School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Group genomics drive aggression in honey bees

Researchers often study the genomes of individual organisms to try to tease out the relationship between genes and behavior. A new study of Africanized honey bees reveals, however, that the genetic inheritance of individual bees has little influence on their propensity for aggression. Instead, the genomic traits of the hive as a whole are strongly associated with how fiercely its soldiers attack.

The findings are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cowbirds change their eggs’ sex ratio based on breeding time

Brown-headed cowbirds show a bias in the sex ratio of their offspring depending on the time of the breeding season, researchers report in a new study. More female than male offspring hatch early in the breeding season in May, and more male hatchlings emerge in July.

How Humanity Unleashed a Flood of New Diseases

What do Covid-19, Ebola, Lyme and AIDS have in common? They jumped to humans from animals after we started destroying habitats and ruining ecosystems.

SIB Director Carla Cáceres honored with Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award

Carla Cáceres, a professor of evolution, ecology and behavior and director of the School of Integrative Biology, ...received the Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding academic leadership and vision by an executive officer within a college or campus unit.

Gene Robinson named interim dean of the College of LAS

Renowned scholar, teacher, and administrator begins role July 1.

Gene Robinson, a professor of entomology and director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, has been named interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Study tracks decades of life cycle changes in nonwoody plants

For 25 years, Carol Augspurger visited a patch of ancient woods near Urbana to look at the same 25 one-square-meter plots of earth she first demarcated for study in 1993. She surveyed the plots once a week in spring and summer, tracking the major life events of each of the herbaceous plants that grew there. In fall, she visited every other week. In winter, once a month.

SIB alumna Deniz Namik awarded Fulbright grant

Deniz Namik is among 14 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and recent alumni who were offered Fulbright grants to pursue international education, research and teaching experiences across the globe this coming year. She earned a bachelor’s in integrative biology and Spanish in May.

Cicadas Are Delightful Weirdos You Should Learn to Love

As Brood IX takes flight for the first time in 17 years,
cicada lovers have their ears open.

Around this time of year, Marianne Alleyne hosts dozens of houseguests in her basement. Far from using camping equipment or cots, they sleep upside-down, clinging to a curtain. The entomologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has collected cicadas, those bizarre and misunderstood cyclical insects, for four years.

Genetically modified mosquitoes could be released beginning this summer

silver bullet or jumping the gun?

This summer, for the first time, genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the U.S. within the states of Florida and Texas.

On May 1, 2020, the company Oxitec received an experimental use permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release millions of GM mosquitoes (labeled by Oxitec as OX5034) every week over the next two years in Florida and Texas.

SIB's Commitment to Diversity and Equity

Dear SIB Community,

This past weekend, Chancellor Jones sent out an email with a powerful message of unity for this campus - we must come together and care for one another. He reminds us that the University of Illinois is a "community committed to the scholarship, engagement, equity, inclusion and leadership that dismantles systems that utilize power, privilege and violence to disenfranchise, diminish and destroy."