Élise Lépy

Ph.D in geography, Docent in Arctic human-environment relationships and environmental change

History, Culture and Communication Studies
Faculty of Humanities

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Élise Lépy is an environmental geographer based at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Oulu. She is working as a researcher at the discipline of Cultural Anthropology where her expertise is used in various international and multidisciplinary research projects on human-environment relationships in the Circumpolar North. Always having in mind the complexity of the intertwining of scales, her research deals with the complicated question of the local understanding of global phenomena such as global environmental change including climate change, and with the combined effects of multiple pressures on (sub)Arctic landscapes and communities and traditional livelihoods. She has conducted fieldwork in European Arctic (Finnish Lapland) and sub-Arctic (Baltic Sea) and Canadian sub-Arctic (Saguenay fjord, mining towns of Schefferville and Fermont). She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Caen Basse-Normandie, France (2009). Her dissertation dealt with “Baltic Sea ice and its environmental and societal impacts on coastal waters of the Bay of Bothnia and the Gulf of Riga”. She has got the title of Docent from the University of Eastern Finland (2022) in the field of Arctic human-environment relationships and environmental change.

She is the project manager of the newly funded Horizon Europe project ICEBERG.

Current research projects

ICEBERG (Innovative Community Engagement for Building Effective Resilience and Arctic-Ocean Pollution-Control Governance in the context of Climate Change, 2024-2026) funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe

FLIARA (Female-Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas, 2023-2025), funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe - RIA

RURACTIVE (Empowering rural communities to act for change, 2023-2027), funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe

Past research projects

MAHIS (Metsiin perustuvat matkailun hiilipäästöjen kompensointimallit - esimerkkinä Koillis-Suomi, "Forest-based compensation models for carbon emissions from tourism", 2021-2022), Maaseuturahasto

REXSAC (Nordic Centre of Excellence on Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities, 2016-2021) funded by Nordforsk
Organisation of the international workshop on "Challenges and opportunities of supplementary feeding in reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandinavia" (REXSAC, REiGN and CLINF NCoEs)

ILMASI (Ilmastosiirtolaisuus: kohti ilmiön parempaa ymmärtämistä ja hallintaa, "Climate migration, towards a better understanding and management", 2020-2021), VN-TEAS

TRANSARCT (Transformation and Social Innovation for Sustainable Arctic Communities, 2018-2021), Strategic research project of the University of Oulu

PITCH (Primary Industries and Transformational Change, 2014-2018) funded by the Research Council of Norway

Understanding the cultural impact and issues of Lapland mining (2014-2018) funded by the Academy of Finland under the ARKTIKO programme

CLICHE (Impacts of climate change on Arctic environment, ecosystem services and society, 2011-2014) funded by the Academy of Finland under FICCA programme

DILACOMI (Different Land use Activities and local Communities in Mining projects – model for the best regulation and practices, 2011-2013), funded by TEKES

EU Life+ project VACCIA (Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem services for climate change impacts and adaptation, 2009-2011)

FiDiPro programme Human-Environment Relations in the North: resource development, climate change and resilience (2009-2011)

Research interests

  • environmental change
  • human-environment relationships
  • sustainable Arctic landscapes and communities
  • land and resource use in the north
  • mining, reindeer husbandry, nature-based tourism
  • environmental communication
  • environmental migration
  • environmental geography

Researcher information

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Visiting address

Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu
Pentti Kaiteran katu 1
Room HUM302

Postal address

Faculty of Humanities
PO Box 1000
FI- 90014 University of Oulu