientist
    Global Food and Nutrition Security Group Leader

Academic Qualifications

  • 1997

    PhD in Agricultural Systems
    The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • 1992

    MSc. Tropical Animal Production and Health
    The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • 1988

    BSc. Tropical Animal Production
    Central American School of Animal Husbandry, Atenas, Costa Rica

Professional Experiences

  • 2013-2018

    Office of the Chief Executive Science Leader
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

  • 2009-2013

    Programme Leader, Sustainable Livestock Futures Programme
    International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

  • 2003-2009

    Global Programme Leader
    International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

  • 1999-2003

    Scientist and Project Leader (Joint Appointment)
    International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

  • 1999-2003

    Senior Research Fellow (Joint Appointment)
    The University of Edinburgh

  • 1996-1998

    Research Fellow
    The University of Edinburgh

Achievements and Awards

  • 2019-present

    Corresponding Fellow
    Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), UK

  • 2019-present

    Chair of Review Panel
    Global Nutrition Report

  • 2018-present

    Associate Fellow
    Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK

  • 2018-present

    Lead Author
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 Mitigation Working Group

  • 2018-2018

    Member of the External Review Panel
    Wageningen Agricultural University and Research Centre, The Netherlands

  • 2018-present

    Advisory Group Member
    Meat and Livestock Australia Greenhouse Gas Science in the Red Meat Industry working group

  • 2017-present

    Scientific Commissioner
    EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems

  • 2017-2019

    Lead Author
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Land, Climate Change and Food Security

  • 2016-present

    Scientific Commissioner
    Lancet Commission on Obesity

  • 2015-present

    Adjunct Professor
    The University of New England

  • 2014-present

    Scientific Advisor
    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • 2015-2016

    Scientific Advisor
    US National Academy of Sciences high level panel on the Future of Agriculture and Food

  • 2014-present

    Honorary Professor of Agriculture and Food
    The University of Queensland

  • 2012-2012

    Sustainability Science Award
    Ecological Society of America / Colorado State University

  • 2011-2012

    Award for Best CGIAR - Earth Systems Science Partnership on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change
    International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

  • 2011-2014

    Contributing Author
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report Working Group III (Mitigation)

  • 2011-2011

    Lead Author
    State of the World 2010: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, Worldwatch Institute

  • 2010-2013

    Advisory Board Member
    Vulnerability, Livestock Collaborative Research Support Programme, US National Science Foundation

  • 2010-2012

    Scientific Steering Committee Member
    CGIAR CCAFS Greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture Theme

  • 2009-2010

    Contributing Author to World Development Report 2010: Climate Change and Development
    World Bank

  • 2009-2009

    Contributor to Task Force on Greenhouse Gas Emission Guidelines (livestock)
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • 2009-2009

    Guest Scholar
    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

  • 2007-2010

    Coordinating Lead Author
    Drivers of change in Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems and their Impacts on Ecosystems Services and Human Well-Being to 2030 - CGIAR Systemwide Livestock Programme

  • 2007-2010

    Science Leader
    International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Climate Change Task Force

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-present

    Editorial Board - The Lancet Planetary Health

  • 2017-present

    Editorial Board - Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

  • 2012-present

    Editorial Board - Agriculture and Food Security

  • 2012-present

    Editorial Board - Global Food Security

  • 2012-present

    Editorial Board - Tropical Grasslands

  • 2011-2013

    Guest Editor - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  • 2002-present

    Editorial Board - Agricultural Systems


We have publications by Dr Mario Herrero Acosta