Grad Talk: Yeast Transport and Fermentation Fluid Dynamics

Jorge Palos-Chavez, University of Arizona
Friday, November 17, 2017 - 2:15pm
Location: 
PAS 218

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (and related yeasts) are non-motile unicellular organisms whose metabolic activities have contributed greatly to human culture for at least the last 5,000 years. Despite its ubiquity, the humble yeast cell harbors an enduring mystery. It is well known that, during fermentation, yeast cells remain actively suspended in fluid and ultimately sediment or form a floating layer of agglomerated cells. To our knowledge, the mechanics of how yeast influence their environment to self-regulate their motion, despite possessing no external motility mechanisms, has not been considered in detail. In this talk, I will outline the construction of a mathematical model detailing the coupled metabolic and Fluid Dynamics of yeast undergoing fermentation. This involves two stages: Finding the best description of yeast metabolic dynamics, and the best description of multiphase fluid flow. Early numerical results and proposed future work will also be discussed.