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From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Biophysicist Recognized as 2019 American Physical Society Fellow

UT Biophysicist Recognized as 2019 American Physical Society Fellow

The American Physical Society recognized Claus Wilke, University of Texas at Austin professor and chair of the Department of Integrative Biology, as a 2019 Fellow in September. Fellowships are awarded based on outstanding contributions to the field of physics, and are received by no more than one half of one percent of the society's members each year.

Freshman Summer Research Highlights

Freshman Summer Research Highlights

Sophmore Sahran Hashim working with Professor Susan Cameron Devitt at the no mow research site along Lady Bird Lake, west of Lamar Blvd. Photo credit: Marsha Miller.

​Wielding wide nets and rubber boots, students got a taste of what real research is like this summer as they worked with faculty members and graduate students on field projects on or near campus as part of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at UT Austin. UT News featured three different summer projects in their coverage, including the study of insects, zebra mussels and water sampling.

Elaborate Komodo Dragon Armor Defends Against Other Dragons

Elaborate Komodo Dragon Armor Defends Against Other Dragons

Just beneath their scales, Komodo dragons wear a suit of armor made of tiny bones. These bones cover the dragons from head to tail, creating a "chain mail" that protects the giant predators. However, the armor raises a question: What does the world's largest lizard – the dominant predator in its natural habitat – need protection from?

Arming Texas for War on Crazy Ants

Arming Texas for War on Crazy Ants

UT scientists are all in for the fight against crazy ants. Image: Crazy Ant (Nylanderia fulva), Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 2014, the staff at Estero Llano Grande State Park, on the Rio Grande outside Weslaco, began seeing large colonies of ants they did not recognize around the buildings and in the restrooms. Then staffers began noticing the ants driving birds out of their nests — a particularly bad thing at a park that is part of the Rio Grande Valley's World Birding Center.

UT's Biodiversity Center Prepares to Learn from Falcon's Eggs

UT's Biodiversity Center Prepares to Learn from Falcon's Eggs

UT Austin's resident peregrine falcon, Tower Girl, has been laying eggs in her nest box in the UT Tower every year since 2016. This year, as in previous years, given the amount of time that has passed since their arrivals, the eggs will not hatch.

Scientists Discover New Details about Metabolism in Ancestors of All Complex Life

Scientists Discover New Details about Metabolism in Ancestors of All Complex Life

A team of researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere, have found new evidence that strengthens the hypothesis that the first complex life forms, called eukaryotes, arose from the merger of two simpler life forms. The same team previously identified living relatives of ancestors of eukaryotes, while this latest study shows how those ancestors might have shared the work of metabolism with bacteria they acted as hosts for.

Science—Coming to a Library Near You

Science—Coming to a Library Near You

Graduate student Emily Rees is among the UT Austin scientists who share their research with the public. Neighborhood Science is a new offering that connects researchers with local libraries. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

Graduate students at UT Austin have been sharing their work with the public at the successful and popular program Science Under the Stars for ten years. Now, with a new offshoot offering called Neighborhood Science, the students, primarily from the top-ranked ecology, evolution and behavior program, are working to connect even more of the Austin community to science by bringing their informative and entertaining talks––on topics ranging from superheroes to singing mice––right into Austin Public Libraries.

Texas Invasive Species Program Gets Boost from Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation

Texas Invasive Species Program Gets Boost from Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation

Destructive and costly fire ants, crazy ants, moth larvae and invasive grasses can wreak havoc on Texas ecosystems, but biologists at The University of Texas at Austin are bringing the fight to them. With the help of a $6 million continuing grant from the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation, researchers in the Texas Invasive Species Program will seek n...
Beauty, Bonding and Rethinking Evolution

Beauty, Bonding and Rethinking Evolution

Across the animal kingdom, males and females of the same species are often locked in a battle of the sexes. The instigator is evolution itself. It drives them to develop weapons, tactical tricks and defensive maneuvers that aid in an animal's fight to pass its genes on to a new generation.

Central Texas Salamanders, Including Newly Identified Species, At Risk of Extinction

Central Texas Salamanders, Including Newly Identified Species, At Risk of Extinction

This newly identified, unnamed salamander lives near the Pedernales river west of Austin, Texas. Photo credit: Tom Devitt.

Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of Austin that they say is critically endangered. They also determined that an already known salamander species near Georgetown is much more endangered than previously thought.