blog posts Professors Marni and Stephen Boppart: Tracking the traffic between our cells Nov 21, 2023 10:30 am The 2023 Allen Distinguished Investigators are visualizing and tracking extracellular vesicles: tiny packages of molecular cargo in nanosized lipid carriers, released by all cells in the body. Exploring multispecies relationships by walking 'with' the forest in Sri Lanka Nov 28, 2023 9:30 am Emma Lundin, a graduate student in tourism at the U of I, discusses her research in a rainforest in Sri Lanka, exploring how to create sustainable nature-based tourist experiences by walking 'with' the forest. Renovating historic Altgeld Hall Nov 20, 2023 2:00 pm 'The renovation of Altgeld Hall will mark the rebirth of one of the campus’s most storied and iconic buildings. The facility, which opened in 1897, was instrumental in the university’s early growth, and this project ensures that its legacy will continue,' says project manager Kevin Price. The multimedia 'CETACEAN (The Whale)' performance takes you to the sea Sep 21, 2023 10:30 am The 'CETACEAN' performances are Sept. 28 to Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stock Pavilion, 1402 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Urbana. Admission is free and seating is first come, first served. Following in the footsteps of early 20th century naturalist Elizabeth Kerr Jun 5, 2023 9:15 am Today marks the beginning of our expedition to the Central Andes of Colombia. All eight of us are women. We are all Colombian ornithologists working together to survey the birds here. Interestingly, we are not the first women to do this. 'Blind Field Shuttle' brings a new perspective to campus walk May 3, 2023 10:00 am Vancouver-based social practice artist Carmen Papalia's 'Blind Field Shuttle' focuses is on unlearning visual primacy and reconsidering our preconceptions and biases. Preserving Illinois forests, one landowner at a time Apr 28, 2023 10:15 am Illinois Extension forestry and research specialist Christopher Evans describes leading the first field day of a Beginning Forest Landowner Program to give landowners the experience, skills and connections needed to better manage their forests. Returning to Illinois theatre to direct, mentor students Apr 25, 2023 4:15 pm Tyrone Phillips, an Illinois theatre program alumnus and the artistic director of Chicago’s Definition Theatre, returned to direct students in a play this spring. Nurturing a tropical paradise in the heart of the Midwest Mar 10, 2023 9:00 am The U of I Plant Biology Greenhouse and Conservatory houses more than 200 species and 60 families of tropical and subtropical plants selected for their botanical interest or economic importance. Teaching generations of students about outbreaks – with art Jan 26, 2023 12:45 pm 'The art show is a midpoint in a journey to revamp the health district’s Germ Busters program, which conducts outreach to K-8 students on a variety of infectious diseases.' Using a 19th-century hand press to teach history of printing Dec 8, 2022 9:45 am 'I want students to literally get their hands on historical technology. Rather than talking about how print worked, students do these things – set print, bind books and use computer technology,' says Professor Ryan Cordell. A marvelous morning of migratory bird banding Oct 25, 2022 10:15 am Birds throughout the world are in trouble, and habitat loss is one reason for their decline. Understanding their life cycles and habitat requirements during migration is increasingly important – especially as climate change continues to affect the world. Spooky Spaces at U of I: The steam tunnels Oct 28, 2022 10:30 am You can't go inside them - they're dangerous and you'd be arrested - but the steam tunnels under the campus serve important functions. Plus, the old brick tunnelways produce weird noises that complete their creepy image. Learning from chickens Oct 19, 2022 8:15 am A tour of the U. of I.’s Poultry Research Farm reveals that chickens are daring, pragmatic and curious about humans. The facility trains students in all aspects of chicken care, breeding and management, and supports research at Illinois and beyond. Vivifying ikebana: Japanese flower arranging Oct 21, 2022 9:15 am Tamar learned jiyuka, or freestyle arrangement, which encourages contemporary artistic expression using simple design principles to create miniature arrangements highlighting