Dr. Monica G.Turner
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Wisconsin
430 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Ecosystem and
Landscape Ecology Lab

Catherine FrockCat Frock

CV (pdf)


MS Student

Research Interests

My scientific background includes the study of organisms that span numerous taxa (primarily animals) in ecosystems ranging from African deserts to Alaskan rainforests. I have a strong interest in questions at the intersection of landscape ecology and behavioral ecology (especially animal movement and foraging ecology), and in particular, their implications for the conservation of special status species. Generally, I enjoy pursuing topics related to large-scale processes such as habitat fragmentation and connectivity, climate change, and human impacts on species and ecosystems.

My interests also include:
- Community and population ecology
- Sub-alpine and alpine mountain ecosystems
- Interspecies interactions
- Patterns of biodiversity, species distribution and abundance
- Sustainability issues

Current Projects

“Effects of recent fire, fire pattern, and seed supply on granivory by small mammals on a foundation tree species in the Rocky Mountains and the potential implications for post-fire forest succession”

A central objective of ecology is to explore the link between ecological patterns and processes. Often, a consideration of spatial heterogeneity is necessary to explain this connection. Behavioral landscape ecology, which seeks to connect the behavior of organisms with spatial patterns in ecology, can provide insights on ecological pattern-process relationships by analyzing the causes and consequences of spatial variation in organismal behavior. However, connecting these causes and effects can be challenging, especially if behaviors involve multiple organisms (e.g. plant-consumer interactions). For my graduate research, I am addressing these topics by examining the potential effects of a widespread disturbance (wildfire) on spatial variation in granivory by small mammals on lodgepole pine and implications of that variation for post-fire succession in Rocky Mountain forests.

The goals of my master’s thesis are to:
(1) Quantify the spatial patterns of seed predation behavior of small mammals in burned and unburned lodgepole pine forests in the northern Rocky Mountains, in particular how seed predation varies with:
- habitat type (burned vs. unburned forest)
- distance from the fire’s perimeter (edge effects)
- potential seed supply (food resources)

(2) Examine the potential effect of these seed predation patterns on lodgepole pine seed establishment, which may have implications for forest regeneration and post-fire succession.

Personal Interests

Lots of outdoor activities (running, hiking, biking, backpacking, rockclimbing, skiing, etc.), playing the guitar, listening to music, reading a good book (especially science fiction classics), and exploring new places.

Contact Information

430 Birge Hall
430 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706
e-mail: frock @ wisc.edu