Button to scroll to the top of the page.

News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Texas Science Stories that Wowed Us in 2021

Texas Science Stories that Wowed Us in 2021

While for many 2021 may have felt like it lasted a few years, it was in fact just 12 months—and University of Texas at Austin scientists and researchers managed to pack a ton of new discoveries into that time. From the furthest reaches of the cosmos to the depths of the ocean and from the tiniest microbes to the most massive black holes, research in Texas Science covered a lot of ground, as researchers pushed boundaries, answered big questions and offered solutions to the world's problems. Here are 16 examples of how UT Austin scientists, mathematicians and technologists used 2021 to usher in new knowledge and innovations to help change the world.

David Vanden Bout Appointed Dean of the College of Natural Sciences

David Vanden Bout Appointed Dean of the College of Natural Sciences

David Vanden Bout has been appointed dean of the College of Natural Sciences

The University of Texas at Austin has selected David Vanden Bout to serve as the next dean of the College of Natural Sciences, effective immediately. In this role, he will hold the Robert E. Boyer Chair in Natural Sciences and lead the university's largest college.

Tags:
Eleven Faculty Members Honored with College Teaching Excellence Award

Eleven Faculty Members Honored with College Teaching Excellence Award

CNS teaching excellence award winners Aaron Zimmerman, Ann Thijs, Ariel Taylor, Ladia Hernandez, Shinko Harper, Keith Hawkins, Soo Hyun Yang, Sarah Abraham, Kathryn Dabbs, KyongJoo Hong and Fatima Varner

​The Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Natural Sciences seeks to promote and recognize outstanding teaching in the College of Natural Sciences by honoring faculty members who have had a positive influence on the educational experience of our students. In a year marked by having to adapt to teaching during a pandemic, each award winner went above and beyond to deliver their best in the classroom.

A Celebration of Science and Health Heroes

A Celebration of Science and Health Heroes

The UT Tower shined bright with burnt orange lights in October to honor the researchers who helped create the COVID-19 vaccines.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Medical Director Desmar Walkes, world-changing scientists and members of the UT Austin Community are gathering to celebrate the hard-working people on campus and beyond who have contributed to COVID-19 vaccines and vaccinations. The College of Natural Sciences' Vaccination Celebration recognizes the UT Austin connection to vaccine development and the progress that has been made in getting people vaccinated almost one year since the global vaccine rollout began. The event also features a vaccine pop-up, as well as a free concert by Austin-based band Nané.

First-Gen Student Navigates Own Path, Helps Others Chart Theirs

First-Gen Student Navigates Own Path, Helps Others Chart Theirs

Guillermo Lezama is a physics major at UT Austin. For First-Generation College Celebration Week this week at UT Austin, Amanda Figueroa-Nieves spoke with the senior about his experiences in UTeach, the university's STEM teacher training program.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Receives Field Station Designation

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Receives Field Station Designation

At the intersection of life sciences research, teaching and public engagement rests a growing network of University of Texas at Austin field stations—all of which have a role in discovering strategies for environmental resilience and insights about the natural world. The latest addition is one of Austin's most treasured outdoor destinations and the official state Botanical Garden and Arboretum of Texas: the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

CNS Welcomes 16 New Faculty Members

CNS Welcomes 16 New Faculty Members

The College of Natural Sciences welcomed 16 new faculty members since April. They bring expertise in health, artificial intelligence, biochemistry, data science, coral reefs and much more. 

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.

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.

Announcing the 2021 Stengl-Wyer Scholars, Fellows and Grant Awardees

Announcing the 2021 Stengl-Wyer Scholars, Fellows and Grant Awardees

Funded by 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 their natural environments. The endowment also supports year-long fellowships for doctoral candidates pursuing dissertation research in the same area.

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.

UT Austin Mourns Death of World-Renowned Physicist Steven Weinberg

UT Austin Mourns Death of World-Renowned Physicist Steven Weinberg

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, has died. He was 88. One of the most celebrated scientists of his generation, Weinberg was best known for helping to develop a critical part of the Standard Model of particle physics, which significantly advanced humanity's understanding of how everything in the universe — its various particles and the forces that govern them — relate.

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.

David Doss to Retire from McDonald Observatory after 50 Years’ Service

David Doss to Retire from McDonald Observatory after 50 Years’ Service

David Doss is retiring from McDonald Observatory after half a century of making scientific research happen. As Assistant Manager for Observing Support, he has been there to make sure the telescopes and instruments are in tip-top shape and working as they should, so that astronomers can use them to study the universe. "David's commitmen...