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Biodiversity Blog

 
Nicole handles the communications for the Biodiversity Center.
UT Spring Bee Competition 2023

UT Spring Bee Competition 2023

 USDA Photo by Jack Dykinga Bring us the first Travis County mason bee of 2023, you’ll win a free wall poster “Back Yard Bees of North America”! Rationale: One measure of our changing climate is the shifting dates of emergence of our earliest spring flowers and insects. As Texas warms, some of our local bees may start coming out earlier in ...
The Next Frontier of Science is in your Backyard (with you and your smartphone)

The Next Frontier of Science is in your Backyard (with you and your smartphone)

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Greg Pauly is the first spring semester speaker sponsored by the Biodiversity Center, and he will be talking about urban biodiversity. Talk title: The Next Frontier of Science is in your Backyard (with you and your smartphone) Time/date: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 2nd, on the UT campus, in building NHB 1....
Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Erik Iverson

Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Erik Iverson

 Erik and a painted bunting (Passerina ciris.) Erik Iverson is one of our 2022 Stengl-Wyer Fellows. Erik studies the influence of mitochondrial genetics and physiology on many aspects of biodiversity and conservation. His research interests and studies have taken him to very diverse places across the globe. In this blog, he talks about his ...
The Woods of 214

The Woods of 214

When you enter room 214 in the Biological Laboratories Building (BIO), the first thing that may strike you is the wood paneling. You may then dismiss the room as a relic from the 1970s when cheap and sometimes synthetic wood paneling was all the rage. (That along with linoleum and an over-abundant use of anything avocado colored.) But BIO 214 has a...
Meet Stengl-Wyer Scholar: Guillaume Dury

Meet Stengl-Wyer Scholar: Guillaume Dury

Guillaume Dury is one of our 2022 Stengl-Wyer Scholars who will be working in the lab of Dr. Brian Sedio. As part of the Stengl Wyer Endowment, the Stengl Wyer Postdoctoral Scholars Program provides up to three years of independent support for talented postdoctoral researchers in the broad area of the diversity of life and/or organisms in thei...
Diving Deep into Microbes

Diving Deep into Microbes

When you think of microbes, what are the first things that come to mind? Disease, pathogens, the same old boring things, but microbes are so much more than that! They produce the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. They live as high as our upper atmosphere and as low as the depths of the ocean, and everywhere in between. In this talk...
Biotechnologies for Conservation & Their Intended Consequences

Biotechnologies for Conservation & Their Intended Consequences

The Stengl-Wyer Endowment is proud to share this public seminar with Ben Novak, Lead Scientist of Revive & Restore, hosted by Stengl-Wyer Fellow Erik Iverson.   Friday, December 9th, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, UT Campus, NHB 1.720   Revive & Restore is a nonprofit conservation organization leading the effort to responsibly integrate bio...
History of Herpetology, Part 4: expanding research and collections

History of Herpetology, Part 4: expanding research and collections

 Texas Memorial Museum, shortly after its construction. In this next blog in our UT herpetology history blog series, we’ll be looking at the growth of herpetology research faculty in the 1980s and 1990s, as well expansion of the Herpetology Collection curatorial staff. Let’s start with a curatorial perspective and the Texas Memorial Museum...
Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Kathryn Appler

Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Kathryn Appler

Presenting research at the 18th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME18) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Kathryn Appler is one of our 2022 Stengl-Wyer Fellows. She is a Marine Science Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Brett Baker's Lab where she studies the diversity and ecological role of Asgard Archaea. Kathryn took time from her busy re...
The Power of the Unseen Majority – How Soil Microbes Shape the Nature We See

The Power of the Unseen Majority – How Soil Microbes Shape the Nature We See

 Indeterminate nodules growing on the roots of Medicago italica (Photo: Ningatacoshell) Do you like mushrooms or beans? Have you heard of companion planting or intercropping? The common theme uniting these two seemingly unrelated questions is soil microbes. You have (likely) not seen them, but they are everywhere and play a crucial role in ...
Get involved! Outreach opportunities in biodiversity

Get involved! Outreach opportunities in biodiversity

Undergrad Abby Jones at the Capital Area Junior Master Naturalists October event. Field stations like Brackenridge Field Lab and natural history collections like the Biodiversity Collections fulfill many roles in the service of biodiversity. One such role is to engage in outreach to the general public to raise awareness, and to reach students wh...
Pets as Invasive Species: Birds, Feathered Friend or Foe?

