Cécile Bessou


Senior Scientist/chercheuse

Marie Curie fellow

Ph.D. in Agronomy and Environmental Sciences

MSc. in Sustainable Resource Management

Ing. in Agricultural Sciences - Tropical Agronomy

Fields of research


Cirad: Agricultural Research Center for Development

Scientific Department: PERSYST, Performance of Tropical Production and Processing Systems

UPR 34 Systèmes de pérennes/Research unit on Perennial Cropping Systems

Address: TA B-34/02, Avenue Agropolis, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5

Functions - researcher

Within my research unit, for the last 10 years, emphasis has been put on combining agronomical and environmental assessments to provide knowledge and tools to improve practices and to eco-design new agroecological and sustainable production systems. Researchers within the team work notably on palm oil, hevea, coffee etc. I have been more specifically working on environmental impact assessments of palm oil, and more recently on rubber. I contribute to the coordination and scientific animation of the unit research project regarding environmental and sustainability assessments. 

My key research topics are:

I am an active member of the Cirad transversal research group on LCA.


I provide scientific expertise to public and private sectors on life cycle assesment and GHG assessment of food crop systems.

Within the frame of my palm oil research work, I have been involved as a scientific expert for RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) in the development and continuous improvement of RSPO greenhouse gas calculator, PalmGHG, for 5 years. This calculator has been included in the principles & criteria for RSPO sustainability certification.

Teaching activities/student supervision

I punctually teach to students from Master classes (1&2) at AgroParisTech, ISTOM, Ecole Polytechnique Massy Palaiseau, etc.

My teaching fields are: environmental impacts, sustainability assessments, LCA, Palm oil supply chain...

Supervised students

PH.D. students

Alexis Thoumazeau (Sibaghe) 2015-2018: assessing soil functions and soil quality in rubber plantations to improve practices and environmental impact assessment

Lénaïc Pardon (Agroparistech) 2014-2017: improving the modelling nitrogen losses in oil palm plantations to reduce uncertainty in environmental impact assessment

Member of the defence committee of Edi Iswanto Wiloso Ph.D. thesis (Leiden University): Development of LCA for residue-based bioenergy

Member of the steering committee of several Ph.D. students: Margot Moulin, Meriem Jouini

Tereza Bicalho (Paris Dauphine): Palm Biodiesel from Brazil, LCA application within the frame of the European Directive: Ph.D. 2009-2012 

Master students

Céline Bustany (Supagro, Montpellier): co-supervision with Anthony Benoist (UPR BIOWOOEB Cirad) (6 months 2017)

Alexe Brugnot (Supagro, Montpellier): Database creation on Indonesian palm oil smallholders' practices (6 months 2015) co-supervision with Thierry Chapuset (UPR Systèmes de Pérennes)

Karine Lé (Supagro, Montpellier): SPOP assessment grid (6 month-2013), co-supervision with Pierre-Marie Bosc (UMR MOISA Cirad)

Melina Till (ESA, Lille): Soil biodiversity assessment in rubber plantation (6 months-2013), co-supervision with Alain Brauman (UMR Eco&Sols, IRD)

Cynthia Latunussa (Politecnico di Turino): Life Cycle Assessment of Indonesian Palm Oil (6 months-2013)

Alice Baudoin (Supagro, Montpellier): Literature review on palm oil production systems in Indonesia (6 month-2012), co-supervision with Pierre-Marie Bosc (UMR MOISA Cirad)

Alice Vélu (VetAgroSup, Clermont-Ferrand): Life Cycle Assessment of Indonesian Palm Oil (6 months-2011)












Member of ELSA research group for Environmental Life cycle and Sustainability Assessment

ELSA was created in 2008. It gathers researchers, professors and students from different research labs and post-graduate institutions of the Languedoc-Roussillon region: INRA-LBE (Narbonne), CIRAD-Bioenergie (Montpellier), CEMAGREF-ITAP (Montpellier), SupAgro (Montpellier) and Ecole des Mines d'Alès-LGEI.

The platform's purpose is to stimulate research and transfer to industries in eco-technologies applied to the following application fields: Organic pollution treatment Bio-energy Measurement of pollutions Reduction of phytosanitary pollutions. ELSA is a transversal topic in charge of the environmental assessment of processes related to these fields. Member of ELSA benefit from the shared expertise and corporate knowledge within the group. They work together to:

Complete list of publications and presentations: see Publications page (with direct links to HAL), upper left corner of this page

List of publications on CIRAD/Agritrop open database (with links to journal's page/open versions)



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