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James AronsonJames Aronson
Senior Scientist Emeritus
Restoration Ecology
Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development


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

Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1990
B.Sc., Washington University in Saint Louis, 1978
The sciences, methodologies, values, and policy of ecological restoration and allied restorative activities, especially as they affect ecosystem 'health' and human health and wellbeing at landscape and higher spatial scales. Thus, how can biodiversity conservation, restoration, livelihood creation, and sustainable local social-economic development be pursued coherently? The evolutionary ecology, biogeography, and role in ecological restoration of trees native to arid, semi-arid, and mediterranean-climate regions. See Desert Trees database.
For Dr. Aronson’s complete CV with list of publications, click here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).
Research Emphases Improving effectiveness and supporting greater integration of science-based, participative ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems as part of coherent programs for conservation, restoration, livelihoods, and sustainable stewardship of the ecosystems and landscapes on which we all depend. The science and research and networking needed to accelerate expand the benefits to ecosystems and people of ecological restoration and related restorative activities, with special emphasis on public health in rural and urban areas. Desert trees and canopies of hot and cold deserts of the world and their micro symbionts : especially related to their roles in ecological restoration, regenerative agroforestry systems, and urban ecosystem revitalization.
Selected Publications

Articles and book chapters
Bradby K., K.J. Wallace A.T. Cross, E.J. Flies, J. Aronson et al. (In review). Four Islands EcoHealth Network: An Australasian initiative building synergies between the restoration of ecosystems and human health. (for Restoration Ecology). Aronson, J., N. Goodwin, L. Orlando, C. Eisenberg and A.T. Cross. 2020. A World of Possibilities: Six Restoration Strategies to support the United Nation's Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Restoration Ecology 28(4). Breed, M.F., Cross, A.T., Wallace, K., Bradby, K., Flies, E., Goodwin, N., Jones, M., Orlando, L., Skelly, C., Weinstein, P. & Aronson. J. 2020. Ecosystem restoration – a public health intervention. EcoHealth. Brancalion, P.H.S., A. Niamir, E. Broadbent, R. Crouzeilles, F.S. Barros, A.M. Almeyda Zambrano, J. Aronson, S. Goetz, J.L. Reid, B.N. Strassburg, L.R. Tambosi, S. Wilson, & R. Chazdon. 2019. Global hotspots for restoring tropical rainforest landscapes. Science Express 5:eaav3223. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav3223. Pérez, D.R., F. M. Farinaccio & J. Aronson. 2019. Towards a Dryland Framework Species Approach. Research in progress in the Monte Austral of Argentina. J. Arid Environments. Cross, A.T., P.G. Neville, K.W. Dixon and J. Aronson. 2019. Time for a paradigm shift towards a restorative culture. Restoration Ecology 27: 924-928. Mazón, M., N, Aguirre, C. Echeverria, J. Aronson. 2019. Monitoring attributes for ecological restoration in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Restoration Ecology. 27: 992-999. Pérez, D.R., C. Pilustrelli, F. M. Farinaccio, G. Sabino & J. Aronson. 2019. Evaluating success of various restorative interventions through drone- and field-collected data, using six putative framework species in Argentinian Patagonia. Restoration Ecology. 28, S1. Gann, G.D., T. McDonald, B. Walder, J. Aronson, C. Nelson, J. Jonson, C. Eisenberg, J.G. Hallett, M. R. Guariguata, J. Liu, F. Hua, C. Echeverría, K. DeCleer, E. Gonzales, & K. Dixon. 2019. International principles and standards for the practice of ecological restoration. Second edition. Restoration Ecology. Blignaut, J.N., J. Aronson. 2019. Developing a restoration narrative: A pathway towards system-wide healing and a restorative culture. Ecological Economics 168: 106483. Aronson, J., D. Simberloff, A. Ricciardi & N. Goodwin. 2018. Restoration science does not need redefinition. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:916. Cross, A.T., R. Young, P. Nevill, T. McDonald, K. Prach, J. Aronson, G.W. Wardell-Johnson & K.W. Dixon. 2018. Appropriate aspirations for effective post-mining restoration and rehabilitation: a response to Kazmierczak et al. Environmental Earth Sciences 77:256. Aronson, J., P.B. Phillipson, E. Le Floc’h & T. Raminosoa. 2018. Dryland tree data for Madagascar: vital elements for conserving and restoring ecosystems of the South-west. Madagascar Conservation and Development.13(1): 60-69. Gann, G.D., T. McDonald, J. Aronson, K. Dixon, B. Walder, J. G. Hallett, K. Decleer, D.A Falk, E. K. Gonzales, C. Murcia, C. Nelson & A. J. Unwin. 2018. The SER Standards: a globally relevant and inclusive tool for improving the practice. Restoration Ecology. Reid, J.L. & J. Aronson. 2017. Ecological Restoration in a Changing Biosphere. Missouri Botanical Garden 102:185–187. Aronson, J., J.N. Blignaut, T.B. Aronson. 