School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential

Nine researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2022 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated exceptional influence – reflected through their publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers during the last decade. This year’s list includes 6,938 individuals from around the world whose papers rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science.

Illinois Storytellers - Nariah Romero-Rudy

The Illinois Commitment scholarship program made an Illinois education possible for Nariah Romero-Rudy (LAS ’23). In this essay, she shares the inspiration behind her dream of becoming a genetic counselor. The Illinois Storytellers series brings you first-person pieces from distinctive Illinois voices.

Students host Owl Night outreach event for second year, and it’s a real hoot!

Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign once again hosted “Owl Night,” a public outreach event where people of all ages can learn about owl behavior and ecology, and if they’re lucky, see an owl up close. Owl Night takes place on two separate nights: November 1st at Kennekuk County Park, and November 8th at Homer Lake. At Owl Night, participants can learn about owls through a series of hands-on activities, including dissection of owl pellets, examination of owl feathers under a microscope, tracking owls by hand using radiotelemetry, and more!

Honey bees prosper with quality, not quantity, of food in novel laboratory setup

Honey bee workers collect pollen and nectar from a variety of flowering plants to use as a food source. Honey bees typically forage from up to 1-2 miles away from the hive, though sometimes they travel even further, including up to 10 miles away. However, much of the modern landscape consists of agricultural fields, which limits the foraging options for honey bees in these areas.

CABBI Team Adds Powerful New Dimension to Phenotyping Next-Gen Bioenergy Crop

Miscanthus is one of the most promising perennial crops for bioenergy production since it is able to produce high yields with a small environmental footprint. This versatile grass has great potential to perform even better, as much less effort has been put into improving it through breeding relative to established commodity crops such as maize or soybean.

Model calculates energetics of piercing fangs, claws and other biological weapons

Researchers have created a model that can calculate the energetics involved when one organism stabs another with its fangs, thorns, spines or other puncturing parts. Because the model can be applied to a variety of organisms, it will help scientists study and compare many types of biological puncturing tools, researchers said. It also will help engineers develop new systems to efficiently pierce materials or resist being pierced.

Carla Cáceres named G. William Arends Professor in Integrative Biology

Longtime professor and director honored for research, teaching, and mentoring

When Carla Eva Cáceres was a sophomore studying biology at the University of Michigan, she heard of an internship that would put her on a boat in Lake Michigan doing research. She hesitated.

Male/female plumage differences in thrushes promote species recognition

In 1868, the naturalist Charles Darwin wrote that differences in plumage coloration between male and female birds of the same species were likely the result of sexual selection: Female birds – he used the peahen and peacock as an example – seemed to prefer the showiest males. A new study of thrushes offers evidence that another dynamic is at play, and helps explain why this phenomenon, called sexual dichromatism, is not universal among birds, its authors say.

"Contrary to commonly accepted standards of morality"

A plant biologist’s views on sex triggered a storm of protest and debate on academic freedom

The story of Leo Koch is best understood in a 1960 frame of mind. That year, John F. Kennedy was running for president and Westerns such as Gunsmoke and Wagon Trail were the top shows on television. The eventual hit song “I’m sorry” was stalled in studios over concerns that the singer, Brenda Lee, was singing about love in a way unbecoming of a 15-year-old.

Cowbird Chicks Must Adopt ‘The Goldilocks Principle’ To Boost Survival

Cowbirds need to grow up alongside two host nestlings — no more and no less — to maximize their own survival