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Dr. Laura Miller – Nov. 5

Please join us this Thursday to hear Prof. Laura Miller (Univ. of Arizona) talk to us about biological locomotion. This is a fascinating area that illustrates just how clever even simple invertebrates are at devising novel ways of traveling through their world. This should appeal to mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists alike.

group of jellyfish

Using computational fluid dynamics to understand muscle driven movement: Case studies in tubular hearts and jellyfish

Speaker : Laura Miller (Univ. of Arizona, Dept. of Mathematics)
Date : Thursday 11/5 (this Thursday)
Time : 10:30AM
Place : Zoom

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Recent advancements in computational fluid dynamics have enabled researchers to efficiently explore problems that involve moving elastic boundaries immersed in fluids for problems such as cardiac fluid dynamics and animal swimming. These advances have also made modeling both nutrient exchange in a fluid and the muscle driven motion of a flexible organ or organism through a fluid feasible. The work presented here focuses on the development and implementation of such methods and models for the pumping and pulsation of tubular hearts and jellyfish bells. We leverage existing computational algorithms for fluid-structure interactions and extend this technology to “living” boundaries. Muscle models integrate feedback between the conduction of action potentials, the contraction of muscles, the movement of tissues, and fluid motion. These models are then used to resolve pumping mechanisms in tubular hearts and resonant swimming in jellyfish.


Laura Miller

Laura Miller is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. She received her M.S. in Zoology from Duke University and her Ph.D. from the Courant Institute of Mathematics at New York University. Using her training in both mathematics and biology, she applies mathematical modeling, computational fluid dynamics, and experimental fluid dynamics to better understand how organisms interact with their environments. Her current research interests include the feeding and swimming mechanics of jellyfish, the coupled electromechanical problem of tubular heart pumping, and the aerodynamics of flight in the smallest insects and spiders.

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