News: Research


Tracking the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Webs in the Arctic

New research provides the latest evidence that climate change is having an impact on food webs in high-latitude ecosystems.

One scientist in protective clothing against insects leans over a metal circle in a grassy area, while another dressed similarly taking notes seated in the grass nearby


Female Butterflies See UV Light Thanks to a Gene Hiding in an Unusual Place

In some species, female and male butterflies apparently perceive colors differently.

A butterfly with black and white striped wings


Some Frogs Use Toxins to Deter Predators, but Evolution Doesn’t Supply Free Lunch

Poison frogs are able to withstand a toxin which they use to deter predators, but not without a cost.

Anthony’s poison frog (Epipedobates anthonyi). CREDIT: David Cannatella

UT News

Invasive Grass in Texas Uses Chemical Warfare to Crowd Out Native Species

An invasive grass causing havoc in Texas and contributing to wildfires packs a one-two wallop against native plants. Guinea grass uses a combination of crowding that blocks out light from growing seedlings and what amounts to a chemical warfare in soil that is toxic to native plants, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

Researchers in the field examine Guinea grass


Urban Gardens Are Good for Ecosystems and Humans

Traditionally, it has been assumed that cultivating food leads to a loss of biodiversity and negative impacts on an ecosystem.

urban garden featuring plants and raised beds


Loss of Reptiles Poses Threat for Small Islands Where Humans May Have Caused Extinctions

A new study has startling conclusions about how, on smaller islands in the Caribbean where human impact was greatest, extinctions have led to the loss of up to two-thirds of the supports for the ecosystem that native reptile species once provided there.

Stylized image showing a lesser antillian iguana vs. an invasive mongoose

UT News

Legacy of Colonialism Influences Science in the Caribbean

An international collaboration of researchers shows how the legacy of colonialism remains deeply entrenched within scientific practice across the Caribbean.

Map of the Caribbean


A More Nuanced Approach is Needed to Manage Coral Reef Ecosystems

Instead of focusing entirely on biomass and one-size-fits-all solutions, researchers recommend finding which fish provide the most useful functions in each reef system and protecting them.

A school of colorful fish swim over a coral reef

UT News

Invading Hordes of Crazy Ants May Have Finally Met Their Kryptonite

UT Austin scientists have demonstrated how to use a naturally occurring fungus to crush local populations of invasive tawny crazy ants.

Ants swarm on a larger, dead insect


Some Trees May Play an Outsized Role in the Fight on Global Warming

A new study shows that nitrogen-fixing trees could help forests remove more heat-trapping COS from the atmosphere than previously thought.

Sunlight peeks through the trees