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Pietro (Pete) Iannetta

Staff picture: Pietro (Pete) Iannetta
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Head of Ecological Food Systems
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Pete is a plant biologist and ecologist, who studies the complex interactions which determine the sustainability of food- and feed-systems, including those of the brewing, distilling and aquaculture industries. He delivers key research programmes to support the Scottish Government’s strategic research program, and by securing layered funding builds international research and development networks and programmes. Pete is also an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Dundee, and his research is strongly focused on legume-supported cropped systems, from production to consumption. This includes developing the use of underutilised crops and novel cropped systems, plus the implementation of additional innovations beyond the farm-gate that encourage greater resource use efficiency, improved ecosystem functions, and realisation of circular economies. To facilitate this, Pete develops and exploits various system-function and -accounting tools from the genetics and genomics of plant growth promoting microbes and the soil microbiome, to tools which are ‘data driven’ - such as agri-food system modelling, including Life Cycle Analysis. He works very closely with a wide range of industry and applied-science stakeholders, and provides extension services to value-chain actors, including policymakers.

Current research interests

  • EU-H2020 ‘RADIANT’, Catholic Uni. Porto leading, 2021-25, €6M, PI/Deputy-Coordinator.

  • EU-H2020 ‘FRAMEwork’, James Hutton Institute leading, 2021-25, €9M, Co-I.

  • UKRI, ‘Food and Nutrition Security-COVID19, James Hutton Institute leading, 2020-21, £342k, Co-I.

  • Scot. Ent., ‘SAFE’ (SustaiAble Faba bEan), W.N. Lindsay leading, 2019-21, £241k, PI.

  • COOP, DiverBeans, World Food System Centre (ETH Zürich) leading, 2019-21, £234k, PI.

  • EU-H2020 ‘TRUE’, James Hutton Institute leading, 2017-21, €5M, PI/Coordinator.

  • EU-H2020 DIVERSify, James Hutton Institute leading, 2017-21, €5M, Co-I.

  • EU-H2020 TomRes, James Hutton Institute leading, 2017-21, €6M, PI.

Past research

  • Principal Investigator (2012-2016): Technology Strategy Board, Beans4feeds project. This project aims to deliver improved faba beans for sustainable protein production for (primarily) the farmed fish market
  • Partner:EU-FP7 AMIGA (2012-2016): Assessing and Monitoring Impacts of Genetically modified plants on agroecosystems
  • Partner:EU-FP7 PURE (2011-2015): Pesticide Use-and-risk Reduction in European farming systems with Integrated Pest Management
  • Principal Investigator (2011-2016): Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS): to work packages: 3.4, 'Understanding of the responses of Scotland’s biodiversity to climate change and land-use change: to inform policy', and; 1.1, "Mapping key ecosystem services in Scotland at appropriate spatial and temporal scales"
  • Work package Leader (2010-14):Novel Rotation Design, EU-FP7 Legume Futures


