Welcome to the Turner Lab!
Our research emphasizes landscape ecology (the study of interactions between spatial patterns and ecological processes) and ecosystem ecology (the study of flows of energy and matter through organisms and the environment). We are primarily a terrestrial ecology group but we also study land-water interactions. We pursue question-driven research in remote wilderness settings and in agricultural and urban landscapes in which we live and work. We use field studies, experiments, spatial analyses, and computer simulation modeling to understand where, when and why ecosystems change. Understanding how climate change will alter the landscapes around us is also a common theme. Landscape ecology offers new concepts, theory and methods that are revealing the importance of spatial patterning on the dynamics of interacting ecosystems. Our research is united by a focus on pattern and process while we examine a diverse range of topics.
Dr. Monica Turner has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of her decades of contributions to the ecological study of the forests and landscapes in Greater Yellowstone.
Read and listen to Nathan Kiel’s reflective fieldnotes essay on the summer 2022 field season in Greater Yellowstone for “Edge Effects”, a digital magazine about environmental issues produced by graduate students.
Read about Monica’s long-term research in Yellowstone’s forests in the May 2022 issue of National Geographic magazine.
We welcome Alli Kneisel and Garrett Knowlton, new graduate students who will be joining our lab in fall 2022.
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Climate change and disturbance regimes
The frequency, size and severity of natural disturbances are already changing with climate. Our studies provide glimpses of what is to come and explore how ecosystems may change.
Fire, insects, forests and ecosystem processes in Greater Yellowstone
Our long-term studies yield new insights about how climate and fire continue to shape the forests of Greater Yellowstone.
Landscape sustainability, land-water interactions and ecosystem services
Nature provides a wide array of benefits, and we seek to uncover how to sustain food, energy, water and ecosystems in our working landscapes.
Urban landscape ecology
Cities are so heterogeneous, and our research in Madison sheds light on how urban spatial patterns affect ecosystem services.
Tools and resources for landscape ecology
From review papers to textbooks and hands-on exercises, we contribute resources for teaching and learning landscape ecology.