Dr Peter Johnston

Climate Scientist & Researcher
Agriculture, climate change vulnerability and adaptation


Peter Johnston is a climate scientist at the University of Cape Town. His research focuses on the applications and impacts of climate variability and change on various user sectors. He specialises in agriculture and water related activities with special emphasis on vulnerability and adaptation options.

Climate Change & Development Link:

Peter has worked closely with the Western Cape Government in developing a climate change vulnerability study and this was followed by a strategy and action plan. He has also been involved in the African Centre for Cities looking at adaptation frameworks for both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Current and recent research includes the application of models to determine the sustainable long term water use in the larger Berg river catchment area of the SW Cape province of South Africa, and an investigation into adaptation options for agricultural under climate change scenarios for commercial and small scale farmers.

Link to ACDI:

His work with ACDI is focused on the climate risks and decision-making time frames associated with agriculture, including the SmartAgri project and the SASCAL project focusing on value-chains in Mozambique. He has supervised and worked with ACDI students and researchers over the last 3 years. Peter has given many public presentations to governmental, educational, agricultural, water related and general interest groups. He is also the co-author of several school science and geography text books., and was lead author for the South African chapter of Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change (2013).

Contact: johnston@csag.uct.ac.za


Research Project: 


SmartAgri Project

SmartAgri was a collaborative project between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP), and the University of Cape Town’s African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), and was aimed at creating sustainable climate smart responses for increased resilience in agriculture.