the theme of kokoro, or heart, mind and spirit. Bringing an enslaved potter's story to the Met Oct 17, 2022 9:15 am George Calfas unearthed a jug in 2011 that is now part of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, 'Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina' Searching the Texas brushland for a rare, temperamental plant Aug 18, 2022 9:45 am 'As it stands with most rare species, this work isn’t always easy, but it is fulfilling. The excitement of seeing one rare plant – let alone a thriving population – is enough to sustain me in this work.' Waiting for the sun to set to find a rare bird Jun 30, 2022 10:00 am Each night, we perform checks of Whip-Poor-Will nests to record development of eggs and chicks, as well as instances of predation or failure. Nests are at risk on the ground, but a few broods hatch and reach fledging age, when they begin to fly. Rescuing ancient Maya history from the plow Jun 22, 2022 3:45 pm Anthropology professor Lisa Lucero and her colleagues are working to capture the history from Maya ruins before they are plowed under. Vet Med: Saving an endangered breed of donkey Jun 3, 2022 10:45 am Numbers of Baudet du Poitou donkeys have dwindled to only 300-400 worldwide. A breeding effort is underway at Illinois to expand their numbers and help save the breed from extinction. Photos by Michelle Hassel. Building back a tiny piece of prairie Nov 15, 2021 11:45 am Working to restore a prairie on century-old farmland – especially when starting from seed, as the Delcomyns did – requires plenty of patience and a lot of help. Staging a threatening encounter at a blackbird nest Oct 7, 2021 8:00 am 'The male stares me down while flicking his tail and wings – a sign that I’m not welcome here. Red-winged blackbirds are among the most brash and vocal birds you’ll ever meet.' Exploring the remnants of an ancient forest Sep 2, 2021 4:15 pm Hundreds of researchers have made use of these two woodlands over the decades, and these and other natural areas owned by the U. of I. are vital to training students in ecological research. Hunting a creature that hunts me Aug 20, 2021 1:15 pm When I reach the trap...I see that it’s covered in ticks. Hooray! Quickly though, I realize that I’ve introduced my own CO2 to the scene, along with the added attractant of my body heat. Suddenly, I become the local target of choice for the ticks. In pursuit of Indiana bats Jun 22, 2021 8:45 am 'My role at this site is to attach temperature-sensitive radio tags to reproductive female Indiana bats. We’ll use these tags to track the bats to roost trees during the day and to monitor their body temperatures.' Taking a cicada road trip May 27, 2021 9:30 am 'Every night, we quietly lurk in the dark at the edge of the lawn to listen for the rustling of dried leaves as the cicadas come out of their burrows. It’s a bit creepy, but also stunning...' Catching bats for conservation May 18, 2021 11:00 am 'With all the intimidation and preparation leading up to this night, I had built the bats up to be something dramatic – even fearsome – in my mind, but sitting there in my hand, the bats are smaller and sweeter than I anticipated. They are fuzzy.' Pondering U of I's ecological impact Apr 22, 2021 9:00 am I am biased, but I think the university’s leadership in so many areas of environmental research is exceptional. Here’s why. Connecting a virus to cancer – in sea lions Mar 31, 2021 9:45 am 'To say the images made us pathologists excited is an understatement. It was a eureka moment that was a long time in the making.' Hunting Goodenough Days Nov 30, 2020 8:00 am Artist Bea Nettles uses photographs of names from gravestones to create poetry for her book projects. Her most recent book 'Head Lines: Worlds Warning' is a chronology of the COVID-19 outbreak. Finding one elusive bird Oct 16, 2020 9:00 am Illinois Natural History Survey assistant ornithologist Anastasia Rahlin conducted field surveys in Volo Bog State Natural Area, and her efforts paid off with the discovery of a king rail, a water bird that blends in well with its surroundings. Unearthing an uncommon, burrowing snake Oct 12, 2020 9:30 am Kirtland’s snakes were once widespread in Illinois, but now are listed as a threatened species. With more than 99% of Illinois’ natural prairies lost to agriculture and urban development, these snakes struggle to maintain their current