Quantitative Biology / Gene Expression in Development & Disease Seminar

Friday, 15 February 2013 at 11:30am

Room 1400 Biomedical and Physical Sciences Bldg.

Refreshments at 11:15

Speaker:  David Bortz, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado at Boulder

Title:  Biomechanics and Population Dynamics of Microbial Communities

Multicellular microbial communities in suspension and on surfaces are ubiquitous from the laboratory to the ocean, and yet the nature and dynamics of those populations are still not well understood. Their biomechanical and biochemical properties have a large impact on human life — from controlling sepsis, to wastewater management, to biofuel production. While there are macro-scale, descriptive models, our current understanding of how multi-cellular colonies form, grow, fragment, and disseminate is still in its infancy.

Motivated by this biological phenomena, our research has focused on mathematical models for the microscale biomechanics. In this talk, I will present some recent results related to accurately predicting flow-induced fragmentation and adhesion of microbial communities as well as the impact on their population dynamics.