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Professor of Restoration Ecology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Karen Holl is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on understanding how local and landscape scale processes affect ecosystem recovery from human disturbance and using this information to restore damaged ecosystems. Her research is focused in rain forests in Latin America and chaparral, grassland, and riparian systems in California. She oversees a long-term tropical forest restoration study in southern Costa Rica and has worked with students and collaborators in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama. She advises numerous land management and conservation organizations in California and internationally on ecological restoration projects. She is the author of "Primer of Ecological Restoration" published in 2020 by Island Press. She teaches courses in restoration ecology, conservation biology, and environmental problem solving. She has served as chair of the Environmental Studies Department at UCSC and the as faculty director of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History.


  • –present
    Professor of Restoration Ecology, University of California, Santa Cruz


  • 1994 
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Biology


Fellow of the Ecological Society of America, Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, 2017 co-winner of the Theodore Sperry Award of the Society for Ecological Restoration, Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences