Judith X Becerra
Associate Professor, Entomology / Insect Science - GIDP
Associate Research Professor
Associate Research Scientist, BIO5 Institute
Associate Research Scientist, Biosphere 2
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 621-9397
Research Interest
Judith Becerra, PhD, is an evolutionary ecologist interested in insect-plant interactions. Her current research combines ecological, biogeographycal, and chemical information with molecular phylogenetics to identify macroevolutionary patterns of host shifts, co-adaptive forces shaping coevolution and evolutionary strategies of plant chemical defenses. She is also interested in plant and insect diversification and ecological chemical interactions between insects and plants. Extensive research has been pursued in the Mexican tropical dry forests with the plant genus Bursera and their herbivores, the beetle genus Blepharida. These two groups have interacted for the last 100 million years and are both highly diverse, with spectacular adaptations and counteradaptations.

Publications

BECERRA, J., & VENABLE, D. (1989). EXTRAFLORAL NECTARIES - A DEFENSE AGAINST ANT-HOMOPTERA MUTUALISMS. OIKOS.
Prudic, K. L., Noge, K., & Becerra, J. X. (2008). Adults and nymphs do not smell the same: The different defensive compounds of the giant mesquite bug (Thasus neocalifornicus : Coreidae). JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, 34(6), 734-741.
Noge, K., Venable, D. L., & Becerra, J. X. (2009). 2-PHENYLETHANOL IN THE LEAVES OF BURSERA VELUTINA BULLOCK (BURSERACEAE). ACTA BOTANICA MEXICANA, 97, 9-16.
Becerra, J., & Venable, D. (2011). Nuclear ribosomal, DNA phylogeny and its implications for evolutionary trends in Mexican Bursera (Burseraceae). AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY, 86(7), 1047-1057.
Becerra, J., & Venable, D. (2012). Macroevolution of insect-plant associations: The relevance of host biogeography to host affiliation. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 96(22), 12626-12631.