Clive Jones on Ecosystems, Economy and Society
Cary's Clive Jones speaks at an International Conference exploring how large-scale restoration can stimulate sustainable development.
Clive Jones has spent much of his career studying how organisms physically modify the non-living environment and the consequences for those species, other species, and ecological processes. This now well-established field of basic and applied science pioneered by Jones is called ecosystem engineering. Dam-building beavers, earthworms plowing soil, plants stabilizing sand dunes, and soil crusts made by microbes are a few of many examples of species engineering the environment.
Humans are ecosystem engineers par excellence – agriculture is just one example. Jones explores how knowledge of nature’s ecosystem engineers can be used to help understand human environmental modification with the goal of reducing adverse collateral impacts, such as allowing rivers to meander to enhance flood control, rather than straightening them. Of particular interest to Jones is the growing use of nature’s engineers to do the work of environmental modification. Examples include reintroducing beaver to regulate hydrology and create habitats for species; using coral reefs, oyster reefs, mangroves, and salt grass to increase coastal protection and improve water quality; and reintroducing native earthworms in agriculture to enhance soil drainage, aeration, and soil fertility.
The application of our basic understanding of nature’s ecosystem engineers illustrates dual strategies of using natural processes and mimicking nature to enhance environmental sustainability. Helping develop ecosystem engineering into a practical arm of sustainability science has also been an emphasis of Jones’ efforts. This has included helping build multidisciplinary networks of scientists, practitioners and decision makers oriented around application of ecosystem engineering, and incorporating ecosystem engineering into the training of environmental engineers and managers.
Jones has also contributed to understanding complex interaction webs in oak forests that connect oaks and acorns with insect outbreaks and Lyme disease. His earlier work in chemical ecology involved the development of theories on evolution of the diversity of chemical defenses, and empirical work on interactions among plants, herbivores, microbes, and environmental stress. He has also contributed to ecological synthesis, integration and theory.
Every winter, ski resorts groom trails using heavy machines that do a great job flattening the snow, but also compact the soil underneath. In the offseason, the compacted soil makes it hard for vegetation to regrow, so a lot of money is invested in re-vegetation.
Acorns are a key food for white-footed mice. The mice are key predators on Gypsy Moth pupae. When there are many acorns the mouse population increases, which keeps the moth population low
Primary interests in this area are focused on the utilization of ecosystem engineering species; applying lessons learnt from the study of Nature's engineers to human environmental engineering; and the promotion and development of the discipline and practice of ecological engineering.
Ecologist, Emeritus Senior Scientist
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Tozer Ecosystem Science Building
2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44). P.O. Box AB
Telephone: (845) 677-5343
Google Scholar Profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=2xgMtQcAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao
D. Phil. Biology, University of York, UK, 1978
B.Sc. (Honors Class1) Biology, University of Salford, UK, 1974
Emeritus Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2016 - Present
Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2008 - 2016
Senior Scientist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2004 - 2008
Scientist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 1993 - 2004
Associate Scientist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 1987 - 1992
Assistant Scientist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 1983 - 1986
Chemical Ecologist, Cary Arboretum, 1980 - 1983
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Georgia, 1978 - 1980
Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences Visiting Professor
Invited Professor, AgroParisTech, Paris, France
Chaire Internationale de Recherche Blaise Pascal
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow
Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Winston Churchill Traveling Fellow
British Ecological Society Traveling Fellow
Clive Jones is recognized as the founder of the basic and applied research field of ecosystem engineering. He was a founder of the Ecological Engineering Applications Group in France; a founding editorial board member of the journal SAPIENS (Surveys and Perspectives Integrating Environment and Society); an editorial board member and Associate Editor for Functional Ecology; and a special issues editor for BioScience and Ecological Engineering. He was an international expert for the Institut Veolia and has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels. He is a contributing consultant on ecosystem engineering for Guinness World Records; and a member of the Board of Directors of This is My Earth.org.