The vast majority of living organisms are microorganisms such as bacteria and archaea. We now know that most microorganisms do not live in the planktonic state, but rather in organized communities called biofilms. These are complex, self-organized consortia of microorganisms that produce a functional, protective matrix of biomolecules. Physically, the structure of a biofilm can be described as an entangled polymer network which grows and changes under the effect of gradients of nutrients, cell differentiation, quorum sensing, bacterial motion, and interaction with the environment.
This project aims at identifying the role of active motility affects morphology and structure in the early phases of biofilm formation. The student will develop and apply theoretical and computational methods to study a mesoscopic model of biofilms that includes mechanical forces between particles, mechanical and electrostatic forces with a solid surface, and hydrodynamic interactions.
The student will join an interdisciplinary group that focuses on nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. We are seeking an outstanding, industrious student with a background in physics, applied mathematics, or related fields. Prior experience on computer programming is not necessary, but mastering languages like C and python will be key to the success of the project.
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in physics, applied mathematics, or related subjects. A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: statistical physics, biophysics, hydrodynamics, molecular dynamics simulations. Preferred start date: 1st October
UK/EU Fee band * Research Band 1 Classroom Based (£TBC) International Fee band * Research Band 1 Classroom Based (£16,900)