Button to scroll to the top of the page.

News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Turning the Tide: How the Marine Science Institute is Building a Bluer Future

Turning the Tide: How the Marine Science Institute is Building a Bluer Future

Photo by Richard Barnden.

The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute can feel like the edge of the world. It stands on a corner of Mustang Island, surrounded by windswept grassy dunes and a seemingly endless expanse of Gulf water. But this unassuming campus is perfectly positioned to study our planet's largest resource. MSI isn't an edge; it's a forefront.

UT Marine Science Institute Teams with SeaWorld San Antonio

UT Marine Science Institute Teams with SeaWorld San Antonio

This month, when SeaWorld San Antonio unveiled and opened Turtle Reef™, featuring non-releasable sea turtles in a first-of-its-kind biofiltration habitat, part of the focus was on its partnership with The University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas.

Arctic Rivers Can Help Monitor Greenhouse Gases Released from Thawing Permafrost

Arctic Rivers Can Help Monitor Greenhouse Gases Released from Thawing Permafrost

James McClelland and his colleagues developed a new way to monitor carbon released from thawing permafrost in the Arctic by analyzing water samples from major rivers.

As Earth's climate warms, experts predict the rate of greenhouse gas emissions from thawing Arctic permafrost and peat will rise, which will further boost climate warming. Because the rate of permafrost thaw varies widely across the Arctic and data from remote areas is limited, it's been challenging for scientists to monitor actual changes on the ground.

Ten Students Receive Prestigious Federal Graduate Research Awards

Ten Students Receive Prestigious Federal Graduate Research Awards

Six graduate students and four undergraduates have received prestigious federal graduate research awards. Pictured are Stephanie Valenzuela, Thao Thanh Thi Nguyen, Logan Pearce, Caitlyn McCafferty, Taha Dawoodbhoy, Ian Rambo, Hadiqa Zafar, Zoe Boundy-Singer, Griffin Glenn, and Ariel Barr.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have awarded prestigious graduate research awards to 48 University of Texas at Austin students, including ten from the College of Natural Sciences.

Scientists Discover New Details about Metabolism in Ancestors of All Complex Life

Scientists Discover New Details about Metabolism in Ancestors of All Complex Life

A team of researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere, have found new evidence that strengthens the hypothesis that the first complex life forms, called eukaryotes, arose from the merger of two simpler life forms. The same team previously identified living relatives of ancestors of eukaryotes, while this latest study shows how those ancestors might have shared the work of metabolism with bacteria they acted as hosts for.

Newly Discovered Deep-Sea Microbes Gobble Greenhouse Gases and Perhaps Oil Spills, Too

Newly Discovered Deep-Sea Microbes Gobble Greenhouse Gases and Perhaps Oil Spills, Too

Researchers have documented extensive diversity in the microbial communities living in the extremely hot, deep-sea sediments located in the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California. This view of the Guaymas Basin seafloor was taken through the window of the Alvin submersible by Brett Baker in November 2018.

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin's Marine Science Institute have discovered nearly two dozen new types of microbes, many of which use hydrocarbons such as methane and butane as energy sources to survive and grow—meaning the newly identified bacteria might be helping to limit the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and might one day be useful for cleaning up oil spills.

Undeterred, Gulf Fish Spawn Despite Hurricane

Undeterred, Gulf Fish Spawn Despite Hurricane

Even a Category 4 hurricane doesn't kill the mood for coastal fish – and that's good news for all species, as well as for a multibillion-dollar recreational fishing industry. As extreme weather patterns threaten to bring more and larger storms to the Gulf Coast, new findings from the University of Texas at Austin's Marine Science Institute show some important fish species are able to continue spawning even in a severe storm.

Resilient Marine Scientists Home Again as Lab Building Reopens after Harvey

Resilient Marine Scientists Home Again as Lab Building Reopens after Harvey

Being a marine scientist entails coping with extremes, from scuba diving deep in the ocean to interacting with living organisms that are among the planet's most mysterious creatures. Nonetheless, Hurricane Harvey was a whole new extreme for The University of Texas's Marine Science Institute. 

A Surprising Effect of Texas Drought: Changes to the Marine Food Web

A Surprising Effect of Texas Drought: Changes to the Marine Food Web

When Texas' worst drought on record hit the state between 2011 and 2015, it did more than dry up rivers and lakes. It changed the chemical composition of fish eggs, which revealed bigger changes to the marine life in Aransas Bay.

Success of Conservation Efforts for Important Caribbean Reef Fish Hinges on Climate Change

Success of Conservation Efforts for Important Caribbean Reef Fish Hinges on Climate Change

Photo credit: Alfredo Barroso

For more than 20 years, conservationists have been working to protect one of the most recognizable reef fish in the Caribbean, the endangered and iconic Nassau grouper, and thanks to those efforts, populations of this critical reef fish have stabilized in some areas. But in a new paper, published in the journal Diversity and Distributions, marine scientists said climate change might severely hinder those efforts by the end of this century.