Judith X Becerra

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

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.


Horst, J. L., Kimball, S., Becerra, J. X., Noge, K., & Venable, D. L. (2015). Documenting the early stages of invasion of Matthiola parviflora and predicting its spread in North America.. The Southwestern Naturalist, 59, 47-55.
Oliver, K. M., Noge, K., Huang, E. M., Campos, J. M., Becerra, J. X., & Hunter, M. S. (2012). Parasitic wasp responses to symbiont-based defense in aphids. BMC BIOLOGY, 10.
Becerra, J. X., Venable, G., & Saeidi, V. (2015). Wolbachia-free heteropterans do not produce defensive chemicals or alarm pheromones. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 41(7), 593-601. doi:10.1007/s10886-015-0596-4
Becerra, J. (2003). Timing the origin and expansion of the Mexican tropical dry forest. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 102(31), 10919-10923.
Eliyahu, D., Ceballos, R. A., Saeidi, V., & Becerra, J. X. (2012). Synergy Versus Potency in the Defensive Secretions from Nymphs of two Pentatomomorphan Families (Hemiptera: Coreidae and Pentatomidae). JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, 38(11), 1358-1365.