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

Zak Ratajczak profile picZak Ratajczak

CV (pdf)



Research Interests

Ecological resilience, biodiversity, applied ecology, non-equilibrium dynamics, disturbances (especially fire), rangelands/savannas/woodlands.

Current Projects

  • The impacts of driver pulses on ecosystem resilience and stability. This work includes work on “leading indicators” and how spatial heterogeneity and connectivity alter the responses to driver pulses.

  • Understanding long-term grassland responses to global change pressures.

  • As a new member of the Turner lab, I’ll be contributing to work using process based model to identify management and climate change scenarios that push Northern Rockies Forests past ecological thresholds or “tipping points”. I will also be part of the ACES group’s efforts to increase our ability to anticipate—and potentially avoid or mitigate—abrupt ecological changes.

Selected Publications

Ratajczak Z., D’Odorico P., Collins S.L, Bestelmeyer B., Isbell F. and Nippert J.B. (In Press) The interactive effects of press/pulse intensity and duration on regime shifts at multiple scales. Ecological Monographs.

Seakell D., and many others (including Z. Ratajczak) (In Press) Conceptualizing and quantifying resilience in the global food system. Environmental Research Letters.

Ratajczak Z., D’Odorico P. and Yu K. (In Press) The enemy of my enemy: why coexisting with grasses might be an adaptive strategy for savanna trees. Ecosystems.

Ratajczak Z., Briggs J.M., Goodin D.G., Luo L., Mohler R.L., Nippert J.B. and Obermeyer B. (2016) Assessing the potential for transitions from tallgrass prairie to woodlands: are we operating beyond critical fire thresholds?. Journal of Rangeland Ecology and Management 69: 280-287.

Ladwig L.M., Ratajczak Z., Ocheltree T.W., Hafich K., Churchill A.C., Frey S.J.K., Fuss C.B., Kazanski C.E., Muñoz J.D., Petrie M., Reinmann A.B. and Smith J.G. (2016) Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems. Ecology 92: 372-382.

Ratajczak Z., Blair J.B., Nippert J.B. and Briggs J.M. (2014) Fire dynamics distinguish grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands as alternative attractors in the Central Plains. Journal of Ecology 102: 1374-1385.

Ratajczak Z., Nippert J.B., and Collins S.L. (2012) Woody encroachment decreases diversity across North American grasslands and savannas. Ecology 93: 697-703.

Personal Interests

Traveling! Hiking, concert-going, running, cooking, guitar

Contact Information

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