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From the College of Natural Sciences
Giant Cane and the Little Wasp That Could

Giant Cane and the Little Wasp That Could

AUSTIN, Texas—Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to investigate biological control for an invasive cane grass that is choking waterways across North America. The introduced European cane, Arundo donax, grows in dense stands in wetlands and rip...
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...
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...
Tree of Life Revealed for Flowering Plants

Tree of Life Revealed for Flowering Plants

AUSTIN, Texas—The evolutionary Tree of Life for flowering plants has been revealed using the largest collection of genomic data of these plants to date, report scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and University of Florida. The scientists, publishing two papers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week online, found...

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...
Low Oxygen in Coastal Waters Impairs Fish Reproduction

Low Oxygen in Coastal Waters Impairs Fish Reproduction

Low oxygen levels in coastal waters interfere with fish reproduction by disrupting the fishes’ hormones, marine scientist Peter Thomas has found.

Global Warming Increases Species Extinctions Worldwide, University of Texas at Austin Researcher Finds

AUSTIN, Texas—Global warming has already caused extinctions in the most sensitive habitats and will continue to cause more species to go extinct over the next 50 to 100 years, confirms the most comprehensive study since 2003 on the effects of climate change on wild species worldwide by a University of Texas at Austin biologist. Dr. Camille Parmesa...
Fire ant-attacking fly spreading rapidly in Texas

Fire ant-attacking fly spreading rapidly in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas—Parasitic flies introduced to control red imported fire ants have spread over four million acres in central and southeast Texas since the flies’ introduction in 1999, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered using new flytraps they developed. Researchers at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) have released...

Fire ant lab celebrates 20 years of research

AUSTIN, Texas—The red imported fire ant laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin Brackenridge Field Lab (BFL) is celebrating 20 years of research this month. Dr. Larry Gilbert, director of BFL and professor of integrative biology, first initiated fire ant research at the university in 1986 by bringing to the university two young researchers...

Evolution of complex calls and unusual male vocal cords in túngara frogs

AUSTIN, Texas--Male tropical túngara frogs have evolved masses on their vocal cords that help them woo females with complex calls, show scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. Dr. Mike Ryan, Clark Hubbs Regents Professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Marcos Gridi-Papp, ...