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Dr. Clive G. Jones

Terrestrial Ecologist | D.Phil, University of York, United Kingdom

biodiversity, environmental management

Clive Jones has spent much of his career studying how organisms physically and chemically modify the non-living environment, and the consequences for other species and ecological processes. This rapidly growing field of science pioneered by Jones is called Ecosystem Engineering. Dam-building beavers, earthworms plowing soil, and plants stabilizing sand dunes are some examples of organisms that serve as engineers in nature.

Humans are clearly ecosystem engineers par excellence; agriculture is but one case in point. Jones explores how ecosystem engineering principles can be applied to understanding human environmental modification, with the goal of improving practices so that there is less collateral adverse impact: for example, allowing rivers to meander, which provides flood control, rather than straightening them. Of particular interest to Jones is the possibility of using nature’s engineers to do environmental modification work: deploying beavers to create habitats for species; reintroducing native earthworms in European farms to enhance soil fertility.

The concept of ecosystem engineering illustrates a more general strategy of both using natural processes and mimicking nature in order to enhance environmental sustainability. Helping to develop ecological engineering as a practical arm of sustainability science has been a central thrust of Jones’s efforts since 2006. Working with French colleagues, he has built a multidisciplinary network of ecological, environmental and social scientists, engineers, management practitioners, business leaders, and government decision makers. Most recently, Jones helped transform an elite engineering and management school in Paris into an ecological engineering and management school.

The best intended environmental ethics and policies can’t bring about change if the capacity for effective implementation is not also present. The immediacy, complexity and interconnectedness of the environmental challenges faced by humanity require a rapid new integration of scientific, technological and management expertise, and a major commitment to training the next generation of managers in sustainable practice of wild lands to cities and all in between. The ecosystem engineering approach is central to this endeavor.

