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From the College of Natural Sciences

Omega-3s May Extend the Lives of Fishes, Too

People that get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets may have a reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes, and fish are a major source of these fatty acids. But, what good are omega-3s to the fish themselves? It turns out that omega-3s may give young fish the boost they need to dart away from predators, leadin...

Metacommunity Organizer

Marine scientist Pablo Munguia uses pen shells to study the effects of habitat destruction on metacommunities. In order to understand how habitat destruction affects different kinds of species and communities, ecologist Pablo Munguia begins simply. Munguia hops over the side of a small boat into the northern Gulf Coast waters. He takes a dead p...pablo munguia

Postcard: Peter Thomas

I’m sorting fish we collected in Florida’s Pensacola Bay estuaries to study the effect that low oxygen levels are having on Atlantic croaker reproduction. Croaker is one of the most common inshore fish along the coasts of the southeastern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Low levels of oxygen, known as hypoxia, have been increasing dramatically i...Peter Thomas at MSI
Marine Scientists to Assess Arctic Ocean Environment

Marine Scientists to Assess Arctic Ocean Environment

AUSTIN, Texas — Through a $2.9 million, three-year grant from the Minerals Management Service (MMS), a team led by University of Texas at Austin marine scientists will assess the biological and chemical conditions on the seabed of the Chukchi Sea before the area opens for offshore oil drilling. The contract from the MMS (U.S. Department of the Int...
Discovery of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective on Animal Evolution

Discovery of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective on Animal Evolution

AUSTIN, Texas — Groove-like tracks on the ocean floor made by giant deep-sea single-celled organisms could lead to new insights into the evolutionary origin of animals, says biologist Mikhail "Misha" Matz from The University of Texas at Austin. Matz and his colleagues recently discovered the grape-sized protists and their complex tracks on the oce...

Finding Giant Deep Sea Protists

Biologist Misha Matz found giant deep sea protists that provide new insights into the evolution of animals. This is the story of their discovery.

Postcard: Hedy Edmonds at the Gakkel Ridge

My graduate student, Lucia Upchurch, and I are standing on the ice above the Gakkel Ridge, which spans deep below us at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. We are here as part of a multi-institution, 40-day expedition to explore the ridge and ocean floor with two robotic autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Our research vessel, an icebreaker named ...upchurch
Coral Health And Bacterial Communities

Coral Health And Bacterial Communities

PORT ARANSAS, Texas—Bacterial communities endemic to healthy corals could change depending on the amount and type of natural and man-made dissolved organic matter in seawater, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. Healthy corals naturally exude a surround...

Fishing for Fluorescence

Juvenile polyps of staghorn coral Q & A with Misha Matz, assistant professor of integrative biology One of your main research interests is in fluorescence in corals and other marine organisms. What is your attraction to the study of fluorescent marine animals, beyond the “cool factor?” One of my projects is bioprospecting for new genetica...misha_final
Monitoring Texas Bays For Dangerous Algal Blooms

Monitoring Texas Bays For Dangerous Algal Blooms

PORT ARANSAS, Texas—A new electronic sentinel is on the lookout for dangerous algal blooms in Texas bays. The new instrument, called the Imaging FlowCytobot, automatically takes images of and classifies species of phytoplankton in real-time. It heralds the development of a warning system for the presence of harmful algae, like those that cause red...

Marine Scientists Funded to Study 'Dead Zone'

PORT ARANSAS, Texas— University of Texas at Austin marine scientists have been awarded $781,000 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to better understand how nutrient pollution from the Mississippi River affects the large area of low oxygen water called the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, and consequently its impact on comm...
Low Oxygen in Coastal Waters Impairs Fish Reproduction

Low Oxygen in Coastal Waters Impairs Fish Reproduction

Low oxygen levels in coastal waters interfere with fish reproduction by disrupting the fishes’ hormones, marine scientist Peter Thomas has found.

Marine Educator Rick Tinnin Receives National Award for Outreach

PORT ARANSAS, Texas—Dr. Rick Tinnin, director of marine education programs at The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (MSI), has been awarded the 2007 James Centorino Award from the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA). This award is given for distinguished performance in marine education by a NMEA member who is a profess...

Q & A: Jim McClelland, marine scientist

Focus on Science: The amount of freshwater in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans has been increasing. Why is that a big deal? Jim McClelland: Changes in salinity of the oceans could alter ocean circulation patterns, and ultimately, climate. If you add more freshwater, you change the density of the ocean surface water such that it’s less like...Jim McClelland

Study reveals causes behind freshwater increase in North Atlantic and Arctic oceans

AUSTIN, Texas—A new analysis of 50 years of changes in freshwater inputs to the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans may shed light on what’s behind the recently observed increase in freshwater in the North Atlantic. University of Texas at Austin marine scientist Dr. Jim McClelland and his colleagues report their findings in the August 25 issue of the ...Dr. Jim McClelland