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Biodiversity Blog

 

Fall Colors at the Brackenridge Field Lab

BFL Flame Sumac Rhus lanceolata webFall is here in Central Texas, announcing its arrival through color. This time of seasonal change is a particularly vibrant time at Brackenridge Field Lab. Splashes of vivid yellow and red appear when Flame Sumac, Spanish Oak and Cedar Elm trees prepare to shed their leaves. But why do trees do this?  These new hues arise as trees begin breaki...

Playing With Fire

Ants Click on image to play video. Biodiversity Collections, specifically the Entomology Collection team, are collaborating with researchers from UT's Brackenridge Field Laboratory, University of Georgia, and more to produce a series of SciComm videos that aim to expose people to the decades of research that have gone into what we know about o...

Biodiversity Center Sponsors Freshman Research Initiative Course

IMG 3677   Biodiversity Discovery FRI Students Christiana Peek, Evan Samsky, Hannah Gilbreath, Thomas Johnston and Ari Nehrbass prepare to sample vegetation at BFL (Photo: Alejandro Santillana) By Nicole Elmer and Dr. Susan Devitt The Freshman Research Initiative is a pioneering program allowing first-year students chances for hands-on resea...
Fire Ants and their Phorid Fly Foes: Brackenridge Field Lab and Biodiversity Collections Engage Visitors at UT Explore 2018

Fire Ants and their Phorid Fly Foes: Brackenridge Field Lab and Biodiversity Collections Engage Visitors at UT Explore 2018

UT Explore was held on Saturday March 3rd, drawing a large crowd of families, students, and teachers. The annual event seeks to encourage community interest in research and higher education, and the important impact UT has on Austin and the world at large.

The Terrifying Science Behind Floating Fire Ant Colonies

The Terrifying Science Behind Floating Fire Ant Colonies

Hurricane Harvey has revealed its magnitude through devastating floods and damages, and now it has introduced another scourge -- giant clusters of floating fire ants.  UT researchers Alex Wild and Larry Gilbert were featured in the New York Times and Washington Post, among other outlets, sharing the science behi...
New Freshman Research Stream on Fish Behavior

New Freshman Research Stream on Fish Behavior

One of the newest streams in the Freshman Research Initiative is in the lab of BFL-affiliated scientist Molly Cummings. Undergraduate researchers will explore Fish Behavior and work to understand (1) whether learning capabilities vary predictably between species with different types of social interactions; and (2) if there is a relationship be...
BFL continues work with Drought-Net

BFL continues work with Drought-Net

We're beginning our second year of work with Drought-Net, a global collaboration to examine community sensitivity to drought. Droughts are expected to not only become more common but also more severe as a result of climate change. By comparing the plant communities under rainout shelters with those outside them, we can get an idea of how vegetation...
BFL is proud to host Science Under the Stars

BFL is proud to host Science Under the Stars

Starlight twinkles through the trees and crickets serenade in the distance as families, students and others with a thirst for knowledge gather outside at The University of Texas at Austin's Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) for another evening of Science Under the Stars. The free, monthly public lecture series was founded and is run completely by...
A new microsporidian is the first described pathogen of tawny crazy ants

A new microsporidian is the first described pathogen of tawny crazy ants

A new study describing the first pathogen to be found in tawny crazy ants has been published by the Invasive Species Research group at BFL and is co-authored by USDA scientists. This is an important discovery given the national prominence and attention of these invasive ants. The pathogen is a new genus of microsporidian parasites that infects the ...
National Report Highlights Brackenridge Field Lab

National Report Highlights Brackenridge Field Lab

Brackenridge Field Lab’s national reputation—as a premiere site for research on invasive species, evolution and behavior, biodiversity, climate change and drought, as well as for education and outreach—was underscored with the lab’s inclusion in a report by the National Academy of Sciences on the critical role of field stations.   Th...