Mailing Address: c/of Department of Entomology
I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in insect-plant interactions. My 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. I am also interested in plant and insect diversification and ecological chemical interactions between insects and plants.I have done research 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.
Recent Career Achievements:
Klavi Fellow 2009
1. .pdf file Becerra , J. X., K. Noge, and D. L. Venable 2009. Macroevolutionary chemical escalation in an ancient plant- herbivore arms race< . PNAS In press.
2. pdf file Becerra, J. X. and D. L. Venable. 2008. Sources and Sinks of Diversification and Conservation Priorities for the Mexican Tropical Dry Forest. PLoS ONE 3(10): e3436. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.000346.
3. pdf file Prudic, K. L., K. Noge, and J. X. Becerra. 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: 734-741.
4.pdf file Venable, D. L., A. Flores-Martinez, H. C. Muller-Landau, G. B. Gafford, and J. X. Becerra. 2008. Seed Dispersal of Desert Annuals. Ecology 89: 2218-2227.
5. pdf file Becerra, J. X.. 2007. The Impact of Herbivore-Plant Coevolution on Plant Community Structure. PNAS 104:7483-7488.
6. pdf file Evans, P. H. and J. X. Becerra. 2006. Non-terpenoid essential oils from Bursera chemapodicta. Flavour and Fragr. J. 21:616-618.
7. pdf file Becerra, J. X. 2005. Timing the origin and expansion of the Mexican tropical dry forests. PNAS. 102: 10919-10023.
8. pdf file Becerra, J. X. Molecular Systematics of Blepharida beetles (Chrysomelidae: Alticinae) and relatives. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2004.
9. pdf file Becerra, J. X. 2003. Synchronous coadaptation in an ancient case of herbivory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100(22): 12804-12807.
10. pdf file Becerra, J. X. 2003. Evolution of Mexican Bursera (Burseraceae) inferred from ITS, ETS, and 5S nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 26: 300-309.
11. pdf file Becerra, J. X., P. H. Evans, and W. Bowers. 2001. Interactions between chemical and mechanical defenses in the genus Bursera (Burseraceae) and their implications for herbivores. American Zoologist 41:865-876.
12. pdf file Becerra, J. X. and E. Venable. 1999. Macroevolution of insect-plant associations: The relevance of host biogeography to host affiliation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 96:12626-12631.
13. pdf file Becerra, J.X. and D.L. Venable. 1999. Nuclear ribosomal DNA phylogeny and its implications for evolutionary trends in Mexican Bursera (Burseraceae). American Journal of Botany 86:1047-1057.
14. pdf file Becerra, J. X. 1997. Insects on plants: macroevolutionary chemical trends in host use. Science 276:253-256.
15. pdf file Becerra, J. X. 1994. Squirt-gun defense in Bursera and the chrysomelid counterploy. Ecology 75:1991-1996.
16. pdf file Becerra, J. X. I. and D. G. Lloyd. 1992. Competition-dependent abscission of self-pollinated flowers of Phormium tenax (Agavaceae) - a second action of self-incompatibility? Evolution 46(2):458-469.
17. pdf file Becerra, J. X. and D. L. Venable. 1990. Rapid-terpene-bath and "squirt-gun defense" in Bursera schlechtendalii and the counterploy of Chrysomelid Beetles. Biotropica 22(3): 320-323.
18. pdf file Becerra, J. X. and L. Venable. 1989. Extrafloral nectaries: a defense against ant-Homoptera mutualisms? Oikos. 55:276-280.
Dr. Judith X. Becerra
Last modified: March. 29, 2009
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