Headline News

One of our goals in the College of Arts and Sciences is to highlight research that improves lives and changes the world, and our faculty are making waves with their research and creative activity. Here, we highlight the Top 10 faculty research projects that received external media coverage in 2019.

#1: Psychologists Find Smiling Really Can Make People Happier

Department of Psychology

Researchers looked at nearly 50 years of data testing whether facial expressions can lead people to feel the emotions related to those expressions.


#2: Today’s Obesity Epidemic May Have Been Caused by Childhood Sugar Intake Decades Ago

Department of Anthropology

Current obesity rates in adults in the United States could be the result of dietary changes that took place decades ago.


#3: Virus-Infected Bacteria Could Help in the Fight against Climate Change

Department of Microbiology

Understanding the relationship between viruses and their microbial hosts is beneficial not only for medical research and practical applications, but also in marine biology.


#4: Researchers Discover Record-Breaking Salamander

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences

Researchers at UT discovered the largest individual of any cave salamander in North America, making scientists reexamine growth limits of these animals in harsh environments.


#5: Professor to Unseal Sample of Moon Rocks from Apollo 17

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences

Researchers at UT studied moon rocks NASA has never opened before during the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program – part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.


#6: Researchers Interpret Cherokee Inscriptions in Alabama Cave

Department of Anthropology

For the first time, a team of scholars and archaeologists recorded and interpreted Cherokee inscriptions in Manitou Cave, Alabama.


#7: Using Thoreau, Scientists Measure the Impact of Climate Change on Wildflowers

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Researchers use observations made by Henry David Thoreau to explore the effects of climate change on tree leaf-out and, as a result, the emergence of spring wildflowers.


#8: Climate-Driven Evolution in Trees Alters Their Ecosystems

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Exploring how climate, evolution, plants, and soils are linked, UT researchers are the first to show how climate-driven evolution in tree populations alters the way trees directly interact with their immediate soil environment.


#9: Study: Underground Fungal Relationships Key to Thriving Plants

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Plants thrive with the help of a friendly fungus. UT researchers discovered plants living in symbiosis with root-associated, or mycorrhizal fungi, are especially helpful for colonization.


#10 Study: Infamous ‘Death Roll’ Almost Universal Among Crocodile Species

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences

The iconic “death roll” of alligators and crocodiles may be more common among species than previously believed.