About Our Research

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is a world-class educational and research institution with a unique ability to solve societal problems through interdisciplinary collaborations. Research from the College of ACES encompasses initiatives in bioenergy, biotechnology, integrated landscapes, environmental sustainability, food and agricultural systems, global climate change, family resiliency, public policy, and more. This work is on the forefront of scientific discoveries, having both local relevance for the citizens of Illinois and global impact for the world's scientific community.

More than 250 scientists contribute to the college's diverse and impressive portfolio. Our research and education facilities and centers, located throughout the state of Illinois, provide a vital testing ground where research can generate practical applications to benefit consumers, farmers, commodity groups, agricultural organizations, environmentalists, conservationists, government agencies, industry, and business.

Our work will lead to real solutions to the challenges facing our world.  We are proud to be part of the ongoing quest for scientific knowledge.

Research Areas

Our research efforts are focused on food, agricultural, environmental, family, and community challenges. You can discover our research efforts by exploring the research categories below or you can find potential collaborators and find scholarly articles at the Illinois Experts website.

For the latest news on all our groundbreaking research, be sure to check out our research news.

Explore our research by educational unit:

Research and Education Facilities

Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program
Facilitates and promotes research and education that protects natural and human resources in Illinois while sustaining agricultural production.

Beef and Sheep Facilities
Encompasses eight beef cattle facilities and a sheep barn spread over a 20-acre site.

Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (DSAC)

Located in the southern part of the state near Simpson, Illinois. The station operates on approximately 580 acres of university-owned property, and about 4,200 acres under special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service. 

Dudley Smith Initiative (DSI)

The Dudley Smith Initiative (DSI) supports innovative research and outreach that advances its fundamental goal of invigorating the agricultural system in Illinois.

A one-stop website for Illinois producers, lenders, and agribusinesses that provides comprehensive risk management information and analysis. "Farm Financial Analyzer" helps users evaluate farm financial performance. "Outlook" offers popular weekly and monthly newsletters on markets and other economic topics.

Food Science and Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant 
Serving the needs of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and others in the university, through a 10,000-square-foot food pilot plant with space for food-grade production and teaching and research activities.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Provides up-to-the-minute information on Great Lakes issues, emphasizing concerns in the southern Lake Michigan region. Research and outreach activities address water quality, aquaculture and seafood safety, biological resources, sustainable coastal development, and coastal processes.

Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory
Focuses on the scale-up of basic research in biofuels, chemicals, and other bioproducts through a 12,000-square-foot pilot plant and 3,500-square-foot analytical laboratory.

Maize Genetics Cooperation Stock Center
Houses the nation's maize collection.

Microscopic Imaging Center
Specializes in electron microscopy and provides imaging service for light microscopy; this campus-wide lab is located in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Morrow Plots
Offers the oldest agronomic experimental fields in the United States (established in 1876 and a National Historical Landmark), including the world's longest-term continuous corn plot.

Office for Futures and Options Research
Promotes and supports academic research and education on commodity futures and options markets.

Orr Center

The Orr Center in Pike County offers research opportunities at the Orr Beef Research Center, the Orr Agricultural and Demonstration Center, the John Wood Community College Agricultural Center.  

Plant Care Facility (PCF)
Serves as the primary greenhouse space available to faculty, staff, and students in Crop Sciences, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and affiliated USDA projects.

Provides the Illinois swine industry with timely information to facilitate decision making and to strengthen ties between the Illinois pork industry and the University of Illinois.

Poultry Research Facility
Encompasses six buildings located four miles southeast of campus.

Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment (SoyFACE)
Grows crops under production field conditions in an atmosphere with higher levels of carbon dioxide and ozone.

Strategic Soybean System (StratSoy)
Provides strategic tools and resources for the soybean industry and resources for consumers interested in soyfoods, soy-health research, and more.

W.M. Keck Center
Conducts research on the comparative genetic organization, evolution, and function of plant, animal, and microbial genomes.

Affiliated Units

ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss
Evaluates, creates, and disseminates economically viable technologies, practices, and systems to reduce postharvest losses of commodities, including rice, wheat, maize, and oilseed.

Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory
Works closely with the nine University of Illinois colleges, multiple disciplinary and professional units, and faculty and students to facilitate campus outreach, teaching, and research in areas related to bioenergy.

Center for Agricultural, Biomedical, and Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology (CABPN)
Comprises an industry–university cooperative research center in cooperation with the National Science Foundation.  The College of ACES and the U of I College of Engineering collaborate on proposals for research projects in the center.

Erosion Control Research and Training Center
Provides a demonstration, training, and research center for the Illinois Department of Transportation and other potential partners.

Family Resiliency Center
Advances knowledge and practices that strengthen families’ abilities to meet life’s challenges and thrive.

Illinois Gap Analysis Project
Provides focus and direction for proactive land management activities at the community and landscape levels.

Illinois Plant Breeding Center (IPBC)
Educates future generations of plant breeders (i.e., those involved in all areas related to cultivar improvement and seed product development) and provide ongoing support through continuing education.

Illinois Natural History Survey Prairie Research Institute
Conducts research on the taxonomy, ecology, and management of insects, plants, and animals. Offers online research databases, research project pages, survey publications, contacts, and history.

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Conducts transformative research in agriculture, human health, the environment, and energy use, and production. 

Landscape and Human Health Laboratory
Examines ways in which the physical environment affects the healthy functioning of individuals, families, and communities, and ways that people can participate in shaping the environment.

National Soybean Research Laboratory (NSRL)
Provides leadership in applying innovative approaches to meeting rapidly changing research and development needs in the soybean industry.

Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL)
Comprehensively addresses soybean technical knowledge and innovation, providing direct support to researchers, private sector firms, non-governmental organizations, extensionists, agronomists, technicians, and farmer associations tasked with soybean development.