• Distinguished Lectures

IAS lectures on biological transportation networks and pearl drops

Professor Peter Markowich  ​
Professor Peter Markowich


Two renowned scientists delivered lectures on biological transportation networks and pearl drops respectively as part of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Distinguished Lecture Series at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

They were Professor Peter Markowich, Distinguished Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia; and Professor David Quéré from ESPCI and École Polytechnique, France.

In his talk titled “First Principle Modeling of Biological Transportation Networks” on 30 November, Professor Markowich said that network formation is described as an emerging phenomenon whose evolution is governed by the interaction of the material transport with the background medium.

Professor David Quéré
Professor David Quéré


He then discussed (in)stabilities, pattern formation and behaviour of the model solutions, and said typical examples were leaf venation, neuronal networks and blood vessel systems (angiogenesis) in mammals.

On 8 December, Professor Quéré delivered a lecture titled “A Few Spectacular Properties of Pearl Drops”.

He said pearl drops were drops that remain spherical on solids, which deeply modifies their behaviours compared to usual situations. Their dynamical properties include water repellