News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Creative Research Collaborations to Start with “Pop-Up Institutes”

Creative Research Collaborations to Start with “Pop-Up Institutes”

Faculty members in the College of Natural Sciences are leading new Pop-Up Institutes as part of a new interdisciplinary research initiative at The University of Texas at Austin. Three Pop-Up Institutes were announced this week, with two originating in Natural Sciences. These research efforts will assemble fresh collaborations to address the influence of individual variation on the health and fitness of populations and the impact of discrimination on health outcomes.

Some Bacteria Have Lived in the Human Gut Since Before We Were Human

Some Bacteria Have Lived in the Human Gut Since Before We Were Human

Some of the bacteria in our guts were passed down over millions of years, since before we were human, suggesting that evolution plays a larger role than previously known in people's intestinal-microbe makeup, according to a new study in the journal Science.

Two Rare Orchids Discovered at Brackenridge Field Lab

Two Rare Orchids Discovered at Brackenridge Field Lab

Last week Robert Deans, a University of Texas at Austin graduate student in ecology, evolution and behavior, discovered an extremely rare orchid in an unexpected place—at an urban biological field station in the heart of Austin, Texas.

Rare, Blind Catfish Never Before Found in U.S. Discovered in Texas

Rare, Blind Catfish Never Before Found in U.S. Discovered in Texas

An extremely rare eyeless catfish species previously known to exist only in Mexico has been discovered in a National Recreation Area in Texas.

Supporting Pollinators Could Have Big Payoff for Texas Cotton Farmers

Supporting Pollinators Could Have Big Payoff for Texas Cotton Farmers

According to a new study by The University of Texas at Austin, increasing the diversity of pollinator species, including bees, flies and butterflies, can dramatically increase cotton production. The researchers estimate that in South Texas, the region they studied, increasing the diversity of pollinators could boost cotton production by up to 18 percent, yielding an increase in annual revenue of more than $1.1 million.

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.

Common Colds at School a Primary Driver of Asthma Hospitalizations for Children

Common Colds at School a Primary Driver of Asthma Hospitalizations for Children

The most dangerous times of year for children with asthma are soon after their schools reopen after a break, and a new study finds that cold viruses are largely to blame.

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.