  • Vasconcelos, M.W.; Grusak, M.A.; Pinto, E.; Gomes, A.; Ferreira, H.; Balázs, B.; Centofanti, T.; Ntatsi, G.; Savvas, D.; Karkanis, A.; Williams, M.; Vandenberg, A.; Toma, L.; Shrestha, S.; Akaichi, F.; Barrios, C.O.; Gruber, S.; James, E.K.; Maluk, M.; Karkey, A.J.; Iannetta, P.P.M. (2020) The biology of legumes and their agronomic, economic, and social impact., In: Hasanuzzaman, M., Araújo, S. & Singh Gill, S. (eds.). The Plant Family Fabaceae: The Biology and Physiological Responses to Environmental Issues. Springer Nature, Singapre, Chapter 1, pp3-25.
  • Vasconcelos, M.W.; Gomes, A.M.; Pinto, E.; Ferreira, H.; Vieira, E.D.F.; Martins, A.P.; Santos, C.S.; Balázs, B.; Kelemen, E.; Hamann, K.T.; Williams, M.; Iannetta, P.P.M. (2020) The push, pull, and enabling capacities necessary for legume grain inclusion into sustainable agri-food systems and healthy diets., In: Biesalski, H.K. (ed.). Hidden Hunger and the Transformation of Food Systems. How to Combat the Double Burden of Malnutrition? World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, Basel, Karger, Volume121, pp193-211.
  • Mitchell, C.; Hawes, C.; Iannetta, P.P.M.; Birch, A.N.E.; Begg, G.; Karley, A. (2018) An agroecological approach for weed, pest and disease management in Rubus plantations., In: Graham, J. & Brennan, R. (eds.). Raspberry: Breeding, Challenges and Advances. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Chapter 5, pp63-81.
  • Squire, G.R.; Hawes, C.; Ianetta, P.P.M.; Karley, A.J.; Begg, G. (2016) Ecosystem services from croplands., In: Brooker, R., Hester, A. & Pakeman, R. (eds.). Ecosystem Services. The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, pp24-25.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2014) Ethylene production in strawberry formation and ripening (in Hebrew)., In: Starr, C.,Taggart, R., Evers, C. & Starr, L. Biology: the Unity and Diversity of Life. Open University of Israel, 13th International edition.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2011) Capsella., In: Kole, C. (ed.). Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources - Oilseeds. 1st edition. Springer, Heidelberg, 37-62.
  • Parish, D.M.B.; Hawes, C.; Iannetta, P.P.M.; Squire, G.R. (2009) The contribution of arable weeds to biodiversity., In: Kingely, R. (ed.). Weeds: Management, Economic Impacts and Biology. Nova Publishing, New York, USA, pp61-76.

