PoreLab lecture with Prof. Dr. Joaquin  Jimenez-Martinez on May 29th

Welcome to the next PoreLab lecture!

Who: Prof. Dr. Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez

Prof. Jimenez-Martinez is the Research Scientist-Group Leader at Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. His research focuses on the study of transport, chemical reaction phenomena, and microbial behavior in porous and fractured media, particularly in multiphase systems.

When: Wednesday May 29th at 13:00 CEST (Norway time).

Where:  The talk will be streamed in Kelvin room (PoreLab Oslo) and in the common room (PoreLab Trondheim). From anywhere else, you will be able to join via the following Zoom link:

Title: Microbial behavior in porous media: hydrodynamics control on bacterial chemotaxis and morphogenesis of biofilms 

Abstract: Microbial life in porous media is often exposed to a mosaic of fluid flow velocities and an extremely heterogeneous chemical landscape. This abiotic–biotic coupling plays a key role in applications such as bioremediation or biomineralization. To disentangle this coupling, we have developed technologies enabling the study of microorganisms at the single-cell and community level. At the single-cell level, we have studied the impact of the presence of nutrient hot spots on the transport of chemotactic bacteria. Chemotaxis increases the collocation of bacteria with the nutrient sources, but this also depends on the physical heterogeneity and fluid flow velocities. At the community level, we have discovered that as the growth of microorganisms drives a porous medium toward clogging, i.e., biofilm formation, preferential flow paths form within the combined porous medium–biofilm structure. These flow paths open and close with marked intermittency, and we have rationalized the underlying mechanism in terms of a balance between microbial growth and shear-driven detachment. We have also characterized for the first time the heterogeneity in permeability within biofilms, which controls the transport of dissolved chemicals and biologically driven reactions.