Renthof 6, 35032 Marburg
+49-6421 28 21316
The group is interested in dynamical and physical phenomena that arise in biological systems. The focus lies on applications of methods from statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics to understand the dynamics of networks, synchronization phenomena and the appearance of patterns.
The Min system in E.coli provides a much studied example for the appearance of periodic spatial oscillations in a cell. Fluorescence measurements on a two-dimensional system (Loose et al, Science 320, 789 (2008)) give detailed information about the concentrations and should allow in principal an accurate determination of parameters in models and thus to compare and differentiate between models.
Given the effort that has to be invested in many experiments, it is useful to have a criterion by which to select the experiments that provide the most information about parameters. In studies of several small networks we have devised such a strategy for experiment selection and have demonstrated numerically that it converges rather quickly.
The motion of micororganisms in a fluid stirs the surrounding medium and enhances the mixing of nutrients. Observations on an algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Leptos et al, Physical Review Letters 103, 198103 (2009)) show that the distrbution of the tracer does not show a Gaussian form. Modelling the contributions from the microorganisms as a continuous time random walk we have been able to reproduce the experimentally observed distributions. View picture here.