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Julio Bernal

Bernal, Julio
Julio Bernal
Professor of Entomology
Biological Control Facility Rm. 116
(979) 862-8378
Undergraduate Education
B.S. Entomology/Plant Pathology, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Mexico
Graduate Education
Ph.D. Entomology, University of California, Riverside
M.S. Entomology, University of California, Riverside

Professional Summary

Julio Bernal, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of biological control and plant-insect interactions. Specifically, his research interests focus on ecology and behavior of natural enemies, particularly parasitoid wasps, and evolution of herbivore defenses in crops, particularly maize. Broadly, his research seeks to identify and develop ways that pest management can be effective, environmentally friendly, and evolutionarily sustainable. Over the last five years his research has attracted $1.3M in grant support.

His teaching has focused on entomology (general entomology for undergraduates), pest management (integrated pest management for undergraduates, and host plant resistance and biological control for graduate students), and agricultural evolution (evolution and impacts of agriculture and pest management for undergraduates). Currently he advises or co-advises six Ph.D. students, and previously he advised five Ph.D. and eight M.S. students. Bernal is currently Biological Control Subject Editor for Journal of Economic Entomology, Editor for Insects, and Agroecology and Ecosystem Services Associate Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. He was Fulbright Scholar (2016-2017), and President Sociedad Mexicana de Control Biológico (2015-2017), and Global Faculty Advocate for Mexico, Texas A&M University (2018-2022).

Research Areas of Expertise:

Applied ecology in agriculture; Biological control; Parasitoid ecology and behavior; Plant-insect interactions; Plant defense against herbivores; Evolution of crop defenses against insects

Selected Publications:

Fontes-Puebla, A.A., Borrego, E.J., Kolomiets, M.V., Bernal, J.S. (2021) Maize biochemistry in response to root herbivory was mediated by domestication, spread, and breeding. Planta 254, 70 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-021-03720-2

Fontes-Puebla, A.A., Bernal, J.S. (2020) Resistance and Tolerance to Root Herbivory in Maize were Mediated by Domestication, Spread, and Breeding. Frontiers in Plant Science https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00223

Rojas, J.C., Kolomiets, M.V., Bernal, J.S. (2018) Nonsensical choices? Fall armyworm moths choose seemingly best or worst hosts for their larvae, but neonate larvae make their own choices. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0197628. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197628

Bernal, J.S., Medina, R.F. (2018) Agriculture sows pests: How crop domestication, host shifts, and agricultural intensification can create insect pests from herbivores. Current Opinion in Insect Science 26, 76-81, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2018.01.008

Bernal, J. S., Dávila-Flores, A. M., Medina, R. F., Chen, Y. H., Harrison, K. E. and Berrier, K. A. (2017), Did maize domestication and early spread mediate the population genetics of corn leafhopper? Insect Science https://doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12555