School of Earth and Environment

Julia Steinberger Dr Julia Steinberger

Associate Professor

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 32895 or +44 (0)785 607 9625
Email address:
Room: 8.110

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


Dr. Julia Steinberger researches and teaches in the interdisciplinary areas of Ecological Economics and Industrial Ecology. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing). She is interested in quantifying the current and historical linkages between resource use and socioeconomic parameters, and identifying alternative development pathways to guide the necessary transition to a low carbon society. She is the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Leadership Award for her research project "Living Well Within Limits" investigating how universal human well-being might be achieved within planetary boundaries.

Before coming to the University of Leeds in 2011, Dr Steinberger was a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna (SEC), where she investigated sustainable cities and the links between material use and economic performance. She has held postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Lausanne and Zurich, and obtained her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published over 38 internationally peer-reviewed articles since 2009 in journals including Nature Climate Change, Environmental Science & Technology, PLOS ONE and Environmental Research Letters.

Research Interests

Ongoing & past research projects:

Teaching Interests

Present PhD students

  • Marta Baltruszewicz "Living Well Within Limits: At the Household Level"
  • Blandine Boeuf "A critical study of Cost-Benefit Analysis in the EU Water Framework Directive planning in France and the UK."
  • Lina Brand Correa "Exploring the energy dependency of human well-being and the economy."
  • David Christopherson "Prioritising human wellbeing in a climate-constrained world"
  • William Goulart da Silva "Assessing the status and potential for sustainability in the Brazilian agri-food system."
  • Joe Hasell "Environmental efficiency of wellbeing across household income classes"
  • Elena Hofferberth (joint with LUBS) "Potential pathways to an equitable post-growth economy"
  • Elke Pirgmaier (joint with LUBS) "Ecological Macroeconomics: Exploring the foundations of an alternative macroeconomic framework for sustainability."
  • Jefim Vogel "The evironmental efficiency of well-being"

Past PhD students

  • Dr Effie Papargyropoulou University of Leeds, split site with UTM Malaysia (2017) "Food waste generation in the hospitality and food service sector: Prevention insights from Malaysia"
  • Dr Arturo Andersen Chinbuah University of Leeds (2017) "The societal metabolism and resource curse of developing economies: a comparative study of Ghana and Ivory Coast"
  • Dr Erica (Rici) Marshall University of Leeds (2016) "Modelling the delivery of low-carbon energy services in residential buildings."
  • Dr Paul Brockway University of Leeds (2016) "National-level energy use, rebound and economic growth: insights from useful work and exergy analysis"
  • Dr Kate Scott University of Leeds (2016) "Integrating embodied emissions into climate change mitigation policy."
  • Dr William Lamb University of Manchester (2016) "Identifying and learning from sustainable development pathways."
  • Dr Cheng Wen University of Leeds (2014) "Payment for Ecosystem Services of the Middle Route of South-to-North Water Transfer Project in China."
  • Dr Katy Roelich University of Leeds (2014) "Physical and institutional challenges of low carbon infrastructure transitions: constraints and potential solutions."
  • Dr Marco Sakai University of Leeds (2013) "An Assessment of the Compatibility between Climate Change Mitigation and Global Development."
  • Dr Dan O'Neill, University of Leeds (2012) "Measuring Progress Towards a Socially Sustainable Steady State Economy."
  • Dr Marlyne Sahakian, University of Geneva (2011) "Staying Cool: Towards a deeper understanding of energy usage among differing socio-economic households in Metro Manila, Philippines"