School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Scientists further cowpea research—boosting canopy CO2 assimilation, water-use efficiency

Crops grow dense canopies that consist of several layers of leaves—the upper layers with younger sun leaves and the lower layers with older shaded leaves that may have difficulty intercepting sunlight trickling down from the top layers.

In a recent study published in Food and Energy Security...

Building a prairie & watching for bees with ESA Fellow Alex Harmon-Threatt

Join us in celebrating Entomology's Alexandra Harmon-Threatt, elected as a 2020 Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America (ESA) for her critically important research in the ecology and conservation of native bee species: training the next generation of ecologists, providing public outreach, and enhancing diversity in science. Read more about her research:

It’s early evening as I follow the researchers to their work site on the Phillips Tract, just east of Urbana. When we get there...

Study of giant ant heads using simple models may aid bio-inspired designs

Researchers have developed a simple model to study how ants balance their large heads relative to their body size. Such models may have useful applications in bio-inspired designs. They use a variety of modelling approaches to study form and function. By using a basic biomechanical model for studying body form and center of mass stability in ants, new research identifies the benefits of “simple models” and hope that it can be used for bio-inspired designs.

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.