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Leighton Reid, Ph.D.Leighton Reid, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist (Restoration Ecology)
Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development

office phone: + 1 (314) 577-9473 x76513

Blog: Natural History of Ecological Restoration

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

Ph.D., in Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, 2013
M.A., in Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, 2011
B.S., in Environmental Studies, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, 2006
As a restoration ecologist, Dr. Leighton Reid aims to improve ecological restoration outcomes through applied research, capacity building, and public engagement. Since 2014, Dr. Reid has been in the Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development, where he collaborates with botanists, reintroduction biologists, and conservation ecologists to address biodiversity conservation issues regionally and globally. Dr. Reid co-directs the Restoration Ecology program with Dr. James Aronson.

Dr. Reid’s research encompasses tropical and temperate terrestrial ecosystems in the United States Central Highlands, Costa Rica, and Madagascar. His approach includes observing ecosystem recovery, identifying barriers to ecosystem development, and designing and testing strategies to improve restoration outcomes. Dr. Reid has studied birds, bats, seed dispersal, tree communities, vascular epiphytes, and human dimensions of restoration in southern Costa Rica, small mammal communities in California and Oregon, and long-term plant community changes in eastern hardwood forests.

Dr. Reid teaches Restoration Ecology at the University of Missouri Saint Louis. He has served as a resource and visiting faculty member for numerous field ecology courses with the Organization for Tropical Studies and has taught a high school study field ecology course in Ecuador. Dr. Reid also participates in the Missouri Botanical Garden Research Experience for Undergraduates program.
For Dr. Reid complete CV with list of publications, click here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).



Virtually all visions for a sustainable global future include a strong role for ecosystem restoration, and the practice of ecological restoration has been invigorated in recent years by large-scale commitments spanning tens of millions of hectares in dozens of countries. Putting these ambitions into practice will require a well-informed citizenry with the motivation and capacity to responsibly manage local environments. As a teacher, I aim for students to cultivate a curiosity for natural history, to develop competency in ecological principles and field methods, and to apply their knowledge towards self-directed research and responsible environmental management.

Recent Courses
Restoration Ecology (BIOL 4920/6920)
This course at the University of Missouri Saint Louis aims to introduce students to key concepts and applications in the science and practice of ecological restoration. The goals of the course are for students to achieve competency in natural and social dimensions of ecological restoration, and to critically evaluate and appreciate the role of ecological restoration in conservation, globally and locally. Last offered Spring 2017.

Galápagos Study Abroad Program
Though he only visited for a few weeks, the Galápagos Islands are intimately associated with Charles Darwin in providing seeds for thought with his formulation of natural selection. This volcanic archipelago continues to be a living laboratory of evolution, harboring plants and animals found nowhere else on earth and with striking differences between organisms from island to island. The focus of this 10-day program at Woodberry Forest School is natural history, visiting not only a number of the islands, but also spending time at sites around Quito in the Andes Mountains and an overnight trip into the Amazon rain forest. Last offered with James Reid (Woodberry Forest School) in June 2015.

Course materials