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Life at High Reynolds Number

Friday 21st November 2014 - 14:00 to 15:00
INI Seminar Room 2
Microorganisms living in the ocean can be subject to strong turbulence, with cell division times in the middle of a cascade of eddy turnover times. We explore the dynamics of a Fisher equation describing cell proliferation in one and two dimensions, with cellular diffusion as well as a coupling to turbulent advection. Due to inertial effects and cell buoyancy, we argue that the effective advecting velocity field is compressible. For strong enough compressible turbulence, microorganisms such as bacteria and phytoplankton track, in a quasilocalized fashion, sinks in the turbulent velocity field, with important consequences for the carrying capacity and for fixation times when two genetically different species compete
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons