Mathematical Sciences Department, Colloquium - Nicholas Battista, The College of New Jersey "Paddling and squirming: exploring Tomopteris swimming performance" (SH203)

Friday, February 17, 2023
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Floor/Room #


Mathematical Sciences Department


Speaker: Nicholas Battista, The College of New Jersey

Friday, February 17, 2023 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Stratton Hall 203

Title: Paddling and squirming: exploring Tomopteris swimming performance

Abstract: The soft-bodied, midwater polychaete Tomopteris is an interesting swimmer. Not only do Tomopteris swim continuously throughout their life, they also perform two modes of locomotion simultaneously: metachronal paddling and bodily undulation. Tomopteris have two rows of flexible legs (parapodia) positioned on opposite sides of its body. Although each row performs a metachronal beating pattern, they paddle out of phase to one another. Both of these paddling behaviors occur in concert with its lateral bodily undulation. This undulation appears to further displace the parapodia, assisting the metachronal paddling process. We created a self-propelled, fluid-structure interaction model of a Tomopteris to explore how these two modes of locomotion synergize to generate effective swimming. In particular, we studied performance over a 4D parameter space (parapodia length, paddling amplitude, undulation amplitude, and body width) with our sights on investigating higher-dimensional parameter spaces. In today's talk, I will describe how we approach studying Tomopteris swimming, through a blend of computational fluid dynamics and machine learning techniques.




Mathematical Sciences