Justin C. Luong Ph.D


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Dr. Justin Luong is an Assistant Professor in the Forestry, Fire, and Rangeland Department at Cal Poly Humboldt, where he specializes in restoration ecology. His research interests center around adapting restoration practices for changing climates and integrating socio-economic and management perspectives to understand restoration outcomes. Dr. Luong is particularly dedicated to promoting multi-use landscapes that balance range productivity and conserve native plant biodiversity. Dr. Luong completed his Bachelor’s at the University of California (UC) Santa Barbara, and worked as an undergraduate researcher in the D’Antonio lab. He earned his PhD at UC Santa Cruz working with Dr. Michael Loik and Dr. Karen Holl in the Environmental Studies Department and worked as a USDA postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis with Dr. Jennifer Funk.

Prior to his role as an academic, Dr. Luong worked as a restoration coordinator at The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, where he continues to remain a research affiliate. As a part of that time Dr. Luong contributed to the recovery and currently serves on the USFWS Endangered Species Recovery Team for Lupinus nipomensis. Dr. Luong actively currently contributes to the broader conservation community through various leadership positions. He serves as a board member of the California Native Grassland Association, working to advance the conservation and management of native grasslands throughout the state. He is also a technical advisory committee member for the Big Sur Land Trust, where he provides insights on ecological restoration and grazing land management. Dr. Luong serves as an officer of the Ecological Society of America’s Restoration Ecology Section.

Dr. Luong is deeply invested in mentorship and actively fosters the growth of aspiring ecologists. He has been involved in guiding and supervising numerous students, supporting their research endeavors and helping them develop into skilled professionals. Dr. Luong continues to maintain a undergraduate research internship program started at UCSC in 2018. Through this program, the Luong lab provides hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate students, allowing them to engage in real-world restoration projects. Dr. Luong’s mentorship philosophy centers on nurturing critical thinking, scientific rigor, and a deep appreciation for ecological systems. He is dedicated to cultivating a diverse and inclusive learning environment that empowers students to tackle the complex challenges of restoration ecology and make a positive impact in their respective careers.

Dr. Luong actively welcomes collaborations in areas related to restoration, rangeland ecology, and plant functional traits. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of ecological research, he values the power of collaboration in addressing complex challenges. Dr. Luong also invites visting and postdoctoral scholars that may already have existing funds that support their travel. He is also open to working with visiting scholars and postdoctoral scholars to obtain grant funding for their work. Inquiries can be sent to justin.luong@humboldt.edu