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Pursuing basic ecological science to help conserve and restore ecosystems


Restoration Lab

Welcome to the Research Laboratory of 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' British Ecology Society Talk!









Lab News

Congratulations to Dr. Jones who was awarded NIU's top research honor - the Presidential Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Professorship, NIU's Outstanding Faculty Mentor award, and the Friends of Nachusa Grasslands Robert and Patricia Anderson Outstanding Contribution to Science at Nachusa Grasslands awards!


Congratulations to doctoral candidate Reg Francia, who had her first paper come out recently, received an NSF INTERN supplement to work with Belmont Forum, received an internal summer grant to help with her work on Redlining Restoration, and who was awarded NIU's Rhoten A Smith Fellowship!

Congratulations to MSc student in the lab Sam Berk, who received honorable mention for the NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program!


Congratulations to Dr. Erin Rowland-Schaefer, who successfully defended her dissertation and will be moving to Middle Tennessee State for a post-doc, for which she wrote and received an NSF Post-doctoral Fellowship award. Bon voyage, Erin; we will miss you!!

Congratulations to post-doc in the lab Katharine Hogan, who's had a couple papers come out recently about animal responses to bison and fire at Nachusa and the impacts of invasive honeysuckle control on native plants.

Congratulations to MSc students Sam Berk and Lizzy Small and lab tech Ana Guthrie on receiving Friends of Nachusa Grasslands grants to support their research endeavors! Thanks, Friends, for supporting our lab!

Congratulations to PhD candidate Erin Rowland-Schaefer who received an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant for her research on small mammals in prairies! 

Lab Wundergrad Allyson Thompson was named a Yale Conservation Scholar for summer 2023 and did an internship with Sharon Audubon in Connecticut. You rock, Allyson!

Lab Wundergrad Christiana Guthrie did a Research Experience for Undergraduates on our CAPER project and will not be starting as a lab tech!

Congratulations to Lizzy Small for receiving a research grant from Friends of Nachusa Grasslands for her work on small mammal trophic dynamics at Nachusa Grasslands!

Congratulations to Reg Francia, who passed her PhD Candidacy Exam and is a PI for a restoration synthesis grant through the SCore program.

Welcome to the lab new Postdoctoral Fellow Katharine Hogan! She's working on the Community Assembly in Prairie Ecosystem Restoration (CAPER) project!

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

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

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