EPJ E Topical Review: Gyrotactic phytoplankton in laminar and turbulent flows: A dynamical systems approach

Biological and geophysical fluids host a sea of microorganisms many of which are motile. An often overlooked aspect of the life of such microorganisms is that the fluids where they are suspended are not still but flowing. In this brief review published in EPJ E, the authors aim to describe some of the interesting phenomena that can emerge due to the modification of the microorganisms' swimming direction by velocity gradients, which affect both the individual motion of microorganisms and their spatial distribution in dilute suspensions.

More specifically, the review focuses on the case study of gyrotactic phytoplankton; bottom heavy, motile cells whose swimming direction is determined by a balance between a buoyancy torque directing them upwards and fluid velocity gradients. Gyrotaxis has become a paradigmatic model for phytoplankton motility in flows, due to the availability of a mechanistic description which has revealed rich and predictive feed-back on the fluid and stochasticity (e.g. in cell orientation).

In this review, the authors consider recent theoretical, numerical and experimental results to show how gyrotaxis can produce inhomogeneous phytoplankton distributions on a wide range of scales, from millimeters to kilometers, in both laminar and turbulent flows. In particular, they focus on the phenomenon of gyrotactic trapping in nonlinear shear flows and in fractal clustering in turbulent flows, demonstrating the usefulness of ideas and tools borrowed from dynamical systems theory.

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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