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New individual-based model links microbial growth to the energy available in the environment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rebeca Gonzalez-Cabaleiro, Professor Thomas CurtisORCiD, Dr Dana OfiteruORCiD


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. A new individual-based model is presented in which we aim to describe microbial growth constrained by the environmental conditions at each point of a 2D space. The model is characterized for a full description of the physico-chemistry of the system and uses thermodynamics to approximate the microbial growth. The growth parameters are estimated using the information of the surroundings and it employs only first principles instead of relying on measurements at the population level. This allows ab initio approximation of the growth parameters, and therefore directly links microbial growth and environmental conditions. For this reason, the model is characterised for its flexibility. We test the model in three very different scenarios: anaerobic digestion, aerobic heterotrophic growth and nitrification. Due to its flexibility, rigorous thermodynamic calculations and the possibility to estimate the parameters ab initio, the model will be further used to hypothesize the presence of new functional groups or microbial species not yet discovered and to model complex microbial populations not well understood. Moreover, it can be used to study the rules that control microbial evolution or/and immigration.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gonzalez-Cabaleiro R, Curtis TP, Ofiteru ID

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: FICWTM 2017: Frontiers in Wastewater Treatment and Modelling

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 622-627

Print publication date: 05/05/2017

Online publication date: 05/05/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN: 9783319584201

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-58421-8_97

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering

ISBN: 23662557