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Systems Biodynamics

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The Systems Biodynamics Laboratory uses computational and mathematical methods to analyze and predict the response of biological systems like plant leaves or microbial biofilms to dynamical variations of environmental conditions. 

 

 

andreas bohn

Andreas Bohn
Investigador Auxiliar
PhD 2003 in Chemistry, University at Buffalo - SUNY, NY

Phone (+351) 214469852 | Extension 1852
abohn@itqb.unl.pt


Research Interests

Research at the Systems Biodynamics Laboratory is centered on computational and mathematical studies of the responses of multicellular systems, e.g. plant leaves or microbial biofilms, exposed to multiple, dynamical environmental stimuli. More than specializing on a determined biological process or organism, or on one specific computational tool, the emphasis is on integrating different perspectives on the same biological problem, and on joining a multitude of diverse computational tools for simulation and data analysis to provide taylor-made access to the solution of the problem.

One line of research is rooted in studying the mechanisms of the time-keeping system that generates endogenous, circadian (24h) rhythms in plants. A variety of mathematical models with different degrees of abstraction is used to develop experimentally testable hypotheses on the coupling of rhythmic gene transcription with plant carbon metabolism and leaf water fluxes. A principal question addresses which structural classes of intra- and intercellular regulatory networks are capable of maintaining organismal synchrony with the environment, even under the simultaneous action of multiple, contradictory ambient signals.

A second line of research emerges from the development of an integrative, web-based computational infrastructure for the management and analysis of heterogeneous data from phototrophic microbial biofilms. The objective is to integrate a web-accessible database with computational modules for data analysis and various types of quantitative biofilm models. Specific interest is taken in the spatio-temporal development of biofilm biomass, in particular its spatial heterogeneity and the stochastic occurrence of large detachment events.

The universal character of the used statistical and computational methodology enables the Systems Biodynamics Laboratory to participate in various interdisciplinary projects and collaborations. Given the research focus on the organism/environment interface, computational and analytical support is provided to catalyze knowledge discovery and innovation in both fundamental and applied environmental plant- and microbiology .

 

Group Members

  • Sofia Antunes, MSc, Project Researcher
  • João Santos, MSc, Project Researcher


Selected Publications

  1. Bohn A, García-Ojalvo J. 2008. Synchronization of coupled biological oscillators under spatially heterogeneous environmental forcing. J Theor Biol 250: 37-47. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.09.036
  2. Bohn A, Zippel B, Almeida JS, Xavier JB. 2007. Stochastic modeling for characterization of biofilm development with discrete detachment events (sloughing). Water Sci Technol 55 (8-9): 257-264. doi:10.2166/wst.2007.266
  3. Bohn A, Hinderlich S, Rascher U, Kaiser F, Lüttge U. 2003. Identification of rhythmic subsystems in the circadian cycle of Crassulacean acid metabolism under thermoperiodic perturbations. Biol Chem 384: 721- 729. doi:10.1515/BC.2003.080
     

Laboratory's Website

For further information please visit the laboratory's website

 

Biodinâmica de Sistemas

O Laboratório de Biodinámica de Sistemas aplica e desenvolve métodos e soluções matemáticas e informáticas para a análise de dados e a simulação numérica. Os objectos principais de investigação são os processos fisiológicos em sistemas multi-celulares, como por exemplo a fotossíntese em folhas de plantas, ou o crescimento de comunidades microbianas, os assim chamados biofilmes. Uma questão científica principal é entender como estes processos, seu desempenho e sua estabilidade, são afectados por mudanças nas condições ambientais. A nível dos métodos, é dado muita importância à integração e interligação do trabalho computacional e teórico com trabalhos experimentais, uma vez que a complexidade dos problemas actuais da biologia cada vez mais requer o trabalho em equipe de cientistas de diferentes áreas. Neste sentido, o Laboratório participa em vários projectos interdisciplinares na área da biologia das plantas, da microbiologia e da biotecnologia ambiental e agrícola.

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