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A&A Chair's Distinguished Seminar: Kakani Katija
A&A Chair's Distinguished Seminar: Kakani Katija
WhenMonday, Feb 10, 2020, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Campus locationStudent Union Building (HUB)
Campus room145
Event typesLectures/Seminars

4pm Seminar with reception following.

Kakani Katija, Principal Engineer at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, continues our A&A Chair's Distinguished Speaker Series with her talk on "DeepPIV: Measuring small-scale fluid motion in the deep sea."

The midwater region of the ocean (below the euphotic zone and above the benthos) is one of the largest ecosystems on our planet, yet remains one of the least explored. Little-known marine organisms that inhabit midwater have developed life strategies that contribute to their evolutionary success, and may inspire engineering solutions for societally relevant challenges. Although significant advances in underwater vehicle technologies have improved access to midwater, small-scale, in situ fluid mechanics measurement methods that seek to quantify the interactions that midwater organisms have with their physical environment are lacking. Here we present DeepPIV, an instrumentation package affixed to remotely operated vehicles that quantifies fluid motions from the surface of the ocean down to 4000 m depths. Utilizing ambient suspended particulate, fluid-structure interactions are evaluated on a range of marine organisms in midwater. Initial science targets include larvaceans, biological equivalents of flapping flexible foils, that create mucus houses to filter food. Little is known about the structure of these mucus houses and the function they play in selectively filtering particles, and these dynamics can serve as particle-mucus models for human health. Using DeepPIV, we reveal the complex structures and flows generated within larvacean mucus houses, and elucidate how these structures function. New developments to study animal-fluid interactions and ecology of animals in midwater will also be presented.

Kakani received her BSc in Aeronautics and Astronautics at University of Washington, MSc in Aeronautics, and a PhD in Bioengineering at Caltech. She is currently a Principal Engineer at MBARI, specializing in biological fluid mechanics and in situ imaging methods. with funding provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the National Geographic Society, NOAA, and the NSF’s Instrument Development for Biological Research and Ocean Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination programs. Kakani has been named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011 and a Kavli Research Fellow in the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.

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