News Category: college-of-natural-sciences

Climate Change Impacts on Plants Could Lead to Better Conservation Strategies

June 21, 2021

The loss of plant species that are especially vulnerable to climate change might lead to bigger problems than previous studies have suggested, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If confirmed, the findings can help inform conservation strategies and lead to more accurate predictions about what ecosystems will look like in the future.

The Power of Switchgrass

May 24, 2021

As a field station near the heart of Austin, Brackenridge Field Lab hosts important research by many UT faculty. Amongst them is Dr. Tom Juenger in the Department of Integrative Biology. He studies ecological and evolutionary genetics of local adaptations in plants. He also works with a team looking at the genome of switchgrass to better understand its use as a biofuel.

Mitigating Wildfires at McDonald Observatory

May 21, 2021

The McDonald Observatory (MCD) is located on approximately 400 acres in the Davis Mountains of Southwest Texas where significant wildland fires have taken place on adjacent lands. MCD has not yet experienced a major wildland fire on its campus, and the College of Natural Sciences, which has project authority for wildland fire mitigation, is collaborating with FAS Fire Prevention Services (FPS) and other partners to keep it that way.

In the News: Climate Friendly Microbes

May 6, 2021

Earth’s hot springs and hydrothermal vents are home to a previously unidentified group of archaea. And, unlike similar tiny, single-celled organisms that live deep in sediments and munch on decaying plant matter, these archaea don’t produce the climate-warming gas methane.

In the News: Student Startup Aims to Reduce Food Waste

Oct. 29, 2020

The Daily Texan reports on a student startup working to reduce food waste in grocery stores.

Spring Insects to Spot on Neighborhood Walks

April 16, 2020

Take time to look for local insects while taking walks.

Backyard Biodiversity: Green Anoles

April 15, 2020

From the Biodiversity Center: a piece on a common resident of many yards, the green anole.

Austin’s Other Orange Butterfly

April 10, 2020

About 150 kinds are known to occur in Austin, a mix of temperate and tropical, desert and deciduous forest species that includes the gulf fritillary Agraulis vanillae.

Long-Living Tropical Trees Play Outsized Role in Carbon Storage

April 9, 2020

A group of trees that grow fast, live long lives and reproduce slowly account for the bulk of the biomass—and carbon storage—in some tropical rainforests, a team of scientists says in a paper published this week in the journal Science

Northern Mockingbirds

April 1, 2020

The Northern Mockingbird is probably one of the easiest birds to identify, if not by their bold maneuvers to protect their territory, then certainly by their characteristic song. Learn more in this blog from The Biodiversity Center.