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Fundamentals of Growing Active Matter

Event description

A wide variety of physical properties of living systems arise from interplay between activity and growth. These include pattern formation in bacterial colonies, ordering in actin networks and the emergence of resistance in tumours.

The workshop's main goal is to gather together researchers working on different systems and using different techniques (theory, simulations, and experiments). We hope that the meeting will help to identify universal characteristics of growing active matter and reveal unifying general principles (if they exist).

Due to the current travel restrictions the workshop will be online only.

Abstracts are invited for a contributed talk or poster (poster presentation will be in the form of a mini talk). Please use the registration form to submit your abstract. The submission deadline is 26 February 2021.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN (please use 'Indico for this workshop' button on the right)

Best contributed talk/poster awards

We are happy to announce that there will be two awards of £200 for best contributions from early-career researchers (PhD students, post-docs, early-career fellows): one in the category "Best contributed talk", and another one in the category "Best poster". Contributions will be assessed by a non-conflicted panel of judges. Winners in both categories will be announced during the discussion session at the end of the workshop.

Event co-sponsered by


See the full timetable on Indico

25 Mar / 09:30—09:45
Introduction (0h15′)
  • Waclaw, Bartek (University of Edinburgh)
25 Mar / 09:45—10:30
Modelling confluent cell layers as active nematics (0h45′)
25 Mar / 10:30—10:55
The emergent physics of growing active matter (0h25′)
  • Ross, Robert (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)
25 Mar / 11:00—11:25
Learning the space-time phase diagram of bacterial swarm expansion (0h25′)
  • Jeckel, Hannah (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany)
25 Mar / 11:30—12:15
Growth mechanics – Coexistence and Evolution (0h45′)
  • Jens ELGETI (Forschungszentrum Jülich)
25 Mar / 13:00—13:45
The geometry of colonisation (0h45′)
  • Luca GIOMI (Leiden University)
25 Mar / 13:45—14:10
Theoretical modelling of competitive microbial range expansion with heterogeneous mechanical interactions (0h25′)
  • Maikranz, Erik (Saarland University )
25 Mar / 14:15—14:40
Escape from Flatland: Morphology of Three-Dimensional Bacterial Communities (0h25′)
  • Sujit DATTA (Princeton University )
25 Mar / 15:30—16:15
Simulating the growth of bacterial biofilms: spatial structure formation and genetic diversity (0h45′)
25 Mar / 16:15—17:15
Poster Session (1h00′)
25 Mar / 18:00—19:00
Social Gathering (1h00′)
26 Mar / 09:30—10:15
Growing actin networks (0h45′)
  • Rhoda HAWKINS (University of Sheffield)
26 Mar / 10:15—11:00
Flow, fluctuate and freeze: Epithelial cell sheets as soft active matter (0h45′)
  • Silke HENKES (University of Bristol)
26 Mar / 11:00—11:25
Emergent order and structure of growing biofilms (0h25′)
  • Philip PEARCE (Harvard Medical School)
26 Mar / 11:30—11:55
Tackling embryogenesis with an Active Junction Model (0h25′)
  • Djafer-Cherif, Ilyas (Institute of Physical Chemistry, Warsaw)
26 Mar / 13:00—14:00
Higgs Centre Colloquium (1h00′)
  • Zaccarelli, Emanuella
26 Mar / 14:00—15:00
Discussion & Closing remarks (1h00′)

Fundamentals of Growing Active Matter


zoom virtual meeting


Key speakers

  • Rosalind ALLEN (Edinburgh)
  • Jens ELGETI (Forschungszentrum Jülich)
  • Luca GIOMI (LEI)
  • Rhoda HAWKINS (University of Sheffield)
  • Silke HENKES (LEI)
  • Julia YEOMANS (Oxford)

ADD INFO: additional information will be available soon

COSTS £30 registration fee; can be waived in some circumstances, please contact