Theoretical Ecology Lab Tea

The Theoretical Ecology Lab Teas are informal meetings where members of affiliated lab groups give talks on their current research and receive feedback from their audience. Talks are 30 minutes long and are followed by questions and discussion.

Lab Tea typically meets Wednesdays at 12:30 pm during the fall and spring semesters. All talks this semester will be held in Eno 209 unless otherwise stated.

For the spring semester of 2017, the talk schedules and email lists will be maintained by Mayank Misra and Fernando Rossine. Please contact Mayank or Fernando to have your name added to the Lab Tea email list so that you can receive reminders about upcoming meetings.

Spring 2017 schedule

Click on an event to view the talk title and abstract

Date and time Speaker
Ricardo Martinez-Garcia
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Note: Priority is given to graduate students. A symbol next to the speaker's name means that approval is pending for a week and graduate students can still claim the slot.

Titles and abstracts

The interplay between environmental flow and extracellular matrix production determines lineage segregation during bacterial surface colonizationRicardo Martinez-Garcia

Biofilms are extracellular matrix formations grown at a solid-liquid interface. These formations increase cell adhesiveness and allow bacterial cells to remain attached to each other and to the surface after cell division. Thus, as part of a biofilm, cells are protected against shear forces induced by flows at the interface, their resource exploitation rate increases, and their dispersal probability decreases. Therefore, biofilm formation not only influences the spatial structure of the bacterial colony, but it can also determine its survival in different environmental conditions, for example in the presence of flows. Surprisingly, the influence that the latter may have on bacterial spatial organization has received little attention in the literature. With this project, we aim to fill this gap by studying experimental and theoretically the surface colonization patterns of a population of the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae growing in microfluidic devices. Our results suggest that adhesiveness plays a key role in the surface colonization pattern, with flow playing an important role even under controlled environments such as the microfluidic chamber. We use spatial correlation functions to quantify the differences between the emergent lineage segregation patterns, as well as to determine with numerical models the dependence of the competitive ability of the cells on both adhesiveness and strength of the flow in the chamber. Finally, I will discuss the evolutionary implications of matrix formation for the colonization strategies of founding cells, with a main focus in public good production. Our results emphasize the importance of considering both flow and adhesiveness when estimating the virulence of pathogens such as V.Cholerae which colonize environments that, like the human gut, are intrinsically affected by flows of different strengths.

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Links to previous schedules

  1. Fall 2000
  2. Spring 2001
  3. Fall 2001
  4. Spring 2002
  5. Fall 2002
  6. Spring 2003
  7. Fall 2003
  8. Spring 2004
  9. Fall 2004
  10. Spring 2005
  11. Fall 2005
  12. Spring 2007
  13. Fall 2007
  14. Spring 2008
  15. Fall 2008
  16. Spring 2009
  17. Fall 2009
  18. Spring 2010
  19. Fall 2010
  20. Spring 2011
  21. Fall 2011
  22. Spring 2012
  23. Fall 2012
  24. Spring 2013
  25. Fall 2013
  26. Spring 2014
  27. Fall 2014
  28. Spring 2015
  29. Fall 2015
  30. Spring 2016
  31. Fall 2016