Workshops > Frontiers in Mathematical Biology

Frontiers in Mathematical Biology

Biological Flows and Mechanics

Michael Shelley

The Courant Institute, New York University


The mechanics of fluids and structures can sometimes be extremely useful in explaining biological phenomena. While bird flight and fish swimming are well-known examples, I will discuss two other cases where the role of mechanics seems not so obvious but turns out to be central and even surprising. The first concerns understanding experimental observations of a simple undulating organism -- the nematode C. elegans -- negotiating a fluid-filled space full of obstacles. The second case focuses on the pronuclear complex in C. elegans embryo and how it achieves proper position and orientation within the cell so that early development can successfully proceed.