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 current 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. She works to further efforts to conserve tropical forest, in part by training students from Latin American countries. 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 is currently the faculty director of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History. She is the associate editor for the Island Press-Society for Ecological Restoration book series.


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


  • 1994 
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Biology


Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow