Elsa Berthet

Elsa Berthet

session, year:
2014 2nd

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory, McGill University

Country of origin:


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Mobility project

From ecological modelling to the collective design of sustainable agro-ecosystems

My project first aims to better leverage ecological knowledge for the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. To that end, I draw upon design sciences to analyse ecological modelling and reasoning. Second, I address the governance challenges of agro-ecosystem design processes. How to bring together stakeholders with diverging interests and help them tackle environmental issues in a creative way? Drawing on comparative case studies in Quebec and France, this research will contribute to a theory of the design of agro-ecosystems. This project should inform new research strategies in ecology, as well as the design of public policies seeking to foster collective agro-ecological innovation.

Biography & research interests

I completed a BA in life sciences at Paris Sud University (2002) and an Agricultural Engineer degree at AgroParisTech (2006), where I specialized in agricultural development. Then, from 2007 to 2010, I worked as a research engineer at INRA (French National Institute of Agricultural Research) on the coordination of research programs at both national and European levels. In order to start an academic career, I completed a M.S. in Management of Public Organizations and Policies at Paris Ouest University, Mines ParisTech and ESCP (2010). Then I completed a PhD in Management Science at Mines ParisTech and INRA (2013) on the collective design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. In 2015-2016, I pursued my research program a postdoctoral fellow at the Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory at McGill University. Since September 2017, I have a permanent position as researcher at INRA Versailles-Grignon, UMR SADAPT.

Selected publications

Rahman H.M.T., St. Ville A., Song A.M., Po J.Y., Berthet E.T., Brammer J., Brunet N.D., Jayaprakash L., Lowitt K., Rastogi A., Reed G., and Hickey G.M., 2017. Interinstitutional Gap Framework: Addressing the challenges of multi-level rules for governance in social-ecological systems. International Journal of the Commons, 11:2, 823-853.

Agogue M., Berthet E.T., Fredberg T., Le Masson P., Segrestin B., Stoetzel M., Wiener M. and Yström A., 2017. Explicating the role of innovation intermediaries in the unknown: A contingency approach. Journal of Strategy and Management, 10:1, 19-39.

Berthet E.T., Segrestin B. and Hickey G.M.,20160. Considering agro-ecosystems as ecological funds for collective design: New perspectives for environmental policy. Environmental Science and Policy, 61, 108-115

Prost L., Berthet E.T., Cerf M., Jeuffroy M.H., Labatut J. and Meynard J.M., 2016. Innovative design for agriculture in the move towards sustainability: scientific challenges, Research in Engineering Design, 28:1, 119-129

Berthet E.T., Barnaud C., Girard N., Labatut J. and Martin G., 2015. How to foster agroecological innovations? A comparison of participatory design methods. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 59:2, 280-301.


Awards & patents

2016 : Prix d’Excellence du Centre de Recherches sur la Biodiversité du Québec

2015 : Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Development Grant – Université McGill

2015 : Bourse postdoctorale Agreenskills (2 ans – 55 000 €) – Agreenium, INRA et Commission Européenne

2015 : Médaille de Vermeil de l’Académie d’Agriculture

2015 : Nominée au prix de thèse de l’ANDESE (Association Nationale des Docteurs ès Sciences économiques et en Sciences de Gestion)

Talks in annual meetings

Designing sustainable agro-ecosystems
2015 / P7 Economics, Social Sciences / by Elsa Berthet / Fellows Speed Presentation


Design, innovation, ecology, agro-ecosystem, governance, ecosystem services, common goods, environmental policy, agriculture, landscape