  • Rivington, M.; Duckett, D.; Burgess, P.; Begg, G.; Iannetta, P.; Hawes, C.; Stewart, D. (2021) PostCOVID19 land use options to achieve food security, healthy diets and a sustainable environment, Online
  • Rivington, M.; Duckett, D.; Iannetta, P.; Hawes, C.; Begg, G.; Polhill, G.; Loades, K.; Newton, A.; Aitkenhead, M.; Lozada-Ellison, L.; Neilson, R.; Gandossi, G.; Stewart, D.; Wardell-Johnson, D.; Udugbezi, E.; Lorenzo-Arribas, A.; Benton, T.; King, R., Burgess, P. (2021) An overview assessment of the COVID19 pandemic on the UK food and nutrition security, Online
  • Rivington, M.; Duckett, D.; P. Burgess; Begg, G.; Iannetta, P.; Hawes, C.; Stewart, D. (2021) PostCOVID19 land use options for healthy diets and environment Report on the opportunities and constraints of UK food and land management options in terms of production potential and environmental impacts T, Hutton website
  • Rivington, M.; King, R.; Duckett, D.; Iannetta, P.; G. Benton, T.; Burgess, P. J.; Hawes, C.; Wellesley, L.; Polhill, G.; Aitkenhead, M.; Lozada-Ellison, L. M.; Begg, G.; Williams, A. G.; Newton, A.; Lorenzo-Arribas, A.; Neilson, R.; Watts, C. (2021) UK Food and nutrition security during and after the COVID19 pandemic Project Report and Recommendations, On the institute, project website:
  • Balázs, B.; Debeljak, M.; Hamann, K.; Kolmans, A.; Kelemen, E.; Maaß, H.; Squire, G.R.; Vasconcelos, M.W.; Williams, M.; Iannetta, P.P.M. (2018) Creating an effective science-policy interface to support legume supported cropping systems and food and feed supply chains., Report on Co-design of Policy Analysis. Transition paths to sUstainable legume-based systems in Europe (TRUE) Deliverable 7.1 (D40), 63pp.
  • Howard, R.L.; Herold, L.; Scrimshaw, J.; Belcher, S.; Glover, R.; Vickers, R.; Tran, F.; Iannetta, P.P.M. (2018) Report of the Atlantic Legume Innovation and Networking (LIN) Workshop., Developed by the EU-H2020 Project TRUE ('Transition paths to sustainable legume-based systems in Europe'), funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Number 727973, 21pp.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M.; Begg, G.; Black, K.; Hawes, C.; Karley, A.j.; James, E.K.; Maluk, M.; Newton, A.; Squire, G.R.; Walker, G.; White, P. (2017) Teaming up for good: intercropping and farming-science partnership at the James Hutton Institute., NGO Report for, 8 November 2017.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2017) The role of grain legumes in finfish nutrition., Report to the Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub UK (ARCHUK), Working Work Group 1, 10 September 2017.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M.; Begg, G.; Black, K.; Hawes, C.; Karley, A.J.; James, E.K.; Maluk, M.; Newton, A.C.; Squire, G.R.; Walker, G.; White, P.J. (2017) Sustainable legume systems for improved primary produce., SAB Annual Report, May 2017.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2017) Animal feeds for Food Standards Scotland., Comments and Report to the Advisory Committee on Animal feeds for Food Standards Scotland, 13 December 2017.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M.; Squire, G.R. (2017) Report to Scottish Government on the Draft Climate Change Plan: Draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032, 7 February 2017.,
  • Brooker, R.; Iannetta, P.; Karley, A.; Newton, A.; Pakeman, R. (2017) Crop mixtures in the Strategic Research Programme., Workshop Report, James Hutton Institute, Dundee, 27 July 2017. Report circulated to workshop attendees.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2016) Technical advice and guidance given to a pea grower whose crops are suffering yield decline, 5 November 2016.,
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2016) Edits to the 10-year strategy for pulse crops., Technical Report Eits on behalf of Christine Negra, Emerging Agriculture, and the Global Pulse Confederation, 3 November 2016.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2016) Comments to Quality Meat Scotland on the potential air fractionated of faba bean co-products and co-products from pulse fermentation. 13 August 2016.,
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2016) The use of foliar urea to enhance the yield of Vicia faba L., Technical Report: a representation to ADAS for a government review of RB209, 4 April 2016.
  • Squire, G.R.; Begg, G.S.; Hawes, C.; Iannetta, P.P.M.; James, E.K.; Karley, A.J.; Young, M.W. (2011) Scotland's wild arable plants., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2010, pp21-23.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M.; Murphy-Boken, D.; Rees, R.; Stoddard, F.; Topp, K.; Watson, C.; Williams, M.; Zander, P. (2010) Legume Futures consultation - contribution to an EU White paper., BIOECONOMY 2030: Towards a European Bioeconomy that Delivers Sustainable Growth by Addressing the Grand Societal Challenges
  • Murphy-Boken, D.; Rees, R.; Stoddard, F.; Topp, K.; Watson, C.; Williams, M.; Zander, P.; Iannetta, P.P.M. (2010) Legume Futures Consultation Report., Third Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR), 40457, Brussels
  • Iannetta, P.P.M. (2010) A consultation report on the draft of the 3rd foresight expert group (FEG3)., Sustainable Food Consumption and Production in a Resource-Constrained World, Brussels.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M.; Begg, G.S.; Wishart, J.; Young, M.W.; Karley, A.J.; Valentine, T.A.; Hawes, C.; Squire, G.R. (2006) Common wild plants as biodiversity indicators., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2006, pp42-43.
  • Squire, G.R.; Hawes, C.; Begg, G.S.; Elliott, M.J.; Parish, A.M.; Young, M.W.; Iannetta, P.P.M. (2004) Persistence of GM herbicide-tolerant plants., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2003/2004, pp167-168.
  • Birch, A.N.E.; Boag, B.; Newton, A.C.; Gordon, S.C.; Fenton, B.; Malloch, G.; Hallett, P.D.; Iannetta, P.P.M.; Stephens, S.E.; Neilson, S.; Wright, G.M.; Marshall, B.; McKenzie, B.M.; Squire, G.R.; Gill, P.; Wheatley, R.E. (2004) The SCRI LEAF Innovation Centre: Agro-ecosystem research which develops and promotes sustainable agriculture strategies and policies for Scotland, UK and Europe., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 2003/2004, pp107-114.
  • Iannetta, P.P.M.; Jones, C.S.; Stewart, D.; Taylor, M.A.; McNicol, R.J.; Davies, H.V. (1998) Multidisciplinary approaches to improve red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) fruit quality., Annual Report of the Scottish Crop Research Institute for 1997/98, pp99-103.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.