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Elizabeth Bello

Profile picture for Elizabeth Bello

Contact Information

Department of Entomology
320 Morrill Hall
505 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

By Appointment
Entomology PhD Candidate, Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, EGSA President -- Advisor: Marianne Alleyne

Research Interests




Material Science 

Research Description

Leafhopper insects (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) produce and spread nanoscale, lipid-protein granules, called brochosomes, onto their bodies through various grooming behaviors. These brochosomes make the integument of the insect anti-reflective and super-hydrophobic. I am currently investigating the morphology and wettability of brochosomes from various leafhopper species as well as their material and mechanical properties. This exploration will further inform the guided design of novel materials involving particulate-based waterproof coatings. 


A.S. Suffolk Community College, NY

B.S. Farmingdale State College, NY

M.S. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 

Awards and Honors

Fred H. Schmidt Summer Fellowship Scholars Award 2020

Graduate College Masters Project Travel Grant 2021

Graduate Student Image of Research – Honorable Mention Award, People’s Choice Award 2021

Entomology Summer Stipend Block Grant 2021

Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship 2021

Harley J. Van Cleave Research Award 2021

GEEB Symposium - Masters Lightning Talk First Place 2022

Entomology Summer Stipend Block Grant 2022

Beckman Institute Research Image Contest – Honorable Mention Award 2022

SIB Photo Competition, Biological Imaging – First Place Award 2022

Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant 2022

Graduate College Image of Research – First Place Award 2023

Courses Taught

IB411 - Bioinspiration (Online Course) (2020, 2022, 2023)

IB202 - Physiology (Lab Section) (2023)

Additional Campus Affiliations

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology - Graduate Fellow 2021, Student Science Writer 2023

Highlighted Publications

Elizabeth Bello, Yutao Chen, and Marianne Alleyne. (2023) Staying Dry and Clean: An Insect’s Guide to Hydrophobicity. Insects: 2023, Vol. 14, No. 1-42.

Recent Publications

Xiao Yan, Bingqiang Ji, Lezhou Feng, Xiong Wang, Daolong Yang, Kazi Fazle Rabbi, Qi Peng, Muhammad Jahidul Hoque, Puhang Jin, Elizabth Bello, Soumyadip Sett, Marianne Alleyne, Donald M. Cropek, and Nenad Miljkovic (2022) Particulate—Droplet Coalescence and Self-Transport on Superhydrophobic Surfaces. ACS Nano: Vol. 16, No. 12910-12921.

Gabriel R. Burks, Lehan Yao, Falon C. Kaluntirige, Kyle J. Gray, Elizabeth Bello, Shreyas Rajagopalan, Sarah B. Bialik, Jeffrey E. Barrick, Marianne Alleyne, Qian Chen, and Charles M. Schroeder. (2023) Electron Tomography and Machine Learning for Understanding the Highly Ordered Structure of Leafhopper Brochosomes. Biomacromolecules: Vol. 24, No. 190-200.

Elizabeth Bello, Yutao Chen, and Marianne Alleyne. (2023) Staying Dry and Clean: An Insect’s Guide to Hydrophobicity. Insects: 2023, Vol. 14, No. 1-42.

Progna Banerjee, Gabriel R. Burks, Sarah B. Bialik, Mostafa Nasar, Elizabeth Bello, Marianne Alleyne, Benny D. Freeman, Jeffrey E. Barrick, Charles M. Schroeder, Delia J. Milliron. (2023) Nanostructure-Derived Antireflectivity in Leafhopper Brochosomes. Advanced Photonics Research: 2023, 2200343.