Matt Turner

Position title: Professor


Department of Geography
160 Science Hall
550 N. Park Street
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706


Ph.D., Univ of California-Berkeley, 1992


Environmental governance, political ecology, politics of conservation and conservation science,savanna/steppe ecology, critical development studies, pastoralism and common property theory, climate change vulnerability and food security, political economy of agriculture, STS, Africa, remote sensing/GIS


Trans-Saharan migration experience and driving factors in the Sudano-Sahelian region.

Social and ecological impacts of dryland afforestation

Climate change, resource-related conflict and insurgency in Mali, West Africa

Transborder pastoral movements and conservation zoning in Niger/Benin and Chad/Central Africa Republic


Interdisciplinary L&S 106: Global Poverty: Cross-cultural Perspectives
Geography/EnvSt 339: Environmental Conservation
Geography 355: Africa South of the Sahara
Geography/EnvSt 537: Culture and Environment
Geography 766: Geographical Inquiry and Analysis


Turner,M.D., D. K. Davis, E. T. Yeh, P. Hiernaux, E. R. Loizeaux, E. M. Fornof, A.M. Rice, and A. K. Suiter (in press). Great green walls: Hype, myth, and science. Annual Review of Environment and Resources.

Turner, M.D. 2022.  Fulani Pastoralism in West Africa. In The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. Oxford University Press.  doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190277734.013.ORE_AFH-01073.R2

Turner, M.D., J. Ribot, and O. Moumouni 2022. Suffering for dignity and hope: Young Nigeriens choose perilous Trans-Saharan migration.  Journal of Peasant Studies. DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2022.2121647

Sui, D. and M. Turner. 2022.  General Theories and Principles in Geography and GIScience: Moving beyond the ideographic and nomothetic dichotomy. Annals of GIS 28 (1): 1-4

Zhu, A.X., Turner, M.  2022. How is the Third Law of Geography different? Annals of GIS 28: 57-67.

Turner, M.D., T. Carney, L.  Lawler, J.  Reynolds, L.  Kelly, M.S. Teague, and L.  Brottem. 2021. Environmental rehabilitation and the vulnerability of the poor: The case of the Great Green Wall.  Land Use Policy 111: 105750.

Turner, M.D., M. Eggen, M. Teague, and A.A. Ayantunde. 2021. Variation in land access among villages in West Africa: A geospatial approach. Land Use Policy 111: 105768. j.landusepol.2021.105768

Turner, M.D., and A. Ayantunde. 2021. Household diversification and market dependence: Understanding vulnerability in rural West Africa.  Journal of Peasant Studies. 10.1080/03066150.2021.1936505

Hiernaux, P., M.D. Turner, M. Eggen, J., Marie, and M. Haywood. 2021. The drought resilience of floodplain vegetation in the Inland Delta of the Niger River in Mali. Wetlands Ecology and Management.

Turner, M.D., M. Teague, and A. Ayantunde. 2021. Eating groups within households: Differentiation in food consumption by age, gender, and geneaological position in rural Burkina Faso.  Food Policy.

Turner, M.D., M. Teague, and A. Ayantunde. 2021. Livelihood, culture and patterns of food consumption in rural West Africa.  Food Security. doi: 10.1007/s12571-021-01150-2.

Schlecht, E., M.D. Turner, C.G. Hülsebusch, C. G., & A. Buerkert. 2020. Managing rangelands without herding? Insights from Africa and beyond.”  Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 4 (260). doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2020.549954.

Ribot, J. C., Faye, P., & Turner, M. D. 2020. Climate of anxiety in the Sahel: Emigration in xenophobic times. Public Culture, 32(1), 45-75.


Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor (2014-)
Abo S. Sher Faculty Fellow (January 2009-December 2013)
Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, September 2002-August 2003
Vilas Associate, University of Wisconsin, Madison July 2002-June 2004


Tanya Carney (M.S.) “Climate information services in Senegal: Patterns of use & drivers of uptake”  [completed 8/22]

Emily Fornof [Climate change and changing identities among FulBe women]

Patricia Moesha Fraley (M.S., co-advised with Asli Gocmen) [Urban planning, politics and flood vulnerabilities in Malawi]

Kramer Gillin “Livestock Mobility, Pasture Management, and Socio-Environmental Change in Central Tajikistan”

Erin Kitchell “Institutional Arrangements for Concerted Resource Management in Agropastoral areas of Senegal and Mali”

Laura Lawler (co-advised with Morgan Robertson).  [Climate Smart Agriculture in Zambia]

Jules Reynolds (co-advised with Michael Bell) “Resilience and Transformation in Context: A community-engaged study of food system organizing in South-Central Wisconsin”

Anika Rice (co-advised with Lisa Naughton) [Labor emigration and gender relations in Guatemala]

Becky Rose (c0-advised with Chris Kucharik) [Addressing urban heat vulnerability in U.S. cities]

Allen Xiao (co-advised with Bob Kaiser) “Becoming a Lagosian? An Ethnography of Urban Identification in Gowon Estate” [completed 12/22]