Judith L. Bronstein
University Distinguished Professor, Department of Entomology
(520) 621-3534
PhD, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 1986

Judith L. Bronstein is University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Entomology. Dr. Bronstein’s large, active lab focuses on the ecology and evolution of interspecific interactions, particularly on the poorly-understood, mutually beneficial ones (mutualisms). Using a combination of field observations, experiments, and theory, they are examining how population processes, abiotic conditions, and the community context determine net effects of interactions for the fitness of each participant species. Specific conceptual areas of interest include: (i) conflicts of interest between mutualists and their consequences for the maintenance of beneficial outcomes; (ii) the causes and consequences of "cheating" within mutualism; (iii) context-dependent outcomes in both mutualisms and antagonisms; and (iv) anthropogenic threats to mutualisms. With Matthew Mars, she is currently extending these concepts to explore educational "ecosystems" in the state of Arizona, as well as terrorist networks and how principles of ecosystem organization can be used to disrupt them.

Selected Citations: 

Aslan, C.E., J.L. Bronstein, H.S. Rogers, K.B. Gedan, J. Brodie, T.M. Palmer, and T.P. Young (2016). Leveraging nature’s backup plans to incorporate species interactions and resilience into restoration. Restoration Ecology 24:434-440.

Frankin, K.A., P. Sommers, C.E. Aslan, B. Lopez R., J.L. Bronstein, E. Bustamante, A. Búrquez, R.A. Medellín, and B. Marazzi (2016). Plant biotic interactions in the Sonoran Desert: Current knowledge and future research perspectives. International Journal of Plant Sciences 177:217-234.

Marazzi, B., K. Franklin, P.N. Sommers, B.R. Lopez, J.L. Bronstein, E. Bustamante Ortega, A. Burquez, R.A. Medellín, and C. Aslan. (2015) Plant biotic interactions in the Sonoran Desert: Conservation challenges and future directions. Journal of the Southwest 57: 457-501.

Rafferty, N.E, P.J. CaraDonna, and J.L. Bronstein (2015). Phenological shifts and the fate of mutualisms. Oikos 124:14-21.

Mars, M.M., J.L. Bronstein, and P.L. Sullivan (2015). The ecosystem of dark networks: a biological perspective. CTX (Counterterrorism Exchange Journal) 5:31-36.

Brodie, J.F., C.E. Aslan, H.S. Rogers, K.H. Redford, J.L. Maron, J.L. Bronstein, and C.R. Groves (2014). Secondary extinctions of biodiversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29: 664-672.

Fitzpatrick, G.M., M.C. Lanan, and J.L. Bronstein (2014). Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism. Oecologia 176: 129-138.

Rafferty, N.E., P.J. CaraDonna, LA. Burkle, A.M. Iler, and J.L. Bronstein (2013). Phenological overlap of interacting species in a changing climate: an assessment of available approaches. Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.668

Kiers, E.T., T.M. Palmer, A.R. Ives, J.F. Bruno, and J.L. Bronstein (2010). Mutualisms in a changing world: A global perspective. Ecology Letters 13: 1459-1474.

Research Themes: 
Arid lands
Animal behavior
Arid lands
Plant ecology
Plant science
Population biology
Species adaptation
Species Interactions

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