25/3/2011: Seminar Marine Microfluidics: Chemotaxis and Gyrotaxis in the Ocean

Friday March 25, 2011, 11:00 - 12:00
ETH Zurich, Hönggerberg, HCI H8.1

Roman Stocker (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT): Marine Microfluidics: Chemotaxis and Gyrotaxis in the Ocean

It is now widely recognized that microbial activities represent one of the main forces shaping biogeochemistry and productivity in the ocean. At the level of individual microbes, the ocean is a sea of gradients. Chemical gradients define heterogeneous resource landscapes, while flow gradients exert forces and torques on organisms. Our understanding of these interactions - both chemical and fluid mechanical - has been hampered by the difficulty of studying microbial behavior at appropriate spatiotemporal scales. Modern microfluidic and millifluidic tools afford unprecedented access to this microscale world. I will show how these approaches can help shed light on microbial  behavior in both resource gradients (chemotaxis) and flow gradients (gyrotaxis).

For more info on the speaker, see http://cee.mit.edu/stocker