Restoration Biologist

Restoration biologists study and monitor species and habitats with a focus on projects that aim to rebuild ecosystems that have been damaged by human action and/or climate change. They provide expertise and guidance in planning and conducting habitat, watershed, and stream channel restoration projects, monitoring endangered species, and coordinating conservative activities. They also prepare reports on pollution reduction activities, conduct research, and work on public awareness programs.

At a Glance

Imagine you are standing on a section of vast prairie land thriving with the biodiversity of both plant and animal species. Just last year, this area and its species were extremely threatened, and you were responsible for bringing the area back to life. You have spent hours on the project doing everything from collecting samples to informing the community on the issue. Today, you’re pleased to see the progress the area and its surrounding community have made.

As a restoration biologist, you study and monitor species and habitats. You coordinate programs to study threatened ecosystems and evaluate the ecosystems through research, fieldwork, site visits, and analysis.

When restoration is required, you’re in charge of managing and evaluating the project. You also prepare reports on pollution reduction activities, conduct research, and work on public awareness programs.

Your work is completed in a variety of locations. Much of your time is spent outdoors visiting sites, evaluating ecosystems, and collecting data.

Indoors, you spend time in the lab testing the samples you have collected in the field. You also spend time in the office planning projects, preparing progress reports, summarizing data, and managing budgets.

You return home every evening feeling fulfilled by your work to restore ecosystems and protect biodiversity.

Job Duties

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as a restoration biologist:

  • Assess the current state of ecosystems and identify any factors that may be causing environmental degradation.
  • Develop plans to restore degraded ecosystems and protect them from further damage.
  • Implement restoration projects such as reforestation, wetland creation, or invasive species removal.
  • Monitor the success of restoration projects over time and make adjustments as necessary to ensure long-term ecological sustainability.
  • Educate the public about the importance of preserving and restoring natural ecosystems and work with community groups to involve them in restoration projects.
  • Conduct research into ecological processes and interactions within natural ecosystems and use the information to improve restoration efforts.
  • Work with other professionals such as engineers, hydrologists, and environmental consultants to develop and implement restoration projects.
  • Write reports to document findings and communicate results to stakeholders, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the public.

Work Environment

Restoration biologist's work is completed in a variety of locations. They spend much time outdoors visiting sites, evaluating ecosystems, and collecting data. Indoors, they spend time in the lab testing the samples they have collected in the field. They also spend time in the office planning projects, preparing progress reports, summarizing data, and managing budgets.

 The lab:

  • Collecting and analyzing soil and water samples
  • Conducting genetic analysis
  • Conducting experiments
  • Growing and propagating plants
  • Monitoring health of plants and animals
  • Data analysis and report writing

The office:

  • Planning and scheduling
  • Budgeting and grant writing
  • Data management
  • Communication and outreach
  • Writing reports and publications

The field:

  • Conducting field assessments
  • Developing and implementing restoration plans
  • Monitoring ecosystem health
  • Collecting field data
  • Working with community members and stakeholders
  • Conducting research

Maintaining equipment and supplies

Where to Work

There are several places where restoration biologists can find employment. They include:

  • Federal, provincial/territorial, regional, and civic government
  • Natural resource consulting firms
  • Non-government organizations
  • Environmental conservation organizations
  • Environmental consulting firms

Search for jobs on the ECO Canada Job Board.

Education and Skills


If you are a high school student considering a career as a restoration biologist, you should have a background or interest in:

  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry

The following postsecondary programs are most applicable for a career in restoration biologist:

  • Wildlife biology
  • Conservation biology
  • Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental science

In most cases, an undergraduate degree from an accredited post-secondary institution is required to pursue a career in restoration biology. Furthermore, many restoration biologist positions involve research and require a graduate degree.

Biologists are regulated in Alberta and British Columbia.

Our Environmental Professional (EP) designation can also help you progress in your chosen environmental career.


Technical Skills

  • Data collection
  • Statistical analysis
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Technical writing
  • Plant and animal identification
  • Project management
  • Data management
  • Safety and Risk Assessment
  • Equipment Management

Personal and Professional Skills

  • Oral and written communication
  • Detail-oriented
  • Stamina and endurance for fieldwork
  • Leadership
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team setting
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Planning
  • Problem-Solving

Environmental employers seek professionals who combine technical knowledge with personal and professional skills. Watch our free webinar Essential Not Optional: Skills Needed to Succeed in Canada’s Environmental Industry or take our Essential Skills courses.

Role Models

Your Impact

Restoration biologists play a crucial role in repairing and revitalizing ecosystems that have been degraded or damaged by human activities, natural disasters, or other environmental disturbances. They apply ecological principles, scientific knowledge, and practical techniques to restore the functionality, diversity, and resilience of ecosystems.

One of their primary responsibilities is to develop restoration plans and outline specific goals, objectives, and strategies for ecosystem recovery. They consider the historical conditions of the ecosystem and design interventions that mimic natural processes.

Restoration biologists assess the current state of degraded ecosystems through field studies, data analysis, and mapping. They identify key ecological factors, such as soil composition, water quality, and plant and animal species present in the area.

Their work studying ecosystem dynamics, developing new restoration techniques, and exploring innovative solutions to environmental challenges contribute to the body of scientific research. They also use scientific methods to monitor the success of interventions, evaluate ecological indicators and adapt their strategies based on the observed outcomes.

Restoration biologists work on restoring habitats by reintroducing native plant species, rebuilding soil structures, and creating suitable conditions for the return of native wildlife. They contribute to the control and management of invasive species.

By combining scientific knowledge with practical skills, restoration biologists contribute significantly to the ongoing effort to conserve and restore ecosystems, ultimately promoting environmental health and biodiversity.

Occupational Classification

Restoration biologists are classified in the following occupational grouping:

NOC Code: 21110 - Biologists and related scientists

What is a NOC Code?

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labour market. It gives statisticians, labour market analysts, career counsellors, employers, and individual job seekers a consistent way to collect data and describe and understand the nature of work within different occupations.

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