School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

The best way to help cows and zebras? Make them live together

In Kenya, cattle reduce tick populations and help protect wildlife

Improved model could help scientists better predict crop yield, climate change effects

A new computer model incorporates how microscopic, mouth-like pores on leaves (pictured) may open in response to light—an advance that could help scientists create virtual plants to predict how higher temperatures and rising levels of carbon dioxide will affect food crops.

Left eye? Right eye? American robins have preference when looking at decoy eggs

Just as humans are usually left- or right-handed, other species sometimes prefer one appendage, or eye, over the other. A new study reveals that American robins that preferentially use one eye significantly more than the other when looking at their own clutch of eggs are also more likely to detect, and reject, a foreign egg placed in their nest by another bird species – or by a devious scientist.

Illinois Units, Foundation Fund Purchase of Animal MRI at Beckman Institute

A Bruker 9.4 Tesla preclinical animal MRI system will be sited at the Beckman Institute. The addition of the system to the institute’s Biomedical Imaging Center will aid in research in many areas, including brain development and function, and cellular mechanisms in cancer. The installation project will begin this fall and is expected to take a year.

IB alumna awarded Fulbright grant to teach in Malaysia

Katherine Micek, of Orland Park, Illinois, was offered a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia. She received her B.S. in Integrative Biology in May 2017.

Hollow peg holds key to click beetles’ explosive flips

Struggling to right themselves when stranded on their backs, click beetles have a remarkable correction strategy. Arching the joint between the front and second section of the thorax, the beetles suddenly release the deformation and spring spontaneously into the air. Entomologist Marianne Alleyne collaborated with Aimy Wissa, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and others to examine the structure holding the latch structure together.

Doctoral Candidate Scott Clem Awarded Predoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Scott Clem, doctoral candidate in Dr. Alex Harmon-Threatt's lab, for being awarded the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Education and Workforce Development (EWD) Predoctoral Fellowship for $119,990 (award no. 2019-67011-29504). This is a two-year fellowship coupled with funding to continue his research on hover fly (Diptera: Syrphidae) migration and other winter survival strategies.

A warming Midwest increases likelihood that farmers will need to irrigate

Plant biology professor Evan DeLucia and his colleagues found that hotter conditions expected by midcentury will lead to a need for crop irrigation in the Midwest, a region that relies primarily on rainfall to grow crops.

Jessica Conroy receives NSF grant to study tropical water cycles

Conroy was awarded the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate past patterns of the water cycle in the tropical Pacific.

Dr. Andrew Miller receives Distinguished Research Scientist award

Dr. Andrew Miller, affiliate of Plant Biology, was presented with the Distinguished Research Scientist award from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois during a Celebration of Excellence held to honor the outstanding achievements of its employees.