Dr. Tom Bultman

Professor of Biology
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Dr. Tom Bultman ’78 joined the Hope College faculty in 2001, following teaching positions at Truman State University and the University of Texas-Austin. He currently directs the Hope College greenhouse and is an associate editor for the peer reviewed Elsevier journal, Fungal Ecology.

Dr. Bultman works on plant-fungal-insect interactions. He conducts research with students on the ecology of these interactions, with particular emphasis on conditions that dictate the degree to which they are mutualistic or antagonistic. His courses include Invertebrate Zoology, Biology of Insects and General Biology I. 

AREAS OF expertise

Dr. Bultman has general interests in invertebrate ecology, behavior and evolution. His specific interests deal with the interaction between fungal symbiotic endophytes and their grass hosts, how herbivores are affected by these species and in turn how herbivores influence the grass/fungus symbiotum.


  • Ph.D., zoology, Arizona State University, 1985
  • M.S., biological sciences, University of Cincinnati, 1981
  • A.B., biology, Hope College, 1978


  • Researcher of the Year Award, Kirksville Chapter of Sigma Xi, 1993 and 2000
  • National Geographic Society, Committee for Research and Exploration, 2017 – $16,152
  • National Science Foundation, International Travel Program Supplement, 2015 – $35,217
  • National Science Foundation, RUI Program, 2011–2015 – $355,541
  • National Science Foundation, International Travel Program Supplement, 2008 – $21,006
  • National Science Foundation, REU Supplement, 2006 – $4,730
  • Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, URGE Program, 2006 – $12,000
  • Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, URGE Program, 2005 – $7,250
  • National Science Foundation, CRUI Program, 2004–2008 – $885,773
  • National Science Foundation, MRI/RUI Program, 20032006 – $154,058
  • National Science Foundation, REU Site Program, 20022006 – $318,620
  • National Geographic Society, Committee for Research and Exploration, 2017 – $16.152

Published Work

  • “Influence of Fungal Isolates infecting tall fescue on multitrophic interactions,” Fungal Ecology 5, 2012
  • “Do Botanophila flies provide reproductive isolation between two species of Epichloë fungi? A field test,” New Phytologist 190, 2011
  • “Influence of genetic variation in fungal endophyte of a grass on an herbivore and its parasitoid,” Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 2009
  • “Extensions to and Modulation of Defensive Mutualism in Grass Endophytes,” Defensive Mutualism in Symbiotic Associations, Taylor & Francis, 2009
  • “Water-use efficiency and photosynthesis in drought-stressed endophyte-infected and non-infected K-31 tall fescue grasses,” Environmental and Experimental Botany 66, 2009
  • “Biology of the Epichloë-Botanophila Interaction: an Intriguing Association between Fungi and Insects,” Fungal Biology Reviews 22, 2008
  • “Effects of Methyl Jasmonate and an Endophytic Fungus on Plant Resistance to Insect Herbivores,” Journal of Chemical Ecology 34, 2008
  •  “Stroma-forming endophyte Epichloë glyceriae provides wound-inducible resistance to its grass host,” Oikos 177, 2008
  • “Effect of an Invasive Ground Cover Plant on the Abundance and Diversity of a Forest Floor Spider Assemblage,” Biological Invasions 10, 2008

Outside the College

Dr. Bultman is originally from Fremont, Michigan, and came to Hope College as a student in 1974. While at Hope, Dr. Allen Brady mentored his undergraduate research project on spider ecology. He met his spouse, Judy Karen Bultman, while they were both students at Hope College. They have three adult children, Kelly, Bart and Hilary. In addition to biology, Dr. Bultman also enjoys bicycling, cross country skiing, bread baking, coffee roasting and folk music.

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Dr. Tom Bultman

Phone Number616.395.7372

Schaap Science Center 2027 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3605
A map showing the location for Dr. Tom Bultman Schaap Science Center 2027 35 East 12th Street Holland MI 49423-3605