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News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Amanda Figueroa-Nieves is the Spring 2021 Science Communications intern. She's a sophomore majoring in Public Health and Plan II Honors who enjoys spending time outdoors in the many parks around Austin. She is a news desk editor at The Daily Texan and was their Fall 2020 Senior Research News Reporter. This semester, she hopes to hone her reporting and writing skills while helping scientists communicate their research effectively. 

Molecular Biosciences Professor Honored for Outstanding Teaching

Molecular Biosciences Professor Honored for Outstanding Teaching

Janice Fischer, professor of molecular biosciences and director of the Biology Instructional Office at The University of Texas at Austin, has won a UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award.

Grad Students at Forefront of Efforts to Create Belonging in Science

Grad Students at Forefront of Efforts to Create Belonging in Science

Who gets encouraged to become a scientist or mathematician -- and who is given the tools and support to succeed on the path to becoming one? These are some of the questions graduate students across the College of Natural Sciences are asking and working to address together with faculty, administrators, staff and fellow students across the college.

Like Their Domestic Cousins, Native Bees are Hurt by Pesticides

Like Their Domestic Cousins, Native Bees are Hurt by Pesticides

Image of a Mason Bee or Blueberry Bee (Megachilidae, Osmia sp.) by Alejandro Santillana, Insects Unlocked

Because they are critical in maintaining our food supply, a lot of research and public attention has been focused (rightly) on the health of domesticated honey bees. On the other hand, native bees also play critical roles in their environments, including pollinating flowers and agricultural crops. Unfortunately, hundreds of North American native bee species are in decline, due to a variety of factors including loss of habitat, nutritional stress, climate change and exposure to pathogens and agrochemicals.

McLellan Honored for Contributions to COVID-19 Vaccines

McLellan Honored for Contributions to COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo by Vivian Abagiu

Jason McLellan, UT Austin molecular biosciences professor, has received the 2021 Shirley Bird Perry Longhorn Citizenship Award, recognizing the wide-reaching impact of his work with viral proteins, especially his contributions to COVID-19 vaccines. The award is given annually by UT Austin's Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life.

Natural Sciences Researchers Win President’s Award for Global Learning

Natural Sciences Researchers Win President’s Award for Global Learning

Members of the "Case for Connections" team in the UT President's Award for Global Learning.

Five teams with College of Natural Sciences students were honored this year with the President's Award for Global Learning, which aims to highlight innovative solutions to global problems and give interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students the opportunity to take those projects to international sites.

Three Natural Sciences Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Three Natural Sciences Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Three faculty members from the College of Natural Sciences have received distinguished Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation.

Mathematician Seeks to Bring Quantum Field Theory into Mainstream Math

Mathematician Seeks to Bring Quantum Field Theory into Mainstream Math

Quantum field theory, a framework for explaining how subatomic particles behave, among other things, is one of the most successful areas of physics, but it's still incomplete — it's poorly described in terms of mathematics, so neither physicists nor mathematicians know what defines a quantum field theory. David Ben-Zvi, a mathematics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, described his intent to help solve this problem in a recent WIRED article.

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E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Charity

E-Cookbook Promotes Sustainable Food Sourcing and Raises Funds for Charity

A team of 17 students from The University of Texas at Austin created a donation-based e-cookbook titled "A Taste of Austin Through the Lens of Sustainability" that showcases local restaurants and businesses focused on sustainability.

Xue-Xin Wei Asks Basic Questions about the Nature of Intelligence

Xue-Xin Wei Asks Basic Questions about the Nature of Intelligence

Image by Vivian Abagiu.

Xue-Xin Wei, a computational and theoretical neuroscientist, recently joined the Department of Neuroscience as an assistant professor. Wei grew up in Qingdao, China, before obtaining his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Peking University. His lab works at the intersection of computational/theoretical neuroscience, statistics, artificial intelligence and deep learning. He and his team work closely with experimental scientists to test predictions of computational models to form theory-experiment loops.

Graduating Computer Science Student Leaders Look Back on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Graduating Computer Science Student Leaders Look Back on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Computer science seniors América Quistiano and Audra Collins said they would not be here, on the cusp of graduating from one of the best computer science programs in the country, without the Hispanic Association of Computer Scientists and the Association of Black Computer Scientists.