Brown University School of Engineering

Fluids Seminar: Microscopic Filter Feeders near Boundaries: Feeding Restrictions and Strategies Due to Eddies

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Rachel Pepper, Ph.D. Miller Institute Research Fellow Depts. of Integrative Biology and Civil and Environmental Engineering UC Berkeley Microscopic Filter Feeders near Boundaries: Feeding Restrictions and Strategies Due to Eddies Microscopic sessile filter feeders are an important part of aquatic ecosystems and form a vital link in the transfer of carbon in marine food webs. This link is critical in cleaning up sewage, oil, and other contaminants from oceans and lakes. These filter feeders live attached to boundaries, consume bacteria and small detritus, and are in turn eaten by larger organisms. Such filter feeders survive by creating a feeding current that draws fluid towards them, and from which they filter their food of interest. I will discuss theory, simulations, and experiments that show that eddies form near these feeders as a result of fluid forcing near a boundary. The extent of these eddies, and their effect on the nutrient uptake of the organism depend on the angle of fluid forcing relative to the boundary. I will also show calculations that reveal that feeding at an angle greatly increases the feeding efficiency of model filter feeders for foods with varying diffusivities. I will also discuss experiments that show cultured filter feeders feeding at an angle to the substrate. Host: Thomas Powers - Thomas_Powers@brown.edu