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From the College of Natural Sciences
Caught in the Act: Population of Butterflies Appears to Be Splitting Into Two Species

Caught in the Act: Population of Butterflies Appears to Be Splitting Into Two Species

Breaking up may actually not be hard to do, say scientists who've found a population of tropical butterflies that may be on its way to a split into two distinct species. The cause of this particular break-up? A shift in wing color and mate preference.

Green Becomes Red

Misha Matz traces the evolution of coral fluorescence by resurrecting proteins from the past.

Switchgrass and Climate Change

Switchgrass and Climate Change

Researchers have received a $4.6 million grant to explore how switchgrass, a native prairie grass and promising source of biofuel, will fare under future climate change.

World-Renowned Lizard Expert Eric Pianka To Appear on Nova's "Lizard Kings"

World-Renowned Lizard Expert Eric Pianka To Appear on Nova's "Lizard Kings"

Lizard expert and University of Texas at Austin Professor Eric Pianka will appear on an upcoming Nova documentary called "Lizard Kings."

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Cool Class: Field Ecology

In some classes, students are assigned readings from a big textbook; others are assigned computer problems or chemistry formulas. But there’s probably only one course at the university in which students are assigned an entire acre of land filled with trees, wildflowers, buzzing insects and birds: Dr. Larry Gilbert’s field ecology class at the Brack...BFL3
Ant Has Given Up Sex Completely

Ant Has Given Up Sex Completely

The complete asexuality of a widespread fungus-gardening ant, the only ant species in the world known to have dispensed with males entirely, has been confirmed by a team of Texas and Brazilian researchers.

Science High

Devan Fay Gartman, Crockett High School Class of 2009, amongst the fish tanks of Hans Hofmann's laboratory. When Hans Hofmann, an assistant professor of integrative biology, agreed to take on some interns from a local Austin high school, he imagined that he was doing them a favor. What he didn’t imagine was that both of the students from Crocke...Devan Fay Gartman, Crockett High School Class of 2009, amongst the fish tanks of Hans Hofmann's laboratory.

Learning to Hear

Neurobiologist Nace Golding studies the development of auditory neurons (one of which is pictured below) after the onset of hearing. The human ability to know roughly where in space a sound is coming from is so integral to our experience of the world that it’s basically invisible. A friend calls out our name, and we turn to the left, or turn to ...Neurobiologist Nace Golding studies the development of auditory neurons (one of which is pictured below) after the onset of hearing.

Salvaging Savanna

Ecologists at The University of Texas at Austin and its Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center have observed, studied and used prescribed fires on local savanna. In the process, the research scientists documented a New England-sized region in the heart of Texas that is losing the biodiversity battle. Now the team is examining what needs to be done to ...Hill-Country-open-savanna-i

Predicting intervention strategies for swine flu

Lauren Ancel Meyers, associate professor of integrative biology, is using the Texas Advanced Computng Center’s (TACC) Lonestar supercomputer to predict how the new strain of H1N1 flu is spreading throughout North America and to determine the best intervention strategies. “Our goal is to develop powerful and flexible software so that public health ...lauren ancel meyers

Grad student wins $10,000 Granof award

Christian Rabeling, a doctoral student in the ecology, evolution and behavior program, has won the $10,000 Michael H. Granof Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the University Co-op/Graduate School Awards for Excellence in Graduate Education. The Excellence in Graduate Education awards recognize and reward outstanding graduate students for dist...Christian Rabeling
Most Extensive Genetic Resource For Reef-Building Coral Created

Most Extensive Genetic Resource For Reef-Building Coral Created

AUSTIN, Texas — A nearly complete collection of genes for a species of reef-building coral has been assembled by a team led by biologists from The University of Texas at Austin. The scientists will use the genetic data to understand natural variations in corals from around the world and how they respond, at the genetic level, to rising water tempe...

Sex Isn't Everything

The ants, Mycocepurus smithii, amongst their fungus garden. Photo: Alex Wild. In the end, sex might not be everything. At least, that’s the story for a fungus-farming ant that seems to be doing just fine without it. In fact, they’ve done away with males entirely, a “first ever” for the ant world. Most social insects—the wasps, ants and bees—are...The ants, Mycocepurus smithii, amongst their fungus garden. Photo: Alex Wild.

Live-in Domestics: Mites as Maids

Mites not only inhabit the dust bunnies under the bed, they also occupy the nests of tropical sweat bees where they keep fungi in check. Bees and their young are healthier when mites live-in, report researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama and The University of Texas at Austin. Mutually beneficial cleaning relat...Stingless bee

Worthingtons Support Education in Biodiversity

Professor Larry Gilbert and Roger Worthington (B.A. ’83, J.D. ’86) Alums Roger Worthington (B.A. ’83, J.D. ’86) and Ann Worthington (B.A. ’88, J.D. ’91) have donated $500,000 to establish the Lawrence E. Gilbert, Jr. Excellence Endowment, an endowment for the benefit of Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) and research and education in ecology an...Roger Worthington (B.A. ’83, J.D. ’86) and professor Larry Gilbert
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