Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

MEAM Seminar: “Collective Transitions in Beating Cilia and Swimming Fish”

April 30 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

I will discuss the collective modes that spontaneously emerge in ciliary carpets and fish schools. In both systems, the fluid medium couples the motion of individuals in the group. Flow coupling is dominated by viscous forces in cilia and by inertial interactions in fish. I will show, numerically and analytically in the continuum limit, that the waves that emerge in ciliary carpets are robust to morphological and kinematic perturbations of the ciliated tissues. In fish schools, I will show intermittent collective behavior with back-and-forth switching between schooling and milling, and I will analyze the bifurcations underlying phase transitions by lifting the stochastic dynamics of individual fish onto a Fokker-Planck equation that governs the group dynamics. These problems highlight how structure, activity, and environment interconnect to produce emergent biological function; our work provides a framework for establishing structure-to-function maps across multiple length scales to help understand, probe, and engineer emergent phenomena in biological and biomedical systems.

Eva Kanso

Zohrab A. Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering, and Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California

I am a Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southern California (USC), where I lead the Kanso Bioinspired Motion Lab. I have held the “Z. H.Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering” chair in engineering since 2011. Between 2021 and 2023, I served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining USC, I received a two-year postdoctoral scholarship from Caltech; PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering, MA degree in Mathematics, MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, all from the University of California at Berkeley; and BEng degree (with distinction) in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut. I study fundamental problems in the biophysics of cellular and subcellular processes and the physics of animal behavior, both at the individual and collective levels. A central theme in my work is the role of the mechanical environment, specifically the fluid medium and fluid-structure interactions, in shaping and driving biological functions.


April 30
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Event Category:
Event Tags:


Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
View Organizer Website


Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website