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Engineering of Biological Systems

Physicists, mathematicians, biologists and agronomists investigate topics on applied biology, and especially on microbiology, from an interdisciplinary perspective, using different experimental techniques for applied studies on biotechnology, agri-food engineering and environmental sciences, together with analysis of data and modelling methodologies.

One of these methodologies used is known as Individual-based Modelling (IbM), also known as Agent-Based Modelling (ABM), and has been used to study different microbial systems (such as bacteria, yeast, protozoan parasites or multispecies ecosystems) and processes of industrial or environmental interest (controlled cultivation, decomposition/preservation of food, composting and wastewater treatment or nitrification dynamics in soil, among others). What these diverse systems have in common is that the activity of single microorganisms is the cornerstone of the occurring phenomena. IbM methodology considers the microorganism as the central modelled entity: it describes the basic rules of its behaviour and, once implemented in a simulator, extracts the collective behaviour of the community.

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