How many stomachs do sheep actually have?

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Auckland Bioengineering Institute

70 Symonds Street

G10 Lecture Theatre

Auckland, AKL 1010

New Zealand

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How many stomachs do sheep actually have? Creating a computational model of digestive flow

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Ruminant animals such as sheep and cows are an integral part of New Zealand’s economy, but as awareness of climate issues has increased, so to has pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural processes. Due to its complex nature, the motility and mixing of the rumen (one of the ruminant’s “stomachs”) has always been difficult to investigate experimentally. However, recent research has related the flow rate of digesta through this system with the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and so there is renewed interest to understand the complex digestive process that occur within these animals.

Computational modelling has become a popular approach for non-invasively investigating the function and form of various biological organs. Here these techniques are implemented to develop a computational model of rumen motility that will help to improve our understanding of the relationship between motility and mixing. This presentation covers the process of constructing a model of fluid behaviour within the moving walls of the rumen; from geometry acquisition, motility imaging and fluid simulation, and the resulting hair loss that occurs along the way. There will also be some tactile examples.

Stephen specialised in numerical modelling and fluid dynamics in your undergraduate engineering science degree at Auckland, before switching sides to become a biomedical engineer for his PhD. Since completing his thesis he has been working in the engineering science department investigating removal of nitrate pollution from river networks.

This talk is part of the 2019 ABI Tuesday Seminar Series. The seminars are all open to the public, and there will be a new talk each Tuesday, from 4-5pm, held at the Auckland Bioengineering House, 70 Symonds St.

To find out more about ABI news and events, subscribe to our newsletter: www.auckland.ac.nz/supportabi

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Auckland Bioengineering Institute

70 Symonds Street

G10 Lecture Theatre

Auckland, AKL 1010

New Zealand

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