News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Evolutionary Biologist James Bull Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Evolutionary Biologist James Bull Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Evolutionary biologist James Bull of The University of Texas at Austin has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

See 22 Ways UT Researchers Apply DNA, Genomics to Understanding Life

See 22 Ways UT Researchers Apply DNA, Genomics to Understanding Life

In honor of National DNA Day, we take a look at the myriad ways that researchers in the College of Natural Sciences use deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and genomic information to fight disease, improve agriculture and illuminate the wonders of the natural world.

Biology Professor Nancy Moran Receives Lifetime Contribution Award

Biology Professor Nancy Moran Receives Lifetime Contribution Award

Evolutionary biologist Nancy Moran, a professor in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution's Lifetime Contribution Award.

Global Spread of Zika Linked to Types of Mosquitos that Transmit It

Global Spread of Zika Linked to Types of Mosquitos that Transmit It

More cities than previously assumed could soon grapple with the Zika virus if two species of mosquitos are found to be equally effective carriers of the disease, a University of Texas at Austin disease ecologist and his colleagues argue in the current edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Graduate Students Ensure Science Under the Stars Shines Bright

Graduate Students Ensure Science Under the Stars Shines Bright

A young visitor to Science Under the Stars views ants through a microscope. Photo by Vivian Abigiu.

Starlight twinkles through the trees and crickets serenade in the distance as families, students and others with a thirst for knowledge gather outside at The University of Texas at Austin's Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) for another evening of Science Under the Stars.

Biologist Gary Garrett Named Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Biologist Gary Garrett Named Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Gary P Garrett has been named a Distinguished Texas Scientist by the Texas Academy of Science for work in the conservation of Texas aquatic natural resources. The award honors researchers who have spent a significant portion of their career in Texas and whose publications have garnered national or international recognition.

Audio: Saving the Bees, Two Perspectives

Audio: Saving the Bees, Two Perspectives

As bees sharply decline around the world, two researchers are taking very different approaches to understand -- and potentially reverse -- this troubling trend. One is studying the microbes that live inside bees and help protect them against infections. The other is studying the links between changing landscapes and bee health.

Sociable Chimps Harbor Richer Gut Microbiomes

Sociable Chimps Harbor Richer Gut Microbiomes

Two chimpanzees interact in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Photo by Steffen Foerster, Duke University

Spending time in close contact with others often means risking catching germs and getting sick. But being sociable may also help transmit beneficial microbes, finds a multi-institutional study of gut microbiomes in chimpanzees.

Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Why a Simple Law Governs Tropical Rainforest Trees

Tropical rainforests play a vital role in the well-being of our planet, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping stabilize the global climate. Around the world, tropical rainforests vary widely in climate and species composition, but when scientists plot out the numbers of trees by size, a puzzling consistency emerges: each rainforest follows the same pattern in the distribution of trees of different heights.

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Some Prairie Vole Brains Are Better Wired for Sexual Fidelity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that natural selection drives some male prairie voles to be fully monogamous and others to seek more partners. The surprising contrasts in the animals' brains result from differences in their DNA.

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Fish Skin Provides Invisibility in Open Ocean

Scientists have solved a longstanding mystery about how some fish seem to disappear from predators in the open waters of the ocean, a discovery that could help materials scientists and military technologists create more effective methods of ocean camouflage.

Researchers Receive $15 Million for Biofuel Crop Study

Researchers Receive $15 Million for Biofuel Crop Study

A researcher at The University of Texas at Austin will receive two grants totaling $15 million to study a native prairie grass, including how it can become a sustainable source of bioenergy amid global climate change.

Engineering Bacterial Communities Improves Plant Growth

Engineering Bacterial Communities Improves Plant Growth

University of Texas at Austin scientists say there's a simple way for home gardeners and small farmers to give plants a pesticide-free boost: by harnessing the power of often helpful bacterial communities known as the microbiomes of plants.

Froggy Went a Courtin'

Froggy Went a Courtin'

Two male túngara frogs make mating calls to attract females. Image by Amanda Lea.

Marketers and used car salesmen have long exploited a vulnerability in the way we make decisions, called the decoy effect, to get us to buy a certain product, even if our gut instinct is to buy another. Now a graduate student and her advisor in the Department of Integrative Biology have discovered that female frogs are prone to this same kind of irrational behavior when it comes to choosing a mate.

Chink Found in Armor of Invasive Crazy Ant

Chink Found in Armor of Invasive Crazy Ant

Tawny crazy ants are taking hold in the United States, swarming in explosive numbers and displacing other wildlife. But scientists from the University of Texas at Austin recently discovered a chink in the insect's armor that could help control the spread of this invasive species.