Ph.D., 2009, University of Missouri-St. Louis
B.S., 2003, St. Louis University
Fields of Interest: plant-herbivore interactions, community ecology.
Nicholas A. Barber
Office / Lab: MO317
Phone: (815) 753-8674
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Barber, N.(in press). Clay caterpillars: a tool for ecology and evolution laboratories. To appear in American Biology Teacher.
Barber, N., Adler, L. S., Theis, N. (in press). Herbivory reduces antagonisms and mutualisms above- and belowground. To appear in Ecology.
Barber, N., Wouk, J. (in press). Winter predation by insectivorous birds and consequences for arthropods and plants in summer. To appear in Oecologia.
Barber, N., Adler, L. S., Bernardo, H. (2011). Effects of above- and belowground herbivory on growth, pollination, and fitness in cucumber. Oecologia,165, 377-386.
Barber, N., Marquis, R. J. (2011). Leaf quality, predation, and stochastic processes in the assembly of a diverse herbivore community. Ecology, 92, 699-708.
Barber, N. A. & R. J. Marquis. 2011. Light environment and the impacts of foliage quality on herbivorous insect attack and bird predation. Oecologia 166:401-409.
Barber, N. A. & R. J. Marquis. 2011. Leaf quality, predation, and stochastic processes in the assembly of a diverse herbivore community. Ecology 92:699-708.
Barber, N. A., L. S. Adler, & H. Bernardo. 2011. Effects of above- and belowground herbivory on growth, pollination, and fitness in cucumber. Oecologia 165:377-386.
Mooney, K. A., D. S. Gruner, N. A. Barber, S. A. Van Bael, S. M. Philpott, & R. Greenberg. 2010. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107:7335-7340.
Barber, N. A. 2010. Light environment and leaf characteristics affect distribution of oak lacebugs (Heteroptera: Tingidae). Environmental Entomology 39:492-497.
Barber, N. A. and R. J. Marquis. 2009. Spatial variation in top-down direct and indirect effects on white oak (Quercus alba L.). American Midland Naturalist 162:169-179.
Barber, N. A., R. J. Marquis, and W. P. Tori. 2008. Invasive prey impacts the abundance and distribution of native predators. Ecology 89:2678-2683.
Van Bael, S. A., S. M. Philpott, R. Greenberg, P. Bichier, N. A. Barber, K. A. Mooney, and D. S. Gruner. 2008. Birds as predators in tropicalagroforestry systems. Ecology 89:928-934.
Valone, T. J. and N. A. Barber. 2008. An empirical evaluation of the insurance hypothesis in diversity-stability models. Ecology 89:522-531.
Lill, J. T., R. J. Marquis, R. E. Forkner, J. Le Corff, N. Holmberg, and N. A. Barber. 2006. Leaf pubescence affects distribution and abundance of generalist slug caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae). Environmental Entomology 35:797-806.
My research explores how environmental and biotic factors influence plant traits that affect the outcomes of trophic interactions. I use manipulative field and greenhouse experiments to explore the direct and indirect interactions between plants, plant mutualists, insect herbivores, and predators.
Most plants interact with fungal symbionts through an association called mycorrhizae in which plants exchange photosynthates for nutrients taken up by the fungi. Despite the ubiquity of this interaction, we know relatively little about the ecological and evolutionary consequences of mycorrhizal associations for other community members that interact with plants, such as herbivores and pollinators. Through greenhouse and field experiments, my research examines how mycorrhizae mediate these plant-insect interactions.
The environmental conditions that plants experience can influence foliage traits with important consequences for insect herbivores. In the past I studied how light environment, through its effects on leaf quality, affected herbivore community structure and impacts. I am now examining how variation in plant phenology (timing of spring leaf growth), which may be influenced by climate change, affects insect herbivores and their impacts on plants.