Monica G. Turner

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Primary Section: 63, Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Section: 64, Human Environmental Sciences
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2004)


Dr. Monica G. Turner is the Eugene P. Odum Professor of Ecology and a Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an ecosystem and landscape ecologist known especially for her long-term research in forests of Greater Yellowstone.  Originally from Long Island, New York, Turner earned her BS in Biology from Fordham University and her PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia. She spent 7 years as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. She is a past-president of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and received ESA’s Robert H. MacArthur Award and the Eminent Ecologist Award. Turner also received the 2021 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the Franklin Institute. 

Research Interests

Turner’s research emphasizes the causes and ecological consequences of spatial patterns in temperate zone ecosystems and landscapes. She has studied fire, vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, bark beetle outbreaks, and climate change in Greater Yellowstone for nearly 30 years, including long-term research on the 1988 Yellowstone fires. Her current research in the Northern US Rocky Mountains is assessing 21st century forest dynamics and nutrient cycling in the face of climate warming and increased fire. She is also studying food, energy, water and ecosystem dynamics in agricultural landscapes of the Upper Midwest. Turner has ongoing studies of abrupt change in ecological systems, land-water interactions in Wisconsin landscapes, and spatial dynamics of ecosystem services.

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