Marc G Airhart

Marc G Airhart

Marc Airhart is the Communications Coordinator for the College of Natural Sciences. A long time member of the National Association of Science Writers, he has written for national publications including Scientific American, Mercury, The Earth Scientist, Environmental Engineer & Scientist, and StarDate Magazine. He also spent 11 years as a writer and producer for the Earth & Sky radio series.
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In the world of living things, surely one of the oddest relationships is the one between certain insects and the bacteria they can't seem to live without. Such bacteria, called obligate symbionts live inside the host's cells. They're distinct organisms -- they have their own DNA separate from that of the host. And yet, if you try to remove the bacteria, the host dies. And vice versa.

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Students from The University of Texas at Austin won $100,000 in seed funding for developing an idea for a smart phone app that would use artificial intelligence to help Texas residents get information about health care, food assistance and other social services in partnership with the United Way for Greater Austin’s 2-1-1 Navigation Center.

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Meet Spencer Wells (B.S., '88), National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and founder of the Genographic Project.

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Have you ever been working on a document on your computer and it suddenly crashes? Maybe the power goes out or there's a software glitch that causes it to freeze and you lose everything you've been working on for the past hour. New research published today in the journal Nature Communications might eventually lead to computers and other electronic devices that don't have this vulnerability.

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Harrington Fellowship Supports Three Natural Sciences Graduate Students

Three winners of the university's most prestigious fellowship program, the Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program, are currently working in the College of Natural Sciences. The three graduate students—from California Institute of Technology, Georgia State and The University of Texas at Austin—are researching how planets form beyond our solar system, how our brains make associations between rewards and the environments in which we get them, and how corals respond and adapt to changes in their environment.

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Physicist Peter Onyisi, assistant professor in the College of Natural Sciences, was part of a team at CERN working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that discovered something that looked like the Higgs boson particle.

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Every week, as Sneha Patel stood in front of the roughly 20 freshmen she mentored and gave tips on how to navigate college, she would see a lot of heads nodding—but not in the back of the room. There sat one girl, always with her headphones on, not participating. Patel was surprised when the student signed up for one of the individual sessions she offered to each of her mentees. She probably won't even show up, Patel thought. When the student did arrive for her meeting, she was very quiet at first. Then something shifted.

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A new computational technique developed at The University of Texas at Austin has enabled an international consortium to produce an avian tree of life that points to the origins of various bird species. A graduate student at the university is a leading author on papers describing the new technique and sharing the consortium’s findings about bird evolution in the journal Science.

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Jacob Heiling (BS '13) was already interested in biology when he started working as a greenhouse assistant at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) as an undergraduate. The time he spent watching butterflies interact in the greenhouse sparked his interest in studying species interactions, and that led to an independent research project on the chemical ecology of bird-dispersed fruits.