Movements and habits of plants and axons: A unified theory of tropism and taxis
Prof. Alain Goriely will explain a general mathematical theory of tropism that takes multiple stimuli and show how they drive tissue-level growth and remodelling, thus modifying the plant shape and position with respect to the stimuli.
ONLINE EVENING LECTURE 18.00–19:00 THURS, 1 APRIL 2021
The shape, motion, and behaviour of plants have been a central theme of research dating back to the early classification of Linnaeus and the first mechanistic explanations of plant tropism in the 18th Century. This early research continued in the 19th Century and culminated with the work of Darwin on the movement and habits of climbing plants.
Functionally, it is clear that to survive and to thrive, plants rely on their ability to sense multiple environmental signals, such as gravity or light, and respond to them by growing in a particular direction and changing their shape. To do so, the signals must be transduced down to the cellular level to create the physical deformations leading to shape changes.
In this talk, Prof. Alain Goriely will explain a general mathematical theory of tropism that takes multiple stimuli and show how they drive tissue-level growth and remodelling, thus modifying the plant shape and position with respect to the stimuli. This feedback loop is dynamically updated to understand the response to individual stimuli or the complex behaviours generated by multiple stimuli such as canopy escape or pole wrapping for climbing plants. He will then show that the same ideas can be applied to understand the growth and guidance of axons in the developing nervous system.
Professor of Mathematical Modelling at the University of Oxford and a member of the Mathematical Institute, Alain Goriely is also the director of the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (OCIAM), the director of the International Brain and Mechanics Lab (with Antoine Jérusalem), and a fellow of St Catherine’s College.
This event will take place online using Zoom webinar.
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