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From the College of Natural Sciences

Texas Leafcutter Ants Aided, But Also Limited, By Cold Tolerant Fungus Crops, Research Shows

Texas leafcutter ants farm crops of fungus that evolved cold tolerance to Texas winters, just as northern farmers cultivate cold weather crops.

Found: Multitalented Grad Student + Black-footed Ferret

Black-footed ferret illustration by Laura Crothers. On a web trawl today, we discovered graduate student Laura Crothers is not only a super smart biologist in Molly Cummings' lab studying endocrinology and behavioral ecology,  she's also a creative illustrator. Check out her blog Natural Miscillanea. This post is part of our blog, Extracts.Black-footed Ferret

Graduate Alumnus Awarded Three-Year Harvard Society Fellowship

Christian Rabeling, an alumnus of the graduate program in Ecology, Evolution and Human Behavior, intends to continue his studies on ants and explore the evolutionary processes that generate biodiversity.
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Lion Trackers

Nomadic male lions play a minor role in spreading disease among lion prides in the Serengeti, finds mathematical biologist Lauren Ancel Meyers.

Fluorescent Color of Coral Larvae Predicts Whether They’ll Settle Or Swim

Young staghorn coral that fluoresce redder are less likely to settle and develop into coral polyps than their greener peers, a finding that could help scientists monitor coral adaptation to global warming.

You Are What Your Father Ate

Environmental influences experienced by a father can be passed down to the next generation, “reprogramming” how genes function in offspring, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have discovered.

Sleepless Honey Bees Miscommunicate, Too, Research Shows

In the busy world of a honey bee hive, worker bees need their rest in order to best communicate the location of food to their hive mates.

University of Texas at Austin Plant Geneticist Receives Fulbright Award

Z. Jeff Chen has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to work at the University of Cambridge beginning January 2011.

Too Many Sisters Affect Male Sexuality

AUSTIN, Texas--Growing up with lots of sisters makes a man less sexy. For rats, anyway. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that the sex ratio of a male rat’s family when he’s growing up influences both his own sexual behavior and how female rats respond to him. David Crews...
New Fossil Suggests Dinosaurs Not So Fierce After All

New Fossil Suggests Dinosaurs Not So Fierce After All

A new species of dinosaur discovered in Arizona suggests dinosaurs did not spread throughout the world by overpowering other species, but by taking advantage of a natural catastrophe that wiped out their competitors.

Humanizing Biodiversity

Dr. Sahotra Sarkar (Photo: Marsha Miller) Sahotra Sarkar’s quest to preserve earth’s biodiversity has found inspiration in a place that doesn’t usually play a starring role in the global environmental imagination—Texas. “The landowners here, who I’ve spent a lot of time working with, tend to care as much as most conservationists do that the land qu...

Captured in a Flash: The Insect Photos of John Abbott

  Dr. John Abbott uses high speed flash photography to capture insects, bats and other animals in motion around Texas. The technique gives him (and you) the ability to see these creatures in a way that is impossible with the naked eye. Some of his subjects, like the phorid fly attacking the fire ants, are no larger than a pinhead. But with ...

Stormwater Capacity of Vegetated Roofs Studied

The Austin City Council approved $10,000 to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to study how much rainwater manufactured green roof products can capture.

Seductive Frogs and Sexual Selection

In this video, we take a brief look at one of the ways that Darwin's theory of sexual selection plays out. Male túngara frogs, as biologist Mike Ryan has shown in pathbreaking experiments, can make themselves more attractive to females by making more complex calls. They also, as the video demonstrates, make themselves more vulnerable to the predati...

On the Perilous Serenades of Túngara Frogs

Biologist Mike Ryan is being honored this month by the American Society of Naturalists with the E.O. Wilson Naturalist Award for his work in animal behavior.