NIMBioS News

NIMBioS: Study Reveals Deep Ties between Diverse Tropical Rainforests


Tropical rainforests play a vital role in the well-being of our planet, soaking up carbon dioxide and helping stabilize the global climate. A study from a team of researchers at NIMBioS reveals new findings about the structure of tropical rainforests and how the trees in them interact with one another.

NIMBioS: New Methods Help Advance Infectious Disease Forecasting


While tremendous progress has been made in eliminating malaria worldwide, about 3.2 billion people—nearly half the world’s population—are still at risk of the disease, according to the World Health Organization. A study from NIMBioS develops new methods to detect critical transitions in infectious disease epidemics, such as malaria.

NIMBioS: Special Collection Explores Origin and Evolution of Play

An adult Gelada monkey plays with a juvenile. A new special issue of Adaptive Behavior examines the evolution and origin of play via mathematical and computational approaches. Credit: Elisabetta Palagi

Research on the evolution and function of play at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at UT has culminated in a special issue of the journal Adaptive Behavior. The collection heavily features the research of Gordon Burghardt, who works on many aspects of animal behavior, play behavior, ethical treatment of animals, and zoo animal welfare.

NIMBioS Study Shows Ancestral Relationships of Modern Creationist Legislation


A new NIMBioS study sheds light on the strategies used by creationists to influence the way biology is taught in the classroom. The study reconstructed the evolutionary history of antievolution efforts in state legislatures to reveal the relationships among lawmaking efforts over the past decade.

NIMBioS Study: What Makes a Leader? Clues from the Animal Kingdom


As the American media continues to buzz over who is more or less likely to secure the Republican and Democratic nominations for US President, experts from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) explore some interesting perspectives on the nature of leadership in a new study.

WUOT: UT’s Gavrilets Discusses Evolution of Human Warfare


Sergey Gavrilets recently spoke with WUOT 91.9 FM about human warfare and how it has evolved over time. Gavrilets, distinguished professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is one of the organizers of a three-day workshop that will explore warfare in human societies and how it has potentially acted as a source of natural selection for biological and cultural evolution.

NIMBioS Receives National Grant to Assess Student Learning in Mathematics


The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis has been awarded a two-year, $299,990 grant from the National Science Foundation to assess whether using real-world biology examples in college-level mathematics courses enhances student understanding of quantitative concepts.

NIMBioS Students Create Tool to Stop Invasive Pests


Invasive species, from plants like the kudzu vine to animals like the red scale insect that chomps through citrus crops, threaten the health of vital agricultural and natural lands. Three undergraduate students have developed a new tool to help fight these pests. Their work was done with UT faculty mentors during a summer research program at NIMBioS.