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Researcher seminar – A/Prof Benjamin Binder
Sep 19, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
A/Prof Benjamin Binder
Time: Tuesday 19th September, 11AM
Location: McLeod Theatre
Yeasts have been used for biotechnology throughout recorded history. They are important human pathogens, and major experimental models of eukaryotic cells. Although yeasts are some of the most studied organisms in biology, their modes of colony pattern formation are not fully understood. In this talk, we examine macroscale spatial patterns in experimental images of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, using our purpose-built app TAMMiCoL to process images into binary data which is subsequently quantified with spatial statistics. Both continuum and discrete modelling approaches are implemented to investigate the mechanisms that produce spatially non-uniform colony formation. We show the continuum approach can model regular spatial pattering observed in floral biofilm colonies and demonstrate the necessity to use a discrete model to capture highly non-uniform patterning in filamentous colonies. The basic research challenges the pioneering work of Pirt 1967 that filamentous yeast patterns are the result of diffusion limited growth. Thus, our ongoing aim is to provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental mechanisms for colonial morphology in the different modes of growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with implications for this and other biofilm-forming yeasts of biotechnological or medical importance.
About the speaker
I was awarded my PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of East Anglia, UK, 2005. The research involved numerical and analytical studies on non-linear free-surface flows. Shortly after completing my PhD I accepted a Research Associate position at the University of Adelaide, researching the chaotic dynamical systems approach to fluid mixing and its application to designing mixing devices. I briefly left Adelaide in 2007, joining the University of Melbourne as a Research Fellow. There I developed both discrete and continuous mathematical models for the neural crest cell invasion in the embryonic gut. I returned to the University of Adelaide in 2009, having been appointed a continuing position as a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics. My current research includes (i) quantifying and modelling biological spatial patterns and (ii) predicting channel bed topography in free-surface flows.