Materials Science & Biophysics Research Seminar Series


Spring 2023 Seminar Series

photo of Peter Yunker

Peter Yunker

  • Associate Professor, School of Physics
  • Georgia Institution of Technology

Soft matter physics of the evolution of multicellularity 

Friday, March 17, 2023
Materials and Biophysics Seminar
EC 1204
2 PM – 3 PM

The evolution of multicellularity was transformative for life on Earth, lifting a fundamental limit on organismal complexity. Underlying their success is the ability of multicellular organisms to assemble macro-scale structures with novel functions. However, major gaps in our knowledge about the origin of multicellular organisms persist, largely because multicellularity evolved in the deep past. We circumvent this limitation by evolving multicellularity de novo in the laboratory, using long-term experimental evolution to examine the evolution of complex life. Fundamentally, this research is focused on understanding how clumps of cells evolve into integrated organisms, blending physical and evolutionary insight to understand multicellular organisms as Darwinian materials. Cells live in groups that are mechanically, topologically, geometrically, and functionally constrained by physical interactions, all of which is filtered and amplified by the lens of Darwinian evolution. The central theme of our work is that the evolution of multicellular organisms cannot be understood without considering its physics.

photo of Moumita Das

Moumita Das

  • Associate Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

Friday, April 14, 2023
Materials and Biophysics Seminar
EC 1204
2 PM – 3 PM

photo of Nickolay V Lavrik

Nickolay V Lavrik

  • Staff Scientist, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences,
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Rational design and nanofabrication of deterministically patterned SERS active structures 

Friday, April 28, 2023
Materials and Biophysics Seminar
EC 1204
2 PM – 3 PM


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Seminar Series Organizers

Seminar series sponsored by: Augusta University Research Institute, College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Chemistry and Physics