School of Mathematics

Kevin Painter

Kevin Painter abstract

Department of Mathematics, Heriot Watt University

A user's guide to modelling chemotaxis.

Chemotaxis -- oriented migration in response to chemical concentration gradients -- is widely used byboth cells and organisms  as a means of directed movement. Of particular fascination to theoreticalscientists is its capacity to inspire self-organisation, directing the collection of a dispersed population into an aggregate: consequently, chemotaxis has been proposed as a potentially important factor inprocesses of pattern formation, ranging from embryonic development to groupings of animals. Variousmathematical models have been proposed to explain chemotaxis, with many based on the seminal partial differential equations introduced by Keller and Segel in the 1970s: their study has revealed a diverse range of patterning phenomena and analytical properties. In this talk I will discussthe modelling of chemotaxis, explore the capacity of chemotaxis models to generate complicatedspatio-temporal dynamical behaviour and describe their application to processes of pattern formation inmicoro-organisms and feather formation.