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From the College of Natural Sciences
Newly Opened Patton Center for Marine Science Education Offers Opportunities to Explore

Newly Opened Patton Center for Marine Science Education Offers Opportunities to Explore

Young visitors play and explore in The University of Texas at Austin's newly renovated Patton Center for Marine Science Education, based at the Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

A newly renovated and reimagined space for exploring the science of marine life and ecosystems is now open to the public, free of charge, on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. The Patton Center for Marine Science Education offers exhibits, aquaria and programming like keeper chats and fish-feeding demonstrations for visitors to enjoy.

Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

This past spring, the College of Natural Sciences invited our University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff and students to send in the top images from their research for our Visualizing Science competition. The images they produced nourish both the mind and the soul, offering not only food for thought but a feast for the eyes as well.

These Tiny Coral Reef Fish Parents Decide When Their Embryos Hatch

These Tiny Coral Reef Fish Parents Decide When Their Embryos Hatch

Leaving the comfort and safety of home to explore the world is a difficult decision. However, in a tiny coral reef fish called a neon goby, dads help their offspring take the plunge by pushing them out the door when the time is just right.

A male neon goby regulates the hatching of embryos within a spawning shelter. To induce hatching, the male goby picks up embryos from the clutch using its mouth, swims to the entrance of the shelter and spits free-swimming larvae into the water column. Credit: John Majoris.
Adding Predictability to the Carbon Market

Adding Predictability to the Carbon Market

Salt marshes store a vast amount of carbon. Researchers conduct sampling in North Carolina marshes to help shed light on accumulation rates that can be used in carbon credit calculations. Photo credit: Josh Himmelstein.

Salt marshes are a hot but unpredictable commodity in the carbon market. Salt marshes store a vast amount of carbon, and industries and businesses are looking to this habitat to offset CO2 emissions by buying carbon credits, restoring marsh or conserving marsh. The problem lies in the fact that carbon accumulation rates for salt marshes vary wildly, making it challenging to put a consistent price per acre of salt marsh for a carbon offset amount.

The University of Texas at Austin Selects Director for Marine Science Institute

The University of Texas at Austin Selects Director for Marine Science Institute

Ed Buskey is the director of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, based in Port Aransas.

Ed Buskey has been selected to serve as director of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, which this year is celebrating more than 75 years on the Texas Gulf Coast. Buskey has been interim director of the institute since June of 2021, and he served previously as chair of the Department of Marine Science and associate chair of the Marine Science Institute.

Virus Discovery Offers Clues About Origins of Complex Life

Virus Discovery Offers Clues About Origins of Complex Life

Eukaryotic cells. Credit: iStock.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin report in Nature Microbiology the first discovery of viruses infecting a group of microbes that may include the ancestors of all complex life. The discovery offers tantalizing clues about the origins of complex life and suggests new directions for exploring the hypothesis that viruses were essential to the evolution of humans and other complex life forms.

Nielsen Named One of Five National Academies Early-Career Research Fellows

Nielsen Named One of Five National Academies Early-Career Research Fellows

Kristin Nielsen, assistant professor at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

PORT ARANSAS - As one of the five scientists who have been selected for the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's Early-Career Research Fellowship in Human Health and Community Resilience, Kristin Nielsen, assistant professor at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, will use her expertise to investigate how climate change is altering the potential for dietary contaminant exposure in remote Alaskan communities.

NSF Awards Graduate Research Fellowships to 22 UT Natural Sciences Students

NSF Awards Graduate Research Fellowships to 22 UT Natural Sciences Students

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards a Graduate Research Fellowship to students who plan on pursuing a research-based master's or Ph.D. program in a STEM-related field. The fellowship is awarded to exceptional individuals and will support them in elevating their research with the goal of furthering advancements that will transform the future.

A More Nuanced Approach is Needed to Manage Coral Reef Ecosystems

A More Nuanced Approach is Needed to Manage Coral Reef Ecosystems

Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Credit: Jordan M. Casey.

For many years, conservationists have tended to focus on one key parameter when assessing coral reef health: the biomass of coral reef fishes. But according to a new study of more than 500 coral reefs around the world, what constitutes healthy or "functional" goes far beyond this single metric. Reporting in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, an international team identified five key functions that fish provide to a reef. Together, they paint a clearer picture of reef health.

Alumna Earns Top Honor Linked to Stable Isotope Research

Alumna Earns Top Honor Linked to Stable Isotope Research

Marilyn Fogel, an alumna of The University of Texas at Austin, was selected for the Victor Moritz Goldschmidt Award, the highest honor in geochemistry given annually to one scientist by the Geochemical Society.