Jennifer Fraterrigo


Affiliate Plant Biology

Assistant Professor in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

W-423 Turner Hall, MC-047
(217) 333-9428


  • B.S., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997
  • M.S., Ecology, Colorado State University, 2000
  • Ph.D., Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005



I am broadly interested in the effects of human-accelerated environmental change on ecosystem function and structure. The central focus of my work tends to fall into one of two areas: the transport and cycling of nutrients, and the maintenance of biodiversity. I approach these interests from a variety of angles, conducting research at both fine and broad spatial scales, and utilizing a mixture of tools, including field observations, laboratory techniques, simulation models, and geographic information systems (GIS). From an analytical perspective, I often explore patterns of ecological variability as a way to generate new insights about the response of a system to disturbance. Example of projects in which I have been involved are relating watershed characteristics to water quality in Midwestern lakes, investigating the legacies of historical land use in forest ecosystems, and examining the impacts of exotic invasive plants on nitrogen cycling. I welcome students and collaborators with a general interest in landscape or ecosystem ecology. 



Block C, Knoepp J, Elliott K, Fraterrigo J. 2012. Impacts of hemlock loss on nitrogen retention vary with soil nitrogen availability in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Ecosystems 15(7): 1108-1120.


Fraterrigo JM, Wagner S, Warren RJ. 2014. Local-scale biotic interactions embedded in macroscale climate drivers suggest Eltonian noise hypothesis distribution patterns for an invasive grass. Ecology Letters 17: 1447-1454.


Mayfield MM, Dwyer JM, Chalmandrier L, Wells JA, Bonser SP, Catterall CP, DeClerck F, Ding Y, Fraterrigo JM, Metcalfe DJ, et al. 2013. Differences in forest plant functional trait distributions across land-use and productivity gradients. American Journal of Botany 100(7): 1356-1368.