School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Lessons on how to effectively tackle insect invasions

Dr. Esther Ngumbi details how pest insects can be effectively managed in Africa. Kenyan food production and grazing land is under threat from a huge desert locust invasion. The insects are currently in two counties in northern Kenya and are now spreading to other Kenyan regions including Meru, Laikipia, and Rift Valley. The government has yet to quantify losses but past attacks have caused harvest losses of up to 70%.

Preparing for big goals by researching small things

Megan Choi is a junior in LAS, where she studies integrative biology. Originally from Oswego, IL, Choi is also passionate about competing in triathlons. In the spring of 2019, Choi won a campus-level award for her undergraduate research on the variation in nest architecture of two different species of ants. The College of LAS recently had a chance to ask her a few questions about her experience with undergraduate research on campus.

First Publication of the SIB Connections Newsletter for Fall 2019

The School of Integrative Biology is excited to announce the first publication of SIB Connections, a newsletter designed for our alumni since the School was formed during the 2004-2005 school year.

Announcing the 37th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival

The 37th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival (IFFF) will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 and will be hosted by the Department of Entomology and the Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA). Doors open at 6:00 p.m. in Foellinger Auditorium (709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana) with film introductions starting at 7:15 p.m. Admission is free.

Researchers use board game to educate students on role and importance of bees

Researchers from the Berenbaum Lab in the Department of Entomology are helping local kids gain a better understanding of bees, their life cycle, and their role in our world. Led by Dr. Bernarda Calla and Dr. Ling-Hsiu Liao, the group of researchers visited Urbana Middle School’s SPLASH (Students Playing and Learning After School Hours) program to pilot an educational board game about bees and pollination.

Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

Eight faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list, a global listing of scientists who produced the past decade’s most influential papers, compiled by the Web of Science group, a Clarivate Analytics company. Three investigators with SIB's Plant Biology Department are among those named: Stephen Long recognized for over twenty-five thousand cross-field citations, Donald Ort for Plant and Animal Science citations, and Elizabeth Ainsworth for her high level of cross-field impact.

Gene Robinson speaks at LAS Dean's Distinguished Lecture: Inaugural event provides opportunity to learn from outstanding scholars

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has established the LAS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture to provide wider opportunity for people to hear from faculty who are leaders in their field. The inaugural lecture featured Gene Robinson, professor of entomology and director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

About 200 people showed up for the event, held in the Natural History Building.

Two SIB faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including two School of Integrative Biology faculty members: Andrew Suarez and Lisa Ainsworth, have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A little prairie can rescue honey bees from famine on the farm, study finds

Scientists, including Adam Dolezal, placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bees fared over the growing season. To the researchers’ surprise, the bees did well for much of the summer. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores. But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone and the overwintering brood was malnourished, the team discovered.