School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Cicadas Are Delightful Weirdos You Should Learn to Love

As Brood IX takes flight for the first time in 17 years,
cicada lovers have their ears open.

Around this time of year, Marianne Alleyne hosts dozens of houseguests in her basement. Far from using camping equipment or cots, they sleep upside-down, clinging to a curtain. The entomologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has collected cicadas, those bizarre and misunderstood cyclical insects, for four years.

Genetically modified mosquitoes could be released beginning this summer

Silver bullet or jumping the gun?

This summer, for the first time, genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the U.S. within the states of Florida and Texas.

On May 1, 2020, the company Oxitec received an experimental use permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release millions of GM mosquitoes (labeled by Oxitec as OX5034) every week over the next two years in Florida and Texas.

SIB's Commitment to Diversity and Equity

Dear SIB Community,

At the end of May, 2020, Chancellor Jones sent out an email with a powerful message of unity for this campus - we must come together and care for one another. He reminds us that the University of Illinois is a "community committed to the scholarship, engagement, equity, inclusion and leadership that dismantles systems that utilize power, privilege and violence to disenfranchise, diminish and destroy."

Calling all pollinator fans: University of Illinois seeks citizen scientists

For the second year, University of Illinois Extension is calling all lovers of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that keep our crops and gardens growing to join scientists in tracking their distribution and habitat use across the state.

Lisa Ainsworth of USDA-ARS elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Lisa Ainsworth, a research plant physiologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and adjunct professor of plant biology and crop sciences at the University of Illinois, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences — largely considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

Virus-infected honey bees more likely to gain entrance to healthy hives

Entomology professor Adam Dolezal and his colleagues found that infection with the Israeli acute paralysis virus increases the likelihood that infected bees are accepted by foreign colonies.

College of LAS announces named scholar positions

Carl Bernacchi honored for contributions in education and research

2020 World of Biology Photo Competition

Deadline for submissions: 12:00 noon, Thursday, May 7, 2020

When warblers warn of cowbirds, blackbirds get the message

This is the story of three bird species and how they interact. The brown-headed cowbird plays the role of outlaw: It lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and lets them raise its young – often at the expense of the host’s nestlings. To combat this threat, yellow warblers have developed a special “seet” call that means, “Look out! Cowbird!”

In a new study, researchers Shelby Lawson and Mark Hauber at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report that red-winged blackbirds respond to the seet call as if they know what it means.