I am a second year graduate student in the Applied Mathematics Department. I am currently being advised by Dr. David Bortz on a project to model the physical and structural properties of bacterial biofilms. I am also a Dept. of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow.
I am currently working on models and simulations of biofilms that can accurately capture the biomechanical response of biofilms to fluid flow. Biofilms are colonies of bacteria that grow on surfaces and are often interconnected through an extra-cellular matrix that contains cohesive polymers. Determining the material properties of biofilms, especially what leads to detachment and fragmentation of biofilms is an open question that has relevance to several application areas.
Below is an image from a simulation of a biofilm immersed in a fluid that is undergoing shear deformation.
J. A. Stotsky, J. F. Hammond, L. Pavlovsky, E. J. Stewart, J. G. Younger, M. J. Solomon, and D. M. Bortz. Variable Viscosity and Density Biofilm Simulations using an Immersed Boundary Method, Part II: Experimental Validation and the Heterogeneous Rheology-IBM arXiv:1504.07326v2 (http://arxiv.org/abs/1504.07326)