Research news in brief

Honey bee on a clover blossom.
Honey bee on clover blossom. Photo by Andy Murray, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

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Irene Newton to co-lead collaborative team awarded $12.5 million for new NSF Biology Integration Institute:

GEMS team will address the fundamental biological question: "How do symbioses unify biology, from molecule to ecosystem?" by examining the interaction between clover and honey bees as a model. Newton's research focuses on mechanisms of symbiosis, genomics, and bioinformatics. Other IU Biology faculty researchers on the multi-institutional GEMS team are Jen Lau, studying field ecology and rapid evolution; Jay Lennon, studying microbial communities and evolutionary ecology; and Mike Wade, studying population biology and co-evolution.

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Migration shapes patterns of disease transmission

A study by colleagues Daniel Becker and Ellen Ketterson of IU and Richard Hall of University of Georgia is among the first to investigate how relapsing infections influence the seasonal timing of infection risk in migrants; new paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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Researchers awarded $1.4 million to study connection between farmers, soil microbes, and drought resilience

Jen Lau and Jay Lennon are part of an interdisciplinary team investigating how human adaptation (how farmers respond to drought) interacts with ecological adaptation (how microbial communities respond to drought) in ways that might affect resilience to climate change.

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Developmental biologist awarded $1.5 million from the National Eye Institute for research on the development of the insect compound eye

Justin Kumar will investigate the role that inductive signals play in specifying the fate of the compound eye of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

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Bird banding station nets 1,000th bird for population-level research

Researchers and citizen scientists at the Kent Farm Research Station netted and banded their 1,000th bird—a White-eyed Vireo—as part of the international Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program.

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