Justin Jonson is an ecologist and Managing Director of Threshold Environmental.
He is a visionary habitat restoration guru and has worked on many projects, mainly in the south-west of WA.
It was a small patch of soil that first made Justin realise he was not master of all he surveyed. The ecologist had returned to look over his first big restoration project at Beringa Reserve, when he suddenly noticed that some soil was a bit richer than the surrounding area.
“What came into my mind was: nature has got control of this. I had thought that I was creating nature, but I saw suddenly that I was the servant of a process that is way more complex than I will ever understand. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life,” he says.
“What I do is a mixture between science and art: it’s designing by reading the cues that nature gives me and then creating a design that best supports those natural cues and processes,” Justin says.
His technique provides not only food for thought but also for animals, with the creation of a wide variety of forage and homes to support their different needs. Pygmy possums, dunnarts, black-gloved wallabies, mallee fowl and legless lizards are among the creatures the project hopes to encourage back.
Ultimately, Justin believes that the complexity of ecology makes it more than just the sum of its parts and restoration more than the mere re‑assembling of them. There’s magic in its synergy. “Life has a power of its own,” Justin says.
Click here to view a video of Justin Jonson speaking at the AABR Seminar in 2014, about large scale reconstruction of semi-arid ecosystems in South West WA.