populations. Celebrating our diversity through food Sep 28, 2020 9:30 am 'My background is not a gauge of my worthiness or an obstacle to communication but an amalgamation of experiences and culture that I can share with my colleagues,' writes undgrad student Yi-Ying Tung. Following the sounds of prairie cicadas Sep 24, 2020 1:00 pm Scientists at the Illinois Natural History Survey study the elusive insect. Gathering data to save a rare turtle Aug 13, 2020 9:45 am 'Our goal is to learn as much as we can about (Blanding's turtles). Knowing...how many Blanding’s turtles remain – in the context of the turtle community as a whole – will help in the development of viable conservation and recovery plans for them.' Building a prairie and watching for bees Aug 6, 2020 8:45 am Two years ago, Professor Alexandra Harmon-Threatt built this outdoor labby planting more than 80 prairie species here. Her mission is to attract ground-nesting bees. She is here to see which bees are showing up. But that’s not all she’s after. Chasing bumble bees on a patch of prairie Jul 21, 2020 9:15 am Scientists know so little about bumble bees that it’s hard to make recommendations about the kinds of habitat they need, says Tommy McElrath, insect collection manager of the Illinois Natural History Survey. Grace and healing: Parkinson's dance class exercises body, mind Jun 12, 2020 10:30 am Dance for People with Parkinson’s uses dance to inspire patients to expand the limits of their condition. 'You just have to keep moving, one way or another. If I ever stop moving, that’s the end of it.' says participant Gary Stitt. Rediscovering a path to the Milky Way May 6, 2020 11:00 am We’re here because it’s wet. Archaeologist Tim Pauketat, who has studied Cahokia 25 years, wants to see it flooded. Watching how the water flows here will help unlock some of the secrets of this place, he says. Rohit Bhargava: My path to Illinois Apr 9, 2020 9:15 am 'Illinois technology has transformed lives, from the transistor to the LED, the MRI and the web browser. I knew we had the science and people to transform cancer too, if only we could bring them together.' Will Schneider: My path to Illinois Apr 6, 2020 2:00 pm 'Illinois has historically played a large role in shaping our understanding of child maltreatment, and I believe that we can alter the trajectory of generations of children to come.' Teresa Cardador: My path to Illinois Mar 30, 2020 2:15 pm 'Meaningful work is not simply something you go out and find like an egg at an Easter egg hunt. It’s something co-created, over time, by individuals and the organizations they work in.' Girish Chowdhary: My path to Illinois Mar 27, 2020 9:00 am 'At Illinois, this vision has bloomed into an invaluable research collaboration for some of the brightest minds crop sciences. The robots can do the research fieldwork required in a fraction of the time.' Professor Esther Ngumbi: My path from the Kenyan coast to Illinois Mar 23, 2020 9:45 am 'I grew up on the Kenyan coast... My parents were teachers, but their income was not enough to sustain us and send us to school. So, we also farmed. I got up early every day to work on the farm before school.' Reading history in the soil Jan 28, 2020 8:45 am Archaeologists are often asked, 'What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever found?' My answer...is not as much about the objects I find as it is about the stories I learn from them. Finding time for play Dec 5, 2019 8:00 am Graduate student Mary Lyons studies teachers’ strategies for supporting young children’s play-based learning. Surviving a football frenzy Nov 15, 2019 9:45 am Photographer Fred Zwicky puts you on the field as bedlam unfolds and Illinois fans celebrate a major upset victory over heavily favored Wisconsin. Measuring the unseen life of a river Sep 25, 2019 8:00 am Illinois researchers can learn about the life of a river without seeing the animals that live there. Bringing yesterday's plants to digital life Jul 31, 2019 1:00 pm This imaging process is part of Endless Forms, an NSFdigitization project. Our part is to digitize specimens from across the country in three groups: succulent plants, carnivorous plants and epiphytes. Tracking an invisible world Jul 22, 2019 9:30 am Successful experiments are worth the sleepless nights I spend dissecting the processes in living things that are essentially invisible to us.