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par Demeulenaere Élise - publié le , mis à jour le


- Permanent Researcher at the CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research
Affiliated to Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE) and Section 38 (Anthropology and comparative studies of present societies)
- Research Team : Anthropology and Politics of Nature (2014-2018)



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Location : Paris, 5th arrondissement.

Research Topics

Elise Demeulenaere holds a PhD in ethnobiology / environmental anthropology from the National Museum of Natural History, Paris (2005). She did a postdoc in science studies. She was initially trained as an ecologist. She works on the politics of environmental knowledge, with the concern to articulate different scales, in order to understand both environmental governance and its possible frictions with the local experiences of people in-their-environments. For this, she borrows from different currents, including French anthropology of nature, environmental anthropology, science studies, French pragmatic sociology (on environmental controversies), Political Ecology...

She works or has worked on the following issues :
- Multiple perceptions of a cultural landscape registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List (Konso, Ethiopia)
- Farmers’ movements reclaiming seeds for farmers (Réseau Semences Paysannes, France), in relation to the evolution of seed regulations and the governance of crop genetic resources. See projet NETSEED (dir. D. McKey), on farmers’ seed networks.
- Competing global models for greening agriculture (project ECOVERIO for a collaborative ethnography of Rio+20, dir. J. Foyer)
- Forms of participation in citizen science programmes (ie. participatory biodiversity watch) (project LEVANA, dir. Fr. Archaux).
- Institutionnalisation of agro-ecology, WP on the transformation of farming knowledge (towards a new knowledge regime ?) (IDAE)
- Knowledge and Management Systems of cheese microbial diversity within the world of raw-milk cheese (Project REPASTOL, 2016-2017)

Key Words - Agrobiodiversity, microbiodiversity, ecologisation of agriculture, perception of the environnement, politics of knowledges and know-how about the environment / the living matter / biodiversity, citizen science / participatory research.

Other activities

Teaching :
- « Introduction to Environmental Humanities » (with W. Feuerhahn and G. Blanc).
- "Knowledge and innovations in agriculture studied at the crossroads of anthropology and science studies", Master 2 EDTS Muséum / AgroParisTech (with Marc Barbier, LISIS)
- Co-organizer of the research seminar “Governing Nature – Knowledges, Cultures and Politics of Biodiversity”. Programme 2013-2014 / 2012-2013 / 2011-2012 / 2010-2011
- In charge of the research team Anthropology and Politics of Nature
- In charge (with Fr. Jiguet) of the Research Program "Ecological Knowledge, Expertise and Politics of Nature" (2014-2018) financed by the National Museum of Natural History, Paris
- French Portal on Environmental Humanities
- Associate Editor for Conservation & Society

Edited book / Film

- BLANC G., DEMEULENAERE É., FEUERHAHN W. (dir.), 2017, Humanités environnementales. Enquêtes et contre-enquêtes. Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne.

- LAMARQUE P., DEMEULENAERE É., 2010, Le roi ne meurt jamais / The King never Dies, Lussas, Doc Net Films Editions. DVD, French / English subtitles, 73 min.



Selection of publications in English

- DEMEULENAERE É., 2018, ‘Free our seeds !’ Strategies of farmers’ movements to reappropriate seeds, in F. Girard & C. Frison (eds.), The Commons, Plant Breeding and Agricultural Research : Challenges for Food Security and Agrobiodiversity, Routledge (Earthscan Food and Agriculture), p. 210-225.

- DEMEULENAERE É., 2014, A Political Ontology of Seeds : the transformative Frictions of a farmers’ movement in Europe, Focaal - Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 69 (Seeds - Grown, governed, and contested), p. 45-61. pre-print

- DEMEULENAERE É., 2012, Reclaiming the Seeds, Becoming ‘Peasants’ : On-Farm Agrobiodiversity Conservation and the Making of Farmers’ Collective Identity, Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 2012/5, p. 59-66.

- DEMEULENAERE É., 2010, Farmers’ seeds systems in industrial agricultures : new research object, renewed approaches in Ethnobotany. Pochettino, María Lelia, Ana H. Ladio & Patricia M. Arenas. Traditions and Transformations in Ethnobotany / Tradiciones & transformaciones en Etnobotánica, CYTED (San Salvaldor de Jujuy, Argentina), p. 197-204.

- DEMEULENAERE É., 2010, Book Review : Elizabeth E. Watson, 2009, “Living Terraces in Ethiopia – Konso Landscape, Culture & Development”, Les Annales d’Ethiopie 25, p. 322-325.

- DEMEULENAERE É., 2002, Woods and social organization in Konso (southwestern Ethiopia). Journal of Ethiopian studies, Addis Ababa, 35(2), p. 81-111


Interdisciplinary publications (with life sciences)

- COOMES O. et al., 2015, Farmer seed networks make a limited contribution to agriculture ? Four common misconceptions. Food Policy, 56, Oct. 2015, p. 41–50.

- PAUTASSO M. et al., 2013, "Seed exchange networks for agrobiodiversity conservation : a review". Agronomy for Sustainable Development. Jan. 2013, 33(1), p. 151-175.

- THOMAS M., DEMEULENAERE E., DAWSON J.C., KHAN A.R., GALIC N., JOUANNE-PIN S., REMOUÉ C., BONNEUIL C., GOLDRINGER I., 2012, "On-farm dynamic management of genetic diversity : the impact of seed diffusions and seed saving practices on a population-variety of bread wheat". Evolutionary Applications 5 (vol. 8) Dec. 2012, p. 779-795.


Voir en ligne : Elise Demeulenaere on HAL Open access archive