School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Comparing photosynthetic differences between wild and domesticated rice

Millions of people in Asia are dependent on rice as a food source. Believed to have been domesticated as early as 6000 BCE, rice is an important source of calories globally. In a new study, researchers compared domesticated rice to its wild counterparts to understand the differences in their photosynthetic capabilities. The results can help improve future rice productivity.

BBC World News' Follow the Food featured RIPE research

On October 29th, the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project was featured on an episode of Follow the Food on BBC World News. Hosted by world-renowned ethnobotanist James Wong, the multimedia series focuses on the biggest pressures on the world food system including RIPE’s central mission of how to feed the growing population, and climate change, which is the focus of the current season.

New faculty member launches career in LAS

Nearly 20 new faculty have joined the College of LAS this fall, with their research and teaching interests ranging from African American religious diversity to the human brain and the role of law during periods of crisis. Daniel Miller is a new faculty member in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

New book celebrates Illinois couple’s turning back time in their own backyard

Wildflowers peek their heads through the grass. An eastern tailed-blue butterfly flits among the tall, swaying blades as a red-winged blackbird flies overhead.

When Fred Delcomyn looks outside, this is what he might see.

In 2001, when he and his wife, Nancy, moved to their home outside of Urbana, Illinois, it looked a lot different.

Yellow warblers remember warning calls 1 day later, suggesting long-term memory

Females spend more time at nest after hearing cowbird alarm

Across North America, hundreds of bird species waste time and energy raising chicks that aren’t their own. They’re the victims of a “brood parasite” called the cowbird, which adds its own egg to their clutch, tricking another species into raising its offspring.

Bee gold: Honey as a superfood

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the benefits of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive. May Berenabaum answers questions for Knowable Magazine about honey and its health benefits.

Can parental care influence sperm-mediated effects in threespine sticklebacks?

Animals can influence their offspring through multiple signals starting from fertilization to after birth. However, researchers have seldom looked at how these different signals work together to influence behavior. In a new study, postdoctoral researcher Jennifer Hellmann in the Bell Lab investigated how changes in sperm and paternal care influence the offspring of threespine sticklebacks.

Grad Student Visionary: Elizabeth Bello

This edition of Beckman's Grad Student Visionaries series features Elizabeth Bello, a graduate student studying entomology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She takes advantage of Beckman’s Microscopy Suite to further her research in the Alleyne Bioinspiration Co-LAB-orative, or ABCLab.

This Q&A is a spin-off of our Student Researcher Spotlight that highlights the state-of-the-art equipment housed in Beckman's Microscopy Suite and Visualization Laboratory and the graduate students who use it.

Staging a threatening encounter at a blackbird nest

It’s early morning, about 6 a.m. A light fog has settled over the marsh. I park my car, step out and double-check my backpack for all the necessary equipment before heading out.

After a short walk on a narrow paved path, I veer into the unmarked marsh. Water pools around my muck boots and a cacophony of bird calls rings in my ears. In the distance, I see a waving band of neon pink – a flag marking the location of a red-winged blackbird nest that my colleagues and I discovered yesterday.

USDA Funds ‘Agrivoltaics’ Project Led by University of Illinois/iSEE Team

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced funding for a new project led by iSEE Interim Director Madhu Khanna to optimize design for “agrivoltaic” systems — fields with both crops and solar panels — that will maintain crop production, produce renewable energy, and increase farm profitability.