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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). He 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 the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in 2007.
His research focuses on integrated assessment of sustainability issues. Using concepts developed in complex systems theory, he has developed an innovative scientific approach called Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM). MuSIASEM integrates biophysical and socioeconomic variables across multiple scales, thus establishing a link between the metabolism of socio-economic systems and the potential constraints of the embedding 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 nexus between land use, food, energy and water in relation to sustainable development goals.
He has more than 150 scientific publications and is author of several books.