Léa Sebastien

Professor – Head of TORUS Erasmus+ project

Université de Toulouse 2
5 allées A. Machado
31058 Toulouse cedex


Université Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès (UT2J)

Current Scientific Activity


Lea Sébastien currently works on three main subject areas. The first one is about place based struggles where she follows social movements within time against infrastructures and shows that resistance is rarely part of a NIMBY phenomenon but more of what she calls enlightened or creative resistance, enhancing social capital, place attachments, knowledge and finally a political positioning. Secondly, she analyses the barriers and drivers regarding policy use of sustainability indicators on various scales (from local to global) and focus on the types of participation to put in place in order to enhance the influence of alternative indicators. Thirdly, she studies the different impacts of place attachment, socially and spatially with the objective to determine in which conditions individual place attachments can evolve in a collective identity associated with protection actions.

Summary of Professional Achievments 

Léa Sébastien is assistant professor at Toulouse II University (France) in human geography and senior researcher at Geode CNRS research center. She finished her PhD on environmental governance in 2006, at the Ecole des Mines, France. Her favorite research themes are the studies of interactions between social relations and relations to nature, environmental conflicts, sustainable development indicators and territorial governance. She has been involved in many European FP7 research projects dedicated to the study of policy use of indicators, such as POINT (Policy Influence of Indicators) or BRAINPOOL (Bringing Alternative Indicators into Policy). She is the author of many publications, of which a scientific book on the potentialities of sustainable management for private forests (ECOFOR Editions, 2002).

Mobility across Geographic Areas

Léa Sébastien explores different environmental issues through their geographical lenses, wishing to build bridges with other disciplines such as sociology, environmental psychology and policy science. Moreover, she deepens the interactions between her research themes, for examples: what’s the role of place attachment within an environmental conflict? How can sustainability indicators can help resolving a place based struggle? Can we build some place attachment indicators? These different research paths give Léa Sébastien the opportunity to meet very diverse actors and to constantly confront her results to other realities.

Geographic Mobility

Léa Sébastien works on various field studies, mainly in Europe and Africa: wetland management in Adour, Loire, Kilimanjaro; policy use of indicators in Europe; environmental conflicts in various places of France, Italy, Belgium