The Smith lab is looking for a motivated computer scientist that would like to apply their skills to fundamental questions in plant development.
Working with in-house finite element method (FEM) software and geometry libraries, the student will develop 3D cellular level models of growing plant tissues, controlled by genetic networks and cell-cell signalling. The goal of these models is to understand how genes control growth of cells, resulting in emergent form. A particular focus of this project will be to research methods to implement 3D cell division, while preserving the current mechanical state of the system. During the project, the student will be exposed to cutting edge techniques in plant modelling.
The Smith lab has a focus on spatial and biomechanical models, with a particular interest in models where patterning interacts with growth and cell division. The project will position the student well for a postdoc in developmental modelling, an area currently in high demand.
The skills required to be successful in this project are similar to those required for physically based simulation in computer animation. If you like programming, have excellent spatial intuition, are drawn to computer animation and dynamic systems, then this could be the PhD project for you.