Congratulations to the IB NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipients

As featured in Inside Illinois, Illinois graduate students won a record number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships this year.  Several students in Integrative Biology are among the awardees.  Let’s congratulate them for their hard work!

This year’s awardees from IB are:

▪Lorena Rios Acosta
▪Matias Cristobal Fernandez
▪Matthew Grobis
▪Daniel Joseph Urban
▪Kevin James Wolz

IB students accorded Honorable Mention are:

▪Cassie Wesseln
▪Kristen Bishop
▪Christopher Holmes-Singh
▪Allen Victor Lawrance
▪John Michael Maddux
▪Selina Ariel Ruzi

These lists come from the NSF-GRF Fastlane database. For additional information on this year’s competition, see the NSF-GRF main page.

The World of Biology Photo Competition 2013

An exciting opportunity for the SIB community has come forth this spring: The World of Biology Photo Competition! Anyone affiliated with SIB is eligible to submit up to three photographs in any of three categories: Nature, Biologists at Work, and Biological Imaging. Cash prizes will be awarded to 1st ($200), 2nd ($100), and 3rd ($50) place in each category.

Nature: Any photograph showing some aspect of the natural world.

Biologists at Work: Any photograph showing one or more biologists working in the laboratory or in the field.

Biological Imaging: Any photograph taken through or with the aid of a microscope or other imaging device.

To ensure that your photographs are in the competition, please mount each photograph on 11” x 14” quarter inch foam core backing, and drop them off along with electronic copies to the School of Integrative Biology office (286 Morrill Hall) by 5 PM Friday, April 19, 2013. There will also be an exhibit of the photographs at 612/614 Institute of Genomic Biology the following week from 3-5 PM on April 25, 2012.

Please feel free to download both the entry form and full instructions for the competition from this post by clicking on the following links:

SIB Photo Contest 2013 Instructions and Entry Form

SIB Photo Contest 2013 Flier

2012 World of Biology Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to Ryan Kelly, 2012 winner of the Deevey award from the Ecological Society of America.

Ryan Kelly, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois, is the winner of the 2012 Deevey award for his presentation: “Pushing the limits of the boreal-forest fire regime: recent changes in a 10,000 year context.” His presentation was coauthored by Melissa Chipman, Philip E. Higuera, Linda B. Brubaker, and Feng Sheng Hu.

His research reconstructed 10,000 years of boreal-forest fire history from analysis of macroscopic charcoal accumulation in sediment cores from Alaska. He presented evidence that the boreal fire regime has been changing through fuel depletion. Mr. Kelly completed a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois in 2005.

Read More:

Hugh Robertson elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America!

Hugh RobertsonIt’s a pretty big deal, so next time you see Dr Robertson be sure to congratulate him.  Hugh Robertson has been elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America for his contributions to the field of Entomology.

You can check out more about the award and Hugh’s remarkable career on at the Entomological Society of America’s website.

Congratulations Dr Robertson!

Congratulations to Dr Bell!

Allison Bell

Allison Bell, professor of Animal Biology, has been awarded the Animal Behavior Society Young Investigator Award for her research and laboratory contributions.

Allison’s research focuses on the study of individual behavior and “personality” as well as the driving motivators and ramifications of such characteristics.  It is this exciting research as well as her aptitude for guiding those in her lab to excel that has earned her this award.

Check out the story here.

Congratulations Allison!

Outstanding Volunteer Service Award

Grant HansenGrant Hansen, graduate student in the new Plant Biology Professional Science Master’s program, has been awarded a 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, through the Office of Volunteer Programs, University of Illinois. Grant was recognized for his dedication to market research and business consulting partnerships with small businesses, which he conducts through ECI-SCORE, a CU student volunteer business organization. He was nominated for this honor by his SCORE mentor, Dr. Mel DeGeeter, who also attended the awards ceremony (inset).

Congratulations Grant!

Congratulations Dr Ainsworth and Dr Long!

Congratulations to plant biology’s Lisa Ainsworth, winner of the Shull Award, and Steve Long, winner of the Kettering Award!

The Charles Albert Shull Award is granted annually by the American Society of Plant Biologists to an early career scientist for outstanding investigations in the field of plant biology. Lisa received this award for her impressive scholarship, as well as her exemplary teaching and service. Lisa’s pioneering research on impacts of global and environmental change on both natural and managed plant ecosystems is widely appreciated.

The Charles F. Kettering Award was established to recognize excellence in the field of photosynthesis. Steve earned this year’s award for his seminal discoveries of the responses of photosynthesis to changes in the physical environment as well as the role of photosynthesis in mitigating climate change. Most recently, he and collaborators are developing plants as renewable sources of liquid fuel and addressing the social, economic, and ethical dimensions of allocating part of the food producing landscape to the production of fuel.

World of Biology Photo Competition Winners

The 1st Annual World of Biology Photo Competition was a fantastic success!  Of the many entries, nine winning entries were chosen from three categories.

Check out the winning entries and start planning for next year!


Scales of Just-hiss, by Daniel Urban

Disclosure, by Joan Huber

Iguenas in Love, by Dena Goldberg

Biologists at Work:

Art in his Natural Habitat, by Lauren Fields

When do we eat?, by Dan Mikros

Fieldwork in Ireland, by Kate Murphy

Biological Imaging:

Gills of Lucania Parva, by Emma Berdan

Tipulidae Oleracea, by an Mikros

Coprinus, by Charles Bee

SIB Junior wins Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Stephanie Klein, a junior majoring in Integrative Biology, who has been awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) by the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). Stephanie is one of fifteen students selected in the highly competitive national competition in 2012. She will receive a stipend and research funds to study “Auxin control of Medicago truncatula root development under elevated CO2” over the summer with Dr. Andrew Leakey, as well as support to travel to Providence, RI to present her findings at the annual meeting of ASPB next year.

Outstanding Student – Muhammed Fazeel

Muhammed FazeelSIB major, Muhammed Fazeel, is one of five finalists five finalists for the Lemelson-MIT $30,000 Illinois Student Prize for innovation.

Muhammed is working on an innovation called “In Case of Emergency” or I.C.E. This is a device that can call emergency services in case of major cardiac events that is affordable and non-invasive. He is also working on another project called Tabule, an instructor-student communication tool that is simple, efficient and ready to use on any smartphone or laptop. Tabule is currently in its beta-testing phase.

The winner of the prize will be announced and awarded the prize at a ceremony scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on March 7, 2012 in the auditorium of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA; 1205 W. Clark, Urbana), on the University of Illinois campus. The awards ceremony is open to the public, and will be immediately followed by a reception for all attendees. We’re rooting for you, Muhammed!