Gutiérrez, Jorge L., Clive G. Jones, P.D. Ribiero, Stuart E. G. Findlay, and Peter M. Groffman. 2018. “Crab Burrowing Limits Surface Litter Accumulation In A Temperate Salt Marsh: Implications For Ecosystem Functioning And Connectivity”. Ecosystems 21 (5): 1000 - 1012. doi:10.1007/s10021-017-0200-6.
Strayer, David L., C. M. D'Antonio, Franz Essl, Mike S. Fowler, Juergen Geist, Sabine Hilt, Ivan Jaric, et al. 2017. “Boom-Bust Dynamics In Biological Invasions: Towards An Improved Application Of The Concept”. Ecology Letters 20 (10 Suppl. 3): 1337 - 1350. doi:10.1111/ele.12822.
Manning, A. D., D. J. Eldridge, and Clive G. Jones. 2015. “Policy Implications Of Ecosystem Engineering For Multiple Ecosystem Benefits”. In Advances In Reintroduction Biology Of Australian And New Zealand Fauna, 167-180. CSIRO Publishing.
Matthews, Blake, Luc De Meester, Clive G. Jones, Bas W. Ibelings, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Visa Nuutinen, Johan van de Koppel, and John Odling-Smee. 2014. “Under Niche Construction: An Operational Bridge Between Ecology, Evolution, And Ecosystem Science”. Ecological Monographs 84 (2): 245 - 263. doi:10.1890/13-0953.1.
Wratt, G., G. Fitt, Clive G. Jones, C. Knox, A. Lowe, K. Marshall, D. Metcalfe, R. Morris, A. Watt, and S. Whitten. 2014. “National Science Challenges, New Zealand’s Biological Heritage, Independent Assessment Panel”.
Sanders, Dirk, Clive G. Jones, Elisa Thébault, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Tjisse van der Heide, Jim van Belzen, and Sébastien Barot. 2014. “Integrating Ecosystem Engineering And Food Webs”. Oikos 123 (5): 513 - 524. doi:10.1111/more.2014.123.issue-510.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.01011.x.
Gillis, L. G., Tjeerd J. Bouma, Clive G. Jones, M. M. van Katwijk, I. Nagelkerken, C. J. L. Jeuken, P. M. J. Herman, and A. D. Ziegler. 2014. “Potential For Landscape-Scale Positive Interactions Among Tropical Marine Ecosystems”. Marine Ecology Progress Series 503: 289 - 303. doi:10.3354/meps10716.
Gutiérrez, Jorge L., Clive G. Jones, and Ronaldo Sousa. 2014. “Toward An Integrated Ecosystem Perspective Of Invasive Species Impacts”. Acta Oecologica 54: 131 - 138. doi:10.1016/j.actao.2013.10.003.
Raynaud, Xavier, Clive G. Jones, and Sébastien Barot. 2013. “Ecosystem Engineering, Environmental Decay And Environmental States Of Landscapes”. Oikos 122 (4). Blackwell Publishing Ltd: 591-600. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.20283.x.
Stokes, Alexia, Sébastien Barot, Jean-Christophe Lata, Gerard Lacroix, Clive G. Jones, and W. J. Mitsch. 2012. “Ecological Engineering: From Concepts To Applications”. Ecol. Eng. 45: 1-4. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.04.035.
Jones, Clive G. 2012. “Ecosystem Engineers And Geomorphological Signatures In Landscapes”. Geomorphology 157: 75-87. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.04.039.
Jones, Clive G. 2012. “Grand Challenges For The Future Of Ecological Engineering”. Ecol. Eng. 45 (SI): 80-84. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.02.023.
Mitsch, W. J., Alexia Stokes, and Clive G. Jones. 2012. “Ecological Engineering: Its Development, Applications And Challenges”. Ecol. Eng.
Rozzi, Ricardo, Juan J. Armesto, Julio R. Gutiérrez, F. Massardo, Gene E. Likens, M.T. Kalin, C.B. Anderson, et al. 2012. “Integrating Ecology And Environmental Ethics: Earth Stewardship In The Southern End Of The Americas”. Bioscience 62: 226-236.
Weathers, Kathleen C., Holly A. Ewing, Clive G. Jones, and David L. Strayer. 2012. “Controls On Ecosystem Structure And Function”. In K. C. Weathers, D. L. Strayer And G. E. Likens (Eds.). Fundamentals Of Ecosystem Science, 215-230. Academic Press, Inc.
Gutiérrez, Jorge L., Clive G. Jones, J.E. Byers, K.K. Arkema, K. Berkenbusch, J.A. Commito, C. M. Duarte, et al. 2012. “Physical Ecosystem Engineers And The Functioning Of Estuaries And Coasts”. In Heip, C. H. R., C. J. M. Philippart, And J. J. Middelburg, (Eds.). Functioning Of Estuaries And Coastal Ecosystems, Volume 7, Treatise On Estuarine And Coastal Science, E. Wolanski, E., And Mclusky, D. S. (Series Eds.), Academic Press, Waltham, 53-81. Oxford: Elsevier.
Jones, Clive G. 2011. “Ensuring Success Of Mimshak, The New Isees Environmental Science-To-Policy Fellowship Program. (Hebrew Version)”. Ecol. Environ. 2: 232-233.
Jones, Clive G. 2011. “Ensuring Success Of Mimshak, The New Isees Environmental Science-To-Policy Fellowship Program. (English Version)”. Ecol. Environ. 2: 232-233.
Barbosa, O., P.A. Marquet, L.D. Bacigalupe, D. A. Christie, E. del-Val, A. G. Gutiérrez, Clive G. Jones, Kathleen C. Weathers, and Juan J. Armesto. 2010. “Interactions Among Patch Area, Forest Structure And Water Fluxes In A Fog-Inundated Forest Ecosystem In Semiarid Chile”. Funct. Ecol 24: 909-917. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2010.01697.x.
Ostfeld, Richard S., and Clive G. Jones. 2010. “The Ecology Of Place In Oak Forests: Progressive Integration Of Pairwise Interactions Into Webs”. In I. A. Billick And M. V. Price (Eds). The Ecology Of Place: Contributions Of Place-Based Research To Ecological Understanding, 207-228. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.