Pets as Invasive Species: Birds, Feathered Friend or Foe?

 Monk Parakeet (Photo: Bernard Dupont-Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license) Birds are another beloved pet, adored for their plumage, their song, and for their interesting behavior. My own parakeets, Ernesto and Clyde, never fail to amuse with their head bobbing and love of stick-chewing. But like many pets that end u...
Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowships Now Open

Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowships Now Open

If you're a UT graduate student studying the diversity of life and organisms in their natural environments, then check out this fellowship program! The Stengl-Wyer Graduate Fellowship program is now open for applications, closing on December 12, at 5 p.m. Central Time. This fellowship includes a 12-month stipend of $36,000 beginning September 1, 20...
"I Like Big BATS and I Cannot Lie!"

"I Like Big BATS and I Cannot Lie!"

This month's Science Under the Stars event is "I Like Big BATS and I Cannot Lie!," presented by Brandi Christiano. Have you ever seen a bat flying around? Probably (especially in Austin)! With more than 1,400 species worldwide, bats live in almost every environment. As the only flying mammal, they can be found in caves, trees, and under bridges. So...
Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Philip Souza

Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Philip Souza

SCUBA diving to conduct lobster, grouper, and conch surveys in The Bahamas Philip Souza is one of our 2022 Stengl-Wyer Fellows. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Simon Brandl - Fish and Functions Lab where he studies estuarine soundscapes. Philip's path into his research focus is fascinating, and he shares his story below. Tell us where you came fr...
The Return of the Snouts

The Return of the Snouts

 Photo: Larry Gilbert The period of rain here in Texas a few weeks ago was intense but welcome. The moisture brought a revival of plant life, and the return in Austin for some insects that depend on these plants. This was largely due to heavy rains that broke the drought 150-200 miles south of us. One such insect that has been seen in great...
Dr. Eric Pianka (1939-2022)

Dr. Eric Pianka (1939-2022)

 Photo: Larry Gilbert Dr. Eric Rodger Pianka was an evolutionary ecologist of enormous influence who spent his life studying lizards. Nicknamed “The Lizard Man,” his research covered a broad range of topics pertaining to the ecology, biology, and evolution of lizards, including rarity and responses to fire. His work contributed to the under...
Lichens we consume, lichens we admire

Lichens we consume, lichens we admire

 Cladonia parasitica, a lichen found at Stengl Lost Pines (Photo: Liz Bowman) Lichens are beautiful, sometimes otherworldly, in ways that aren’t overlooked by arts and culture. They also have had medicinal and culinary uses for millenia. As explored in What the Heck is a Lichen, our introductory blog, lichens are complex organisms created b...

Entomological Poetics: Reading for Insects in Japanese Literature and Culture

tapestry "The Divine Insect" (12th century). Nara National Museum.   We're happy to share info for this fascinating talk: "Entomological Poetics: Reading for Insects in Japanese Literature and Culture" by Professor Mary A. Knighton. It is hosted by the Center for East Asian Studies in the Department of Asian Studies (College of Liberal Ar...
Careers in Conservation with Dr. Nikhil Advani

Careers in Conservation with Dr. Nikhil Advani

  Join us for a talk exploring careers in conservation. Graduate and Undergraduate students are both welcome. We will hear from UT alum (BS 2004, PhD 2012) Dr. Nikhil Advani, who is currently the Director for Climate, Communities and Wildlife at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Washington DC. Dr. Advani will talk about how his time at UT prepared ...