Physics Department Colloquium, "Models of Photosynthetic Biofilms," by Dr. Rebecca Christianson, Olin College

Science / Technology - Colloquium

Monday, April 1, 2013
4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Olin Hall
107

Biofilms, which consist of bacteria living cooperatively within a polymer matrix, have been a subject of increasing study within both the biology and physics communities. Among scientists, as well as among the general public, the bulk of the attention has focused on pathogenic bacteria and how to mitigate their negative impact on human health. Accordingly, the formation and structure of biofilms of pathogenic bacteria, which are primarily heterotrophic, has been well studied. Less attention has been paid to the development of phototrophic biofilms, although they are becoming of substantial interest due to applications in environmental and energy technologies. In this work, I will present results on the effect of metabolism for the biofilm structure of R. palustris, a bacteria which can function in either phototrophic or heterotrophic metabolic modes. We compare the differences in architecture that accompany a change in metabolic mode, and present a minimalistic physical model which attempts to capture these differences.

Refreshments will be served at 3:30 P.M. in Olin Hall 118

Cost: FREE

Suggested Audiences: College

E-mail: physics@wpi.edu
Phone: 508-831-5258

Last Modified: March 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

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