Berkeley Fluids Seminar

University of California, Berkeley

Bring your lunch and enjoy learning about fluids!

Monday, April 23, 2018

12:00-13:00, 3110 Etcheverry Hall

Prof. Mimi Koehl (Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley)

Locomoting in a Turbulent World

Abstract: When organisms locomote and interact in nature, they must navigate through complex habitats that vary on many spatial scales, and they are buffeted by turbulent wind or water currents and waves that also vary on a range of spatial and temporal scales. We have been using the microscopic larvae of bottom-dwelling marine animals to study how the interaction between the swimming or crawling by an organism and the turbulent water flow around them determines how they move through the environment. Many bottom-dwelling marine animals produce microscopic larvae that are dispersed to new sites by ambient water currents, and then must land and stay put on surfaces in suitable habitats. Field and flume measurements enabled us to quantify the fine-scale, rapidly-changing patterns of water velocity vectors and of chemical cue concentrations near coral reefs. We also measured the swimming and crawling performance of larvae of reef-dwelling animals, and their responses to chemical cues. We used these data to design agent-based models of larval behavior. By putting model larvae into our real-world flow and chemical data, which varied on spatial and temporal scales experienced by microscopic larvae, we could explore how the behavior of larvae affected their transport and their recruitment into reefs.

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