MechE Seminar: Tropism in living filaments


Event details

Date 08.02.2023
Hour 12:4513:45
Speaker Dr. Hadrien Oliveri, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Abstract: Many organisms produce elongated, slender shapes called biological filaments. Plant shoots, for example, are active filaments that modify their shape dynamically in response to environmental signals, such as gravity or light. Similarly, neuronal axons migrate during neurodevelopment towards their functional target, following various external cues including signalling chemicals and mechanical environment. In this talk, I will first detail a multiscale mechanical theory for plant tropisms that captures the dynamic evolution of the overall shape of a plant in relation to its environment. This theory includes explicitly the transport of hormones and cell growth which take place at the tissue scale in response to the environment. From these microscopic processes, the plant's overall shape can be obtained using homogenisation techniques. In the second part of my talk, I will present a mathematical model for mechanical guidance of nerves, based on the theory of morphoelastic rods, including axonal growth and durotaxis. Strikingly, this model predicts that nerves are guided following a mechanical equivalent of Snell's law from geometric optics.

Biography: Hadrien Oliveri is a postdoctoral research associate at Oxford Mathematical Institute and a Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College. In 2019 in obtained his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Montpellier. Hadrien has broad interests in applied mathematics and mechanics. In particular, he is interested in using mathematics to study fundamental and applied biological problems, from neurodevelopment to plant growth and behaviours.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


MechE Seminar: Tropism in living filaments