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From the College of Natural Sciences
Texas Marine Scientist Studies Oil Spill Effects on Oxygen Levels in the Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’

Texas Marine Scientist Studies Oil Spill Effects on Oxygen Levels in the Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’

Marine scientist Zhanfei Liu is studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on oxygen levels in the northern Gulf of Mexico in part through a recently received National Science Foundation grant for Rapid Response Research (RAPID).

Amos named 2010 Environmental Hero

Tony Amos, who started rescuing sea turtles off the Texas coast in 1982, was named a NOAA Environmental Hero last week for his role as the founder of the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Port Aransas, Texas. Amos’s ARK rescues, re...Tony Amos and a Texas terrapin

Marine Science Institute Receives $595,626 to Study Mission-Aransas NERR Nutrients

Goal of project is to describe where and how nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, enter and leave the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) and how nutrients are used and reused in the NERR.

Study: ‘Dead Zone’ Effects on Fish

Study: ‘Dead Zone’ Effects on Fish

Whether a large area of low oxygen water called the “dead zone” in the northern Gulf of Mexico could cause declines in environmentally and economically important fish populations is the subject of a new study by University of Texas at Austin marine scientist Peter Thomas.

Omega-3s May Extend the Lives of Fishes, Too

People that get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets may have a reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes, and fish are a major source of these fatty acids. But, what good are omega-3s to the fish themselves? It turns out that omega-3s may give young fish the boost they need to dart away from predators, leadin...

Metacommunity Organizer

Marine scientist Pablo Munguia uses pen shells to study the effects of habitat destruction on metacommunities. In order to understand how habitat destruction affects different kinds of species and communities, ecologist Pablo Munguia begins simply. Munguia hops over the side of a small boat into the northern Gulf Coast waters. He takes a dead p...pablo munguia

Postcard: Peter Thomas

I’m sorting fish we collected in Florida’s Pensacola Bay estuaries to study the effect that low oxygen levels are having on Atlantic croaker reproduction. Croaker is one of the most common inshore fish along the coasts of the southeastern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Low levels of oxygen, known as hypoxia, have been increasing dramatically i...Peter Thomas at MSI
Marine Scientists to Assess Arctic Ocean Environment

Marine Scientists to Assess Arctic Ocean Environment

AUSTIN, Texas — Through a $2.9 million, three-year grant from the Minerals Management Service (MMS), a team led by University of Texas at Austin marine scientists will assess the biological and chemical conditions on the seabed of the Chukchi Sea before the area opens for offshore oil drilling. The contract from the MMS (U.S. Department of the Int...
Discovery of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective on Animal Evolution

Discovery of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective on Animal Evolution

AUSTIN, Texas — Groove-like tracks on the ocean floor made by giant deep-sea single-celled organisms could lead to new insights into the evolutionary origin of animals, says biologist Mikhail "Misha" Matz from The University of Texas at Austin. Matz and his colleagues recently discovered the grape-sized protists and their complex tracks on the oce...

Finding Giant Deep Sea Protists

Biologist Misha Matz found giant deep sea protists that provide new insights into the evolution of animals. This is the story of their discovery.

Postcard: Hedy Edmonds at the Gakkel Ridge

My graduate student, Lucia Upchurch, and I are standing on the ice above the Gakkel Ridge, which spans deep below us at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. We are here as part of a multi-institution, 40-day expedition to explore the ridge and ocean floor with two robotic autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Our research vessel, an icebreaker named ...upchurch
Coral Health And Bacterial Communities

Coral Health And Bacterial Communities

PORT ARANSAS, Texas—Bacterial communities endemic to healthy corals could change depending on the amount and type of natural and man-made dissolved organic matter in seawater, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. Healthy corals naturally exude a surround...

Fishing for Fluorescence

Juvenile polyps of staghorn coral Q & A with Misha Matz, assistant professor of integrative biology One of your main research interests is in fluorescence in corals and other marine organisms. What is your attraction to the study of fluorescent marine animals, beyond the “cool factor?” One of my projects is bioprospecting for new genetica...misha_final
Monitoring Texas Bays For Dangerous Algal Blooms

Monitoring Texas Bays For Dangerous Algal Blooms

PORT ARANSAS, Texas—A new electronic sentinel is on the lookout for dangerous algal blooms in Texas bays. The new instrument, called the Imaging FlowCytobot, automatically takes images of and classifies species of phytoplankton in real-time. It heralds the development of a warning system for the presence of harmful algae, like those that cause red...

Marine Scientists Funded to Study 'Dead Zone'

PORT ARANSAS, Texas— University of Texas at Austin marine scientists have been awarded $781,000 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to better understand how nutrient pollution from the Mississippi River affects the large area of low oxygen water called the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, and consequently its impact on comm...