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From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Austin Selected to Lead NSF Innovation Hub

UT Austin Selected to Lead NSF Innovation Hub

Discovery to Impact, The University of Texas at Austin's newly named group leading the university's research commercialization efforts, has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to lead a regional, four-state training program for researchers seeking to move their discoveries from the lab to the market. The five-year, $15 million NSF investment in the new Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Southwest Region Hub will strengthen an already robust innovation ecosystem and move more research discoveries to the market through startups.

Need a Place to Study this Academic Year? We’ve Got You Covered.

Need a Place to Study this Academic Year? We’ve Got You Covered.

Photos by Kevin Vu.

Tired of studying at the same places on campus? Or are you a new student trying to figure out your way around the College of Natural Sciences? We've compiled a list of favorite spots around the college to study or find a quiet spot to yourself. See if you can spot mini-Bevo in some of these photos as we tour the best study spots in Natural Sciences.

After Fire Damages Stengl Lost Pines, Scientists Say Discovery Will Rise from the Ashes

After Fire Damages Stengl Lost Pines, Scientists Say Discovery Will Rise from the Ashes

College of Natural Sciences staff research scientist and resident manager and volunteer firefighter Steven Gibson coordinates with firefighters at Stengl Lost Pines BIological Stations during the response effort to the Pine Pond Fire. Credit: Larry Gilbert.

​ SMITHVILLE, Texas – At a site where scientists have been conducting research for decades, the recent Pine Pond Fire in Bastrop County damaged outdoor habitats within The University of Texas at Austin's Stengl Lost Pines Biological Station (SLP). No one was hurt and no buildings burned in the fire.

Computer Science Professor Looks to Improve Accessible Technologies

Computer Science Professor Looks to Improve Accessible Technologies

Amy Pavel joined the College of Natural Sciences faculty in spring 2022 as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University and research scientist at Apple. She obtained her Ph.D. and undergraduate degrees at the University of California at Berkeley.

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.

New Era at UT Austin Begins for Famous Long-Term Evolution Experiment

New Era at UT Austin Begins for Famous Long-Term Evolution Experiment

Jeff Barrick, director of the Long-Term Evolution Experiment, examines a dish of E.coli bacteria from the LTEE. Credit: Nolan Zunk/University of Texas at Austin.
The Long-Term Evolution Experiment began back when a dozen eggs cost 65 cents, the film Rain Man topped the box office and George Michael's song "Faith" ruled the pop charts. The bacteria central to this long-running experiment—descendants of E. coli that were plucked from the wild and have spent some 75,000 generations in captivity—now live on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
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.

Delays in Contact Tracing Impeded Early COVID-19 Containment, Researchers Find

Delays in Contact Tracing Impeded Early COVID-19 Containment, Researchers Find

Contact tracing programs were deployed around the globe to slow the spread of COVID-19, but these programs could not prevent the multiple waves of transmission and loss of life that have occurred since March 2020. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin found that a five-day delay between identifying a case and isolating contacts was the Achilles' heel of a contact tracing program in a large U.S. city.

How Black Holes Might Have Influenced the First Stars

How Black Holes Might Have Influenced the First Stars

Just milliseconds after the universe's Big Bang, chaos reigned. Atomic nuclei fused and broke apart in hot, frenzied motion. Incredibly strong pressure waves built up and squeezed matter so tightly together that black holes formed, which astrophysicists call primordial black holes.

An artist's concept illustrates merging black holes. Credit: LIGO/Caltech/MIT/R. Hurt (IPAC).
Young Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults Have Worse Mental Health than Older Ones

Young Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adults Have Worse Mental Health than Older Ones

A new study by The University of Texas at Austin and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological health than older LGBQ people.