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From the College of Natural Sciences

Darwin Stands Tall in Texas!

David Hillis and two other Texans were named 2010 "Friends of Darwin" by the National Center for Science Education for their decades of defending and promoting evolution. Read the full article.vvvvvvv

Coastal Birds Decline on Mustang Island

Tony Amos’s almost daily bird counts over the years have revealed a troubling decline in 10 of the 28 most common species of Mustang Island’s coastal birds.

Essay: Where the wild things were

We’re entering an age of vanishing wilderness, when the wild places were. To have any hope of preserving our biodiversity in the face of climate change, we need to be futurists, pragmatic but farsighted. It is time for radical notions. One such notion is to transplant species that otherwise have no hope.

Office Hours: George Pollak's Big Idea

For more than 35 years, neurobiologist George Pollak has been using echolocating bats to study the mammalian auditory system, trying to understand how the auditory system processes communication signals and how animals are able to associate a sound with its location in space. He’s done groundbreaking work in, among other areas, decoding the meaning...
Scientists Identify Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park As One of Most Biodiverse Places on Earth

Scientists Identify Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park As One of Most Biodiverse Places on Earth

 A team of scientists has documented that Yasuní National Park, in the core of the Ecuadorian Amazon, shatters world records for a wide array of plant and animal groups.


Aerial Acrobats

This slide show features some of the 223 species of dragonflies you might encounter in the Lone Star State. You can discover more species in John Abbott’s book, “Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States.” Abbott is curator of entomology at the Texas Natural Science Center. All photographs © John C. Abbott Nature Pho...

Pathogens, Parasitic Flies the Subjects of New Research for Fire Ant Control

Funding from Kleberg and Bass Foundations will help biologists look for more methods of fire ant control.

Globetrotting: Gathering Plankton in the Shadow of the Sydney Skyline

Erin Elbel, an honors biology major in the college, sends us a postcard from Sydney, Australia, where she's spending a semester abroad.

Fish-Watchers Wanted

Search the Eureka! database, which was created to help students find the right research opportunities, and you’ll find two openings posted by Ryan Wong, a graduate student in the labs of biologists Dr. Hans Hoffman and Dr. Molly Cummings: “Learning and Memory in Fish,” and “Male Interaction Effect on Female Choice in Fish.” The projects, which requ...fish-watchers2

Globetrotting: Asexual Ants in Brazil

Graduate student Christian Rabeling excavates fungus-farming ant colonies in Brazil as part of his doctoral research on the evolution and ecology of the fascinating creatures. Over two meters deep in this hole in Brasília, Brazil, graduate student Christian Rabeling is carefully and delicately dissecting the underground nests of a fungus-gardening ...Christian Rabeling excavates fungus-farming ants in Brasil.

The Wallingford Sessions

A slideshow of trippy images from the lab of biologist John Wallingford, who studies the embryonic morphogenesis (the process by which embryos acquire their final shape).

Bats Sing Love Songs

"Sid" is a Mexican free-tailed bat who is singing his courtship song to attract females to his roost.
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.