Pursuing basic ecological science to help conserve and restore ecosystems


Restoration Lab

Welcome to the Research Laboratory of Associate Professor Holly Jones


We train students to foster curiosity about how ecosystems work and their underlying ecology and to pursue ecological research that enhances environmental stewardship.  Our research focuses on how best to prioritize restoration, the links between ecosystem restoration/conservation and human well-being in the face of global climate change, and maximizing restoration gains and investigating restoration trajectories at the local, regional, and global scale.  We work with non-profit organizations, governmental organizations, land-managers, and the public to ensure our research has on-the-ground applications.

Check out Dr. Jones' National Geographic Society Lightning Talk!









Lab News

Congratulations to Tony Del Vallé, who was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student and Terwilliger Awards at NIU and 2nd place presentation at Illinois' The Wildlife Society Conference.

Congratulations to Lab Technician Sam Berk, who won a grant from the Illinois Native Plant Society!

Congratulations to graduating BSc student Olivia Koehn, who will be starting full time work with a local Forest Preserve District after graduating!

Congratulations to Andrew Dreelin who won a grant for his research on birds and prairie dogs in Montana from American Ornithological Society!

Congratulations to PhD candidate Erin Rowland and MSc student Jesse Sikora, who received grants for their research in prairies from Friends of Nachusa Grasslands! 

Welcome to the lab, Reg Francia! Reg is working on the Community Assembly in Prairie Ecosystem Restoration project and a global restoration meta analysis.


Congratulations to newly minted Dr. Christy Wails for her new post-doc position working with Jim Fraser at Virgina Tech!

Congratulations to post-docs Pete Guiden and John Vanek on their new faculty and post-doc positions, respectively!

MSc student Wieteke Holthuijzen started as a PhD student in Dr. Dan Simberloff's lab at University of Tennessee Knoxville. Congrats, Wieteke!


Post-doc Pete Guiden and collaborators recently published a study on how bison, fire, and seeding impact animal communities in restored prairie in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Many members of the lab have co-founded NIU's Inclusive Birding Club

Dr. Jones and collaborator Dr. Nick Barber won a National Science Foundation to study the functional consequences of species losses and gains in restored prairies! See more about that here.

Huge congrats to Tony Del Vallé who earned a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a grant from Bureau of Land Management to study grassland bird responses to bison grazing!

Congratulations to PhD student Penny Pascoe, who earned a Fullbright Fellowship to visit the lab from her home university - University of Tasmania. She applied to further her PhD research - using stable isotopes to quantify seabird-driven island recovery. We can't wait to host you!

Our lab stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and against racism.