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From the College of Natural Sciences

Amanda Figueroa-Nieves is the Spring 2021 Science Communications intern. She's a sophomore majoring in Public Health and Plan II Honors who enjoys spending time outdoors in the many parks around Austin. She is a news desk editor at The Daily Texan and was their Fall 2020 Senior Research News Reporter. This semester, she hopes to hone her reporting and writing skills while helping scientists communicate their research effectively. 

Misinformation, the Brain and Tricks for Analyzing Data Accurately

Misinformation, the Brain and Tricks for Analyzing Data Accurately

Michela Marinelli, an associate professor of neuroscience and neurology, teaches a class particularly relevant as widespread misinformation becomes a hot topic in society.

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

​​Four faculty members from the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences have received 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships, which honor outstanding early-career scientists in eight fields.

Undergraduate Research Aims to Harness the Power of Mealworms to Degrade Plastic

Undergraduate Research Aims to Harness the Power of Mealworms to Degrade Plastic

Interior of a bin with polyethylene and mealworms. Photo courtesy of Emily Samson.

​In search of a way to reduce the amount of plastic pollution an individual creates, a team of undergraduates in the UT Austin Inventors Program are exploring how mealworms, and the microbes in their guts, can naturally degrade household plastics.

New Model Can Help Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

New Model Can Help Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Illustration by Jenna Luecke.

Richard Taylor, clinical assistant professor in the School of Human Ecology, co-authored a study published in Frontiers in Public Health which estimated that 1.7 million vaccine doses are needed to reach herd immunity for COVID-19 in Travis County. A new model could help public health officials in Central Texas better manage what amounts to a much larger vaccination campaign than was carried out during the last pandemic.

Jessica O’Connell Connects Ecology Research with Local Conservation Efforts

Jessica O’Connell Connects Ecology Research with Local Conservation Efforts

Photo courtesy of Jessica O'Connell.

Jessica O'Connell, an ecologist, remote-sensing specialist and data scientist, recently joined the Department of Marine Science as an assistant professor. O'Connell worked in wetlands across North America before making her way to the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, where she works to uncover what causes change in wetland systems while being responsive to local conservation and management issues. Part of that work looks at how climate change and sea level rise may impact coastal marshes.