School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

Eight faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list, a global listing of scientists who produced the past decade’s most influential papers, compiled by the Web of Science group, a Clarivate Analytics company. Three investigators with SIB's Plant Biology Department are among those named: Stephen Long recognized for over twenty-five thousand cross-field citations, Donald Ort for Plant and Animal Science citations, and Elizabeth Ainsworth for her high level of cross-field impact.

Gene Robinson speaks at LAS Dean's Distinguished Lecture

Inaugural event provides opportunity to learn from outstanding scholars

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has established the LAS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture to provide wider opportunity for people to hear from faculty who are leaders in their field. The inaugural lecture featured Gene Robinson, professor of entomology and director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

About 200 people showed up for the event, held in the Natural History Building.

Two SIB faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including two School of Integrative Biology faculty members: Andrew Suarez and Lisa Ainsworth, have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A little prairie can rescue honey bees from famine on the farm, study finds

Scientists, including Adam Dolezal, placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bees fared over the growing season. To the researchers’ surprise, the bees did well for much of the summer. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores. But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone and the overwintering brood was malnourished, the team discovered.

Bill Gates wants to hack photosynthesis

What: “Tuning up photosynthesis” a hybrid scientific-explainer-slash-music-video created by the Gates Foundation to popularize the idea plants can be engineered in ways that improve upon nature.

Who: This work is being pioneered by RIPE—the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency project with ties to the University of Illinois and eight other national and international research institutions.

New study shows link between iridescence and friction, wettability of beetle cuticle

Iridescent appearance is ubiquitous in the insect world, and is used for a variety of functions, such as signaling to a mate or providing camouflage. A new study from the University of Illinois is exploring the link between iridescence and the biomechanical properties of beetles’ cuticle, in an effort to better understand what other functions iridescence might serve.

Birds Raised by Other Species Use 'Password' to Recognize Their Own Kind

Cowbirds outsource parenting to other species, but an innate password tells their children to copy cowbird songs. Chicago's Sarah London, Illinois' Mark Hauber and Tokyo's Matthew Louder discovered this "password" call, that cowbirds know innately.

Researcher Spotlight: Katy Heath, Ph.D.

With the Researcher Spotlight, the Microbial Systems Initiative aims to introduce its readers to the breadth and diversity of research interests and potential growth opportunities on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. Katy Heath, PhD, is an associate professor of Plant Biology in the School of Integrative Biology and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Research in the Heath Lab for Coevolutionary Genomics focuses on the evolution of mutualisms, which are most generally defined as species interactions that increase the fitness of both (or all) partners.

Alison Kirby receives 2019 College of LAS annual alumni award

Seven alumni from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences have named recipients of the college’s 2019 annual alumni awards. The alumni represent a variety of backgrounds and degrees, and their achievements have clear links to their experiences at the University of Illinois. The recipients will be honored during Homecoming weekend on campus.

SIB graduate student wins "People's Choice" award at Research Live!

Research Live! is a fun, fast-paced competition that celebrates the research of graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thirteen finalists competed in the public round of Research Live! on Tuesday, October 22 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.