Heath Lab News

Rebecca starts her new position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at McMaster. Wish her luck!

Labake’s poster focuses on the correlations between easily measurable traits like chlorophyll content and nitrogen isotope ratios which more closely reflect biological nitrogen fixation.

James’s presentation highlighted his research with Ensifer, Pseudomonas, and Paenibacillus root nodule endophytes in Medicago truncatula.

New paper accepted using evolutionary game theory to model invasibility of mutualist genotypes with varying levels of host-host competition! Find it here!

Sierra, who just completed her undergrad at Montana State University, began her doctoral work in the lab in January 2022. She will study plasmid-host coevolution in Rhizobium as part of the GEMS Institute. Welcome!

The Heath Lab met at Riggs Brewing Company to welcome new members and ring in the end of a long semester with mulled wine and a Christmas market!

New paper accepted tracking the nodule, root, and leaf microbiomes of the symbiosis model Medicago truncatula across three host genotypes grown in native soils! Find it here!

Two things (or more), living together in close association, and making something special happen that is greater than the sum of its parts. What better topic to bring together an interdisciplinary team working on plants, bees, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and more? We are really excited to launch GEMS: Genomics and Eco-Evolution of Multi-scale Symbiosis – a new NSF Biological Integration Institute with tons of amazing people (here at Illinois, at Indiana U., and U. of Chicago) that I can’t wait to work with. Check out the press release here: https://www.igb.illinois.edu/article/collaborative-team-awarded-125-million-new-nsf-biology-integration-institute

Check out our new website (in the works) here, and the accompanying ad for integrative postdoctoral opportunities here! Students can apply through any relevant graduate program at UIUC, IU, or U Chicago – see the GEMS website or the “join us” page on this site.

Undergraduate researcher Laura Goralka just earned High Distinction in research to put the frosting on her Integrative Biology degree! Laura studied antibiotic resistance variation in natural populations of Rhizobium leguminosarum for her research project. Laura’s next move is graduate school for a master’s program in nursing. Go Laura!

Congrats to James! He will be studying how rhizobia impact plants when they are not in the nodules!