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First Annual GEMS Retreat

First Annual GEMS Retreat

The first annual GEMS retreat was held on September 15, 2021 at the Allerton Park and Retreat Center. More than 35 GEMS trainees and faculty from the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and the University of Chicago gathered for a retreat focused on cross-disciplinary integration.

Research Highlights

Project Highlight: Recombination, HGT, and natural selection in bacterial evolutionary responses

More than three billion years ago, the tree of life sprouted.

More than three billion years ago, the tree of life sprouted. As life diversified, the branches of the tree spread, each fork a common ancestor, each proceeding branch a diverging lineage, and every terminating leaf an extant species. The tree has flourished (despite several harsh prunings) for eons hence.

 

Project Highlight: Understanding the nexus of nutrition, the microbiome, and virus susceptibility in the honey bee

Bee in field of honeycomb cells

One of the most charismatic faces of the climate crisis and our changing world is the humble honey bee. According to the USDA, honey bees are responsible for every one in three bites of food we eat, and without them, it has been estimated that yields on more than 30% of agricultural land worldwide would decrease.

Project Highlight: Eco-evo feedbacks: How does rhizobium evolution affect pollination ecology? Mutualism feedbacks on pollination.

Project Highlight: Eco-evo feedbacks: How does rhizobium evolution affect pollination ecology? Mutualism feedbacks on pollination.

Save the bees! Protect the pollinators! Phrases like these are heard all the time, but what do they mean? Pollinators are animals (usually insects) that help the transfer of pollen from flower to flower, leading to the fertilization and reproduction of plants.

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