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From the College of Natural Sciences
Symbiotic Fungi Inhabiting Plant Roots Have Major Impact on Atmospheric Carbon

Symbiotic Fungi Inhabiting Plant Roots Have Major Impact on Atmospheric Carbon

Microscopic fungi that live in plants' roots play a major role in the storage and release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, according to a University of Texas at Austin researcher and his colleagues at Boston University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The role of these fungi is currently unaccounted for in global climate models.

An Amanita mushroom from a field site in Harvard Forest. This particular mushroom is the fruiting body of an ectomycorrhizal fungus associated with the roots of a Hemlock tree. Photo by Colin Averill.

Every Fish Wants to Be a Macho Fish

Every Fish Wants to Be a Macho Fish

For the male African cichlid fish, everyday can be a battle to gain rights to prime real estate and girls. Though the aquariums in Hans Hofmann’s lab in Patterson Hall are not like the fight-to-the-death arena of “The Hunger Games,” they are still the scenes of epic competition and showmanship.

Hungry Bats Spy on Neighbors to Find a Good Meal

Hungry Bats Spy on Neighbors to Find a Good Meal

Illustration by Jenna Luecke.

Before checking out a new restaurant or food cart, people turn to Yelp! or rely on old-fashioned reviews from friends and family. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that bats do something similar, but only when their original dining source takes a turn for the worse.

Ulrich Mueller and Leafcutter Ants: A Story of Co-Evolution

Ulrich Mueller and Leafcutter Ants: A Story of Co-Evolution

Ulrich Mueller visits leafcutter ant colonies at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory and reflects on what fascinates him about the ants and their co-evolutionary relationship to the fungus species they farm.

Singing Mice Protect Their Turf with High-Pitched Tunes

Singing Mice Protect Their Turf with High-Pitched Tunes

Two species of tawny brown singing mice that live deep in the mountain cloud forests of Costa Rica and Panama set their boundaries by emitting high-pitched trills, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered.

Texas Invasive Species Program Established at Brackenridge Field Lab

Texas Invasive Species Program Established at Brackenridge Field Lab

To combat and manage pesky invasive species such as fire ants, tawny crazy ants and Cactoblastis moths, the Texas Invasive Species Program has been established at The University of Texas at Austin with $2.7 million in support from the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation. Professor Larry Gilbert collects phorid flies for his research on the invasive red...
Robotic Frogs Help Turn a Boring Mating Call into a Serenade

Robotic Frogs Help Turn a Boring Mating Call into a Serenade

With the help of a robotic frog, biologists at The University of Texas at Austin and Salisbury University have discovered that two wrong mating calls can make a right for female túngara frogs.

Researchers Discover a New Way Fish Camouflage Themselves in the Ocean

Researchers Discover a New Way Fish Camouflage Themselves in the Ocean

Fish can hide in the open ocean by manipulating how light reflects off their skin, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. The discovery could someday lead to the development of new camouflage materials for use in the ocean, and it overturns 40 years of conventional wisdom about fish camouflage.
Invasive Crazy Ants Are Displacing Fire Ants

Invasive Crazy Ants Are Displacing Fire Ants

Residents of invaded areas say "we want our fire ants back."

Scientists Cage Dead Zebras in Africa to Understand the Spread of Anthrax

Scientists Cage Dead Zebras in Africa to Understand the Spread of Anthrax

Scavengers may not play as key a role in spreading anthrax disease through wildlife populations as previously assumed.
Rock Snot Genomics

Rock Snot Genomics

University of Texas researchers use advanced sequencing and TACC's Ranger supercomputer to uncover origin of common algae.

Novel Method Reveals Diet of Endangered Barton Springs Salamander

Novel Method Reveals Diet of Endangered Barton Springs Salamander

The Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum) in Eliza Spring. Image courtesy of Hayley Gillespie. AUSTIN, Texas — Using a novel technique that is less invasive, less lethal, and more informative than traditional methods, an alumna of The University of Texas at Austin has identified what prey the endangered Barton Springs Salamander chooses to ea...
Biologist Camille Parmesan Named 2013 Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Biologist Camille Parmesan Named 2013 Distinguished Texas Scientist by Texas Academy of Science

Parmesan receives honor for her work studying the impacts of climate change on wildlife.
Virus Caught in the Act of Infecting a Cell

Virus Caught in the Act of Infecting a Cell

The detailed changes in the structure of a virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium have been observed for the first time.

Bumblebees Do Best Where There Is Less Pavement and More Floral Diversity

Bumblebees Do Best Where There Is Less Pavement and More Floral Diversity

AUSTIN, Texas — Landscapes with large amounts of paved roads and impervious construction have lower numbers of ground-nesting bumblebees, which are important native pollinators, a study from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley shows.