Date/Time*/Room: Thursday (3/1/2001) at 4:00 pm in 304 Pickard Hall

Speaker: Hal L. Smith, Department of Mathematics, Arizona State University

``A Mathematical Model of Microbial Growth and Competition in a Plug Flow Reactor: A Model of the Gut''

Abstract: A mathematical model of microbial growth and competition for limiting nutrient and for wall attachment sites in a plug flow reactor will be described. It leads to a system of advection-diffusion equations coupled to a system of odes. We examine the hyperbolic system obtained in the case where advection dominates diffusion. Steady state solutions are studied analytically and numerically. Coexistence of bacterial strains can occur in which the different strains occupy separate parts of the reactor (we call this segregation). The model was devised by microbiologist R. Freter (in a chemostat setting) to understand the observed stability of the natural microflora of the gut to invasion by exotic strains. The connection of our work to this problem will be described.

*Refreshments are served at 3:30 pm in 487 Pickard Hall.