Department of
Plant Biology

Plant Biology News

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'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."

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.

College of LAS announces named scholar positions

Carl Bernacchi honored for contributions in education and research

Stephen Long named Stanley O. Ikenberry Chair

Professor of plant biology and crop sciences receives one of U of I's highest honors

University of Illinois professor Stephen Long, a renowned researcher known particularly for his work in photosynthesis and addressing food insecurity, has been named an Ikenberry Endowed University Chair of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences.

DOE Project at U of I Will Measure Bioenergy Crop Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $3.3 million grant to a multidisciplinary research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop a precise system for measuring greenhouse gas emissions from commercial bioenergy crops grown in central Illinois.

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.

Professor Lisa Ainsworth elected AAAS Fellow

Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to include Plant Biology's Lisa Ainsworth, have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ainsworth is the research leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit.

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.