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Integrative Biology

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Graduate Student Elizabeth Bello Awarded 2021 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship

The program offers University of Illinois graduate students at the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. level the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the institute. Elizabeth (Department of Entomology) is pursuing an M.S. in entomology and will work with Marianne Alleyne of entomology and Charles Schroeder of materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering. She will collect and identify Illinois species of leafhoppers, then learn about the structures and size of brochosomes across different species. A brochosome is intricately structured microscopic granule secreted by leafhoppers.

Bello will then study how water maintains contact with leafhoppers that have brochosomes, as well as with leafhoppers whose brochosomes have been removed. She’ll also study the leafhopper cuticle and brochosome adhesion to the cuticle. Bello is serving as a mentor to Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellow Shreyas Rajagopalan. Her work on brochosomes will better help researchers understand their potential for creating bioinspired anti-reflective coating materials and possibly new anti-biofouling materials.

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Publication Date: 04/28/2021
Editor: Meg Dickinson