Luc Hens, Emeritus Professor Human ecology.


Luc Hens graduated as a biologist and received his Ph. D. in Biology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. Until 2010 He was a professor and Chair of the human ecology department. He currently lectures at the Leuven Universty/Odysee (Belgium), the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy (Sofia, Bulgaria) , at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), and at Lisbon University (Portugal). He was a senior scientific adviser at the “Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek” (VITO), which is Belgium’s biggest environmental research organization. He is currently retired as an emeritus professor. Professor Hens’ specific area of research concerns the elucidation of interdisciplinary instruments for sustainable development. In this framework, he acted as the promoter of over 80 research projects in Belgium and abroad (Vietnam, Cuba, South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana, Ukraine, and Bulgaria). He promoted master and Ph. D theses works. He participated in Ph. D jury’s in over 10 different universities. Luc Hens is the author or co-author of 130 papers in international peer reviewed journal. He (co-)edited 43 books, and wrote 125 book reviews. Luc Hens acts as an expert in environmental health policy on several councils in Belgium. He is the Editor in Chief for the Springer journal “Environment, Development and Sustainability”. He acts as the book editor for the “International Journal of Environment and Pollution”. He holds “Doctor Honoris Causa” awards from the universities of Sofia (Bulgaria) and Sumy (Ukraine).


Luc Hens lectured on a variety on interdisciplinary courses in the interphase between environment and human society. The most noticeable ones are:

  • Human ecology : Lectures and practical’s introducing human ecology and sustainable development as interdisciplinary approaches to environmental issues. Basic elements, history, vision, concepts, methods, worldwide applications, cases on biodiversity and indigenous knowledge. A derivative course on interdisciplinary methods in human ecological research was lectured at the universities of Lisbon (UNL) and Sumy.
  • Interdisciplinary instruments for environmental management: Focuses on the origin, evolution, application and assessment of environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, sustainability assessment, health impact assessment, environmental management, life cycle analysis, environmental planning and derived instruments as ecolabels.
  • Environmental health deals with the environment-public health nexus: The lectures provide an introduction to the origin, history, scope and vision of this discipline. The core part focuses on health impact assessment and sustainable healthcare. Theory is complemented with a series of case studies.
  • Sustainable tourism: The lectures are structured along three lines: The environment-tourism nexus proves an introduction to the environmental, economic, social and ethical aspects of tourism (related to the environment). The second part provides a series of real cases pointing to opportunities and problems on environment and tourism. The third part deals with international policy on the subject and introduces the instruments needed to implement this policy.


My research interests are centered around “Interdisciplinary instruments for environmental management”. I did projects on EIA assessment, environmental management, life cycle analysis, sustainable development, health impacts of increasing traffic flows both in Belgium and abroad. I am particularly interested in the fundamental aspects driving these instruments, their application and their policy implications.

Social activities

Luc Hens is a member of the Belgian Superior Health Council, of which he chairs the the working party on "Chemicals-Environmental health". He equaly chairs the Federal Belgian Committee for the Market Admission of Biocides. Previously he was a member of different environmental policy advisory boards, among which the Federal Council for Sustainable Development. In this capacity he was member of the official Belgian delegation to the UNCED conference in Rio de Janero (Brazil, 1992) and the WSSD in Johannesburg (South Africa, 2002). These activities allowed following from closely the academic and policy development and implementation of sustainable development both in Belgium and abroad. Luc Hens acted and acts as a member of the council of administrations of the Flemish Institute of Technological Research (2002-2008) and the Dirk Frimout Foundation (1998 - now).

Recent publications

  • Yang M.Y., Van Collie F., Hens L., De Wulf R., Ou X.K., Zhang Z.M. (2014) Nature conservation versus scenic quality: A GIS approach towards optimized tourist tracks in a protected area of Northwest Yunnan. Journal of Mountain Science 11(1).The paper is also available at
  • Cabello-Eras J.J., Sagastume Gutiérrez A., Hernadez Capote D., Hens L. Vandecasteele C. (2013) Improving the environmental performance of an earthwork project using cleaner production strategies. J. Cleaner Production 47, 368-376.
  • Hens L., Stoyanov S. (2014) Education for climate changes, environmental health and environmental justice. Journal of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy 49 (2), 194-208
  • Vu Van Hieu, Le Xuan Quynh, Pham Ngoc Ho, Hens L. (2013) Application of GIS and modeling in health risk assessment for urban road and mobility. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 20 (8), 5138-5149 DOI 10.1007/s11356-013-1492-5
  • Xuan-Quynh Le, Van-Hieu Vu, Luc Hens, Bas Van Heur (2014) Stakeholder perceptions and involvement in the implementation of EMS in ports in Vietnam and Cambodia. J. Cleaner Production, 64, 173-193, ISSN 0959-6526, (
  • Hens L., Stoyanov S. (2014) Education for climate changes, environmental health and environmental justice. J. Chemical Technology and Metallurgy 49(2), 194-208
  • Cabello-Eras J.J., Corvas Varela D., Hernandez-Pérez G.D., Sagastume-Gutiérrez A., Garcia-Lorenzo D., Vandecasteele C., Hens L. (2014) Comparative study of the urban quality of life in Cuban first level cities from an objective dimension. Environment, Development and Sustainability 16 (1), 195-216
  • Passchier W., Hens L. Eds. (2015) Cumulative and Integrated Health Impact assessment (Special issue) International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Under preparation
  • Hens L. (2014) An evidence based data set on climate changes for developing countries. Environment, Development and Sustainability 16(2) 255-256
  • Nicolopoulou-Stamati P., Matiatos I., Kotampasi C., Stamatis P., Sasco A.J., Protopapa E., Hens L. (2015) Training in environmental health necessitates tacit knowledge. Environment, Development and Sustainability 17(2), 299-314
  • Sagastume-Gutiérrez A., Cabello-Eras J.J., Garcia-Lorenzo D., Vandecasteele C., Hens L. (2015) Bridging universities and industry through cleaner production activities. Experiences from the Cleaner Production Center at the University of Cienfuegos, Cuba. J. Cleaner Production available at
  • Nguyen Q.A., Hens L. (2015) Environmental performance of the cement industry in Vietnam: the influence of ISO14001 certification. J. Cleaner Production 96, 362-378
  • Nguyen An Thinh, Vu Anh Dung, Vu Van Phai, Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, Le Trinh Hai(, Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Nguyen Viet Thanh, Hoang Khac Lich, Vu Duc Thanh, Luong Thi Tuyen, Pham Minh Tam, Luc Hens (2015) Human ecological effects of tropical storms in the coastal area of Ky Anh (Ha Tinh, Vietnam). Environment, Development and Sustainability, in press


Mail has been sent, I will contact you as soon as possible.

Please leave your contact details and I will contact you as soon as possible.