Maria G. Bidart

Dr. Maria G. Bidart

Ph. D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign    
Office:   511A Life Sciences Building
Phone:   1-419-372-4644

Research: Evolutionary ecology; plant-insect interactions



Research Interests:

My research program focuses on ecological and evolutionary processes mediating complex interactions between organisms and the environment. I am particularly interested in ecological interactions between plants and insect herbivores and their co-evolutionary adaptations. For example, plants have developed a wide array of defenses to withstand herbivore attack (e.g., secondary chemicals and structural barriers); likewise, herbivores have evolved offensive mechanisms, which allow them to utilize their plant hosts (e.g., feeding behavior and metabolic degradation of plant chemicals).

Using the model system Arabidopsis thaliana, I have evaluated plants responses to anthropogenic change (e.g., atmospheric CO2 enrichment) and to herbivory by insects differing in their degree of ecological specialization (generalist vs. specialist insects) or feeding habits (leaf miners vs. phloem feeders).

I am currently developing collaborative projects integrating evolutionary ecology, ecological genomics, chemical ecology and conservation ecology. These projects are aimed at better understanding how current anthropogenic environmental problems (global change, biological invasions, deforestation, etc) affect ecological interactions among species, evolutionary processes, the structure of communities and ecosystem functioning.


Selected Publications:

Shimola, J., and M.G. BIDART. 2019. Herbivory and Plant Genotype Influence Fitness-Related Responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to Indirect Plant-Plant Interactions. American Journal of Plant Sciences 10, 1287-1299.

Curtis A.N., and M.G. BIDART 2017. Effects of chemical management for invasive plants on the performance of Lithobates pipiens tadpoles. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Vol. 9999. pp. 1-7. 

Thompson T., and BIDART MG. 2017.  Oviposition preferences of Plutella xylostella for mechanically or herbivore damaged, and plant-plant primed Arabidopsis thaliana.  Journal of Insect Behavior 30, 507-518.

Ryan S., and BIDART MG. 2014. Natal insect experience with host plant secondary chemistry leads to plasticity in oviposition behavior.  Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 154: 216-227.

BIDART, M.G., and D. Kliebenstein. 2011. An ecological genomic approach challenging the paradigm of differential plant responses to specialist versus generalist insect herbivores. Oecologia 167, 677-89

BIDART, M.G., and D. Kliebenstein. 2008. Differential levels of insect herbivory in the field associated with genotypic variation glucosinolates in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Chemical Ecology 34:1026-1037.

Hoostal, M., M.G. BIDART, and J.L. Bouzat. 2008. Local adaptation of microbial communities to heavy metal stress in polluted sediments of Lake Erie. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 65:156-168.

BIDART, M.G., and A. Imeh-Nathaniel, 2008. Global change effects on plant chemical defenses against insect herbivores. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. In press.

BIDART, M.G., R. Mithen, and M.R. Berenbaum. 2005. Elevated CO2 influences herbivory-induced defense responses of Arabidopsis thaliana. Oecologia 145: 415-424.

BIDART, M.G., S. Portnoy, E. DeLucia, and K.N. Paige. 2004. Elevated CO2 and herbivory influence trait integration in Arabidopsis thaliana. Ecology Letters 7: 837-847.

BIDART, M.G. 2004. Herbivory modifies the lifetime fitness response of Arabidopsis thaliana to elevated CO2. Ecology 85: 297-303.

Wander, M.M., and M.G. BIDART. 2000. Tillage practice influences on the physical protection, bioavailability and composition of particulate organic matter. Biology and Fertility of Soils 32:360-367

Wander, M.M., M.G. BIDART, and S. Aref, 1998.  Tillage impacts on depth distribution of total and particulate organic matter in three Illinois soils.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 62: 1704-1711.