Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Holly Jones is an internationally recognized biologist who has conducted important research on some the world’s most beautiful islands, but those experiences are far from the most rewarding part of her career, she says.
“Interacting with strong young women and younger elementary and high school students is easily the most satisfying part of my job,” says Jones, who holds a joint appointment at NIU with Biological Sciences and the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy.
A National Geographic Explorer, Jones is committed to encouraging women to pursue careers in science.
She co-curates a “Field Secrets” blog that showcases the unique experiences of women conducting scientific fieldwork. She has written posts for top media, such as Scientific American, about how to make science more welcoming to women, especially moms. She interacts regularly with K-12 students and visits her daughters' schools to talk about what life as a conservation biologist is like. Among NIU students, she currently is mentoring five women.
“A few inspirational people helped shape my career in STEM,” Jones says. “I know that given my position, I have the power to do the same for the next generation. It’s a responsibility I enjoy immensely and never take lightly.”
Research led by NIU Department of Biological Sciences professor Holly Jones shows the best way to save native island animals from extinction is to eradicate the uninvited guests.