The world is a complex and dynamic place. Earth takes part in an intricate dance with the moon, surrounding planets, our sun, other stars and entire galaxies. All interact with one another determining our position in the universe. On a much smaller scale, humans consist of trillions of cells that work together to let us walk, run, and think. Each such single living cell is driven by the interaction of about a trillion non-living molecules. Life at all scales is complex, dynamic, and difficult to understand. All these examples, however, have in common that they obey the basic laws of physics. Although we can apply those laws to understand a small part of each system, many interacting parts can behave wildly different and unpredictable. By combining theory and experiment, our lab aims at understanding such system dynamics, studying living (Dynamics in Biology) and non-living (Dynamics in Physics) systems.
Jan analyzed how pacemaker-generated waves synchronize an oscillatory medium
Jan used numerical simulation to study the properties of waves in oscillatory media sent out by a pacemaker. By comparing different oscillator types and pacemaker properties, he quantified which factors determine the speed of these waves, which are often used by biological systems to transmit information and synchronize processes. The work is now out in Phys. Rev. Research, congratulations!
Stefan successfully defended his thesis work
On July 8, Stefan defended his thesis entitled “Dynamical analysis of nutrient-explicit models for small microbial communities”, a collaboration with Prof. Didier Gonze at the Unit of Theoretical Chronobiology (ULB), and Prof. Jan Danckaert at the Applied Physics research group (APHY, VUB). Stefan did a great job at clearly explaining his research. We wish him all the best in his further career and he will be missed in the group!
How do oscillatory systems with multiple pacemakers synchronize their dynamics?
Felix and Jan have studied what happens when multiple pacemakers compete with each other. Using numerical simulations in a generic reaction-diffusion system, they determined when and how pacemakers synchronize depending on their size, oscillation frequency, and type of coupling. Their work has been published in Chaos. Well done Felix and Jan!