Entomology (joint appointments in Ecology /Evolutionary Biology and in Neurobiology)
Born Queensland 1940, British 1970, USA permanent resident 1984
B.Sc. 1962 University of Queensland, Australia
M.Sc. 1967, Ph.D. 1970, University of London, England
1963-1966 High school biology teacher, London, England
1970 -83 British Government Scientist
1983-89 Professor University of California, Berkeley
1989-1996 Professor University of Arizona [4 years as Head of Entomology]
General entomology, physiological control of behavior, behavioral ecology; plant-insect interactions; mechanisms and evolution of diet breadth in plant-feeding insects; physiology of gustation; foraging behavior in the field.
1 Book written, 7 Books edited, 22 Chapters in books, 15 other reviews, 190 papers in refereed journals, 16 abstracts.
Gold Medal, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 1985
D.Sc. University of London, 1990
appointed Regents’ Professor 1992
Silver Medal, Society for Chemical Ecology, 2002.
work with TUSD on use of insects in the classroom.
Woodhead, S. and Bernays, E.A. 1977 Changes in release rate of cyanide in relation to palatability of sorghum to insects. Nature 270: 235-236.
Bernays, E.A. and Woodhead, S. 1982 Plant phenols utilized as nutrients by a phytophagous insect. Science 216: 201-203.
Bernays, E.A. 1986 Diet-induced head allometry among foliage-chewing insects and its importance for graminivores. Science 231: 495-497.
Bernays, E. A. and Graham, M. 1988 On the evolution of host specificity in phytophagous arthropods. Ecology. 69: 886-892.
Bernays, E.A. and Janzen, D. 1988 Saturniid and sphingid caterpillars: two ways to eat leaves. Ecology. 69: 1153-1160.
Bernays, E.A. 1989 Host range in phytophagous insects: The potential role of generalist predators. Evolutionary Ecology. 3: 299-311.
Bernays, E.A., Bright, K., Howard J.J., Raubenheimer, D. and Champagne, D. 1992 Variety is the spice of life: frequent switching between foods in the polyphagous grasshopper, Taeniopoda eques. Animal Behaviour 44: 721-731.
Bernays, E.A. 1998. The value of being a resource specialist: behavioral support for a neural hypothesis. American Naturalist 151: 451-464
Bernays, E.A. and Funk, D. 1999 Specialists make faster decisions than generalists: experiments with aphids. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 266: 151-156
Bernays, E.A., Chapman, R.F. and Singer, M.S. 2000. Sensitivity to chemically diverse phagostimulants in a single gustatory neuron of a polyphagous caterpillar. Journal of Comparative Physiology 186: 13-19.
Bernays, E.A., Chapman, R.F. & Hartmann, T. 2002 A taste receptor cell dedicated to the perception of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in two species of polyphagous arctiids. Physiological Entomology 27:312-321.
Bernays E.A. and Singer, M.S. (2005) Taste alteration and endoparasites. Nature 436, 476.
Carolina E. Reisenman, Jeffrey A. Riffell, Elizabeth Bernays, John G. Hildebrand. (2010)
Antogistic effects of floral scent in an insect-plant interaction. Proceedings of the Royal
Society of London 1692, 2371-2379
M S Singer, Kevi Mace and Elizabeth Bernays (2009) Self-medication as adaptive Plasticity: 4
Increased Ingestion of Plant Toxins by Parasitized Caterpillars. PLoS ONE Volume
issue 3 Article Number e 4796.
Bernays, E.A. 1983 Nitrogen in defense against insects, in: Nitrogen As An Ecological Factor. Eds. J.A. Lee, S. McNeill and I.H. Rorison. Blackwells, Oxford.
Bernays, E.A. 1985 Regulation of feeding behavior, In: Comprehensive Insect Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Physiology. Vol. 4 Eds. G.A. Kerkut and L.I. Gilbert, Pergamon Press.
Bernays, E.A. and Chapman, R.F. 1987 Evolution of Deterrent Responses in Plant-Feeding Insects. In: Topics in Feeding Behavior and Physiology, Eds. R.F. Chapman, E.A. Bernays, and J.G. Stoffolano. Springer-Verlag.
Bernays, E.A. and Simpson, S.J. 1990 Nutrition. In: Biology of Grasshoppers, Eds. R. F. Chapman and A. Joern, Wiley and Son.
Montllor, C.B. and Bernays, E.A. 1992 Invertebrate predators: how they constrain caterpillar feeding strategies. In: Caterpillars: Ecological and Evolutionary Constraints on Foraging, Eds. N.E. Stamp and T.M. Casey Chapman and Hall, NY.
Bernays, E.A. 1992 Aversion learning and feeding. In: Insect Learning: Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives. Eds. A.C. Lewis and D.R. Papaj, Chapman and Hall, New York.
Bernays, E.A. and Wcislo, W. 1994 Sensory capabilities, information processing and resource specialization. Quarterly Review of Biology 69
Bernays, E.A. 1995 Effects of experience in host-plant selection. In: Chemical Ecology, Eds. R.Carde and W.Bell, Chapman and Hall, New York.
Bernays, E.A. 1998 Evolution of feeding behavior in insect herbivores. BioScience 48
Bernays, E.A. 2001 Neural limitations of phytophagous Insects: implications for diet breadth and host affiliation. Annual Review of Entomology 46
During my life as an entomologist I have been lucky to work with numerous colleagues who have stimulated my intellectual life in many ways. I have also had the pleasure of sharing ideas with students and postdocs who have in turn taught me new ways of seeing. They include:
Many woolly bear caterpillars sequester pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which provide prodection from predators and parasites. To do this effectively they have extremely sensitive taste cells that inform them of hosts containing the chemicals. In Estigmene acrea, specialized cells can detect these alkaloids at concentrations that are so low the receptors are almost as sensitive as olfactory receptors.
Copyright Elizabeth Bernays. All rights reserved. Photography by Elizabeth A. Bernays. Web design by Jessica Lamberton.