2017. Conceptual frameworks and references for landscape-scale restoration: Reflecting back and looking forward. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 102:188-200. Moreno-Mateos, D., E. B. Barbier, P. C. Jones, H. P. Jones, J. Aronson, M.L. McCrackin, P. Meli, D. Montoya, J. M. Rey Benayas. 2017. Anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance and the recovery debt. Nature Communications 8, 14163. Aronson, J., T. B. Aronson, M. A. Patzelt, S. Knees, G. Lewis, D. Lupton, H. Taifour, M.F. Gardner, H. Thompson, S. Al Hatmi & A.W. Al Khulaidi. 2016. Paleorelicts or archaeophytes: enigmatic trees in the Middle East. J. Arid Environments 137: 69-82. Aronson, J., C. M. Blatt, T. B. Aronson. 2016. Restoring ecosystem health to improve human health and well-being: physicians and restoration ecologists unite in a common cause. Ecology and Society 21 (4):39. Aronson, J., A. Clewell, D. Moreno-Mateos 2016. Ecological restoration and ecological engineering: Complementary or indivisable? Ecological Engineering 91:392-395. Chaves, R., G. Durigan, P. Brancalion, J. Aronson. 2015. On the need of legal frameworks for assessing restoration projects success: new perspectives from São Paulo state (Brazil). Restoration Ecology 23:754-759. Moreno-Mateos, D., P. Meli, M.I. Vara Rodriguez, J. Aronson. 2015. Similar responses to different intervention approaches in restored and created wetland ecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology 52: 1528–1537. Murcia, C., J. Aronson, G. Kattan, D. Moreno-Mateos, K. Dixon, D. Simberloff. 2014. A critique of the ´novel ecosystem´ concept. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 29:548-553. Simberloff, D., J-L Martin, P. Genovesi, V. Maris, D. A. Wardle, J. Aronson, F. Courchamp, B. Galil, E. García-Berthou, M. Pascal, P. Pyšek, R. Sousa, E. Tabacchi & M. Vilà. 2013. Impacts of biological invasions: What’s what and the way forward. Trends Ecology & Evolution 28:58-66. Aronson, J., C. Murcia, G. Kattan, D. Moreno-Mateos, K. Dixon & D. Simberloff. 2014. The road to confusion is paved with novel ecosystem labels. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 29:646-647. Neßhöver, C., J. Aronson, J.N. Blignaut, D. Lehr, A. Vakrou, H. Wittmer. 2011. Investing in Ecological Infrastructure. In: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity in National and International Policy Making. Edited by Patrick ten Brink. Earthscan, London and Washington, D.C. Pp. 401-448. Aronson, J.. 2011. Sustainability science demands that we define our terms across diverse disciplines. Landscape Ecology 26:457-460. Bugalho, M.N., M.C. Caldeira, J.S. Pereira, J. Aronson, J.G. Pausas. 2011. Human-shaped Cork oak savannas require human use to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 9:278-286. Aronson, J., J.N. Blignaut, S.J. Milton, D. le Maitre, K. Esler, A. Limouzin, C. Fontaine, M. de Wit, W. Mugido, P. Prinsloo, L. van der Elst, N. Lederer. 2010. Are socio-economic benefits of restoration adequately quantified? A meta-analysis of recent papers (2000-2008) in Restoration Ecology and 12 other scientific journals. Restoration Ecology 18:143-154. de Groot, R., B. Fisher, M. Christie, J. Aronson, L. Braat, R. Haines-Young, J. Gowdy, E. Maltby, A. Neuville, S. Polasky, R. Portela, I. Ring. 2010. Integrating the ecological and economic dimensions in biodiversity and ecosystem service valuation. In: TEEB Foundations: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations. Edited by Pushpam Kumar. Earthscan, London and Washington, D.C. Pp. 9-40. Clewell, A.F., J. Aronson. 2006. Motivations for the Restoration of Ecosystems. Conservation Biology 20: 420-428. Aronson J., E. Le Floc'h. 1996. Vital landscape attributes: missing tools for restoration ecology. Restoration Ecology 4: 377-387. Aronson J., C. Floret, E. Le Floc'h, C. Ovalle, R. Pontanier. 1993. Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems. I. A view from the South. Restoration Ecology 1: 8-17.
L’Enfant, P., A. Gudefin, J. Aronson, P. Boissery, S. Fonbonne, G. Lecaillon. 2016. Ecological Restoration of Fish Nurseries in Shallow Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean Basin. Guidelines and Principles. CREM-IEEM Editions. Perpignan, France. Clewell, A. F., J. Aronson. 2013. Ecological Restoration: Principles, Values, and Structure of an Emerging Profession. 2nd Edition. Island Press, Washington, D.C. Le Floc’h, E. & J. Aronson. 2013. Les Arbres des Déserts. Enjeux et promesses. Actes Sud, Arles. Van Andel, J., J. Aronson, Eds. 2012. Restoration Ecology: The New Frontier. 2nd Ed. Blackwell, Oxford. Blondel, J., J. Aronson, J.-Y. Bodiou, G. Bœuf. 2010. The Mediterranean Basin - biological diversity in space and time. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Aronson, J., S.J. Milton, J. Blignaut, Eds. 2007. Restoring Natural Capital: Science, Business and Practice. Island Press, Washington, DC. Aronson, J.. 1989. HALOPH: Salt Tolerant Plants of the World a computerized global data base of halophytes with emphasis on their economic uses. University of Arizona Press: Tucson. (See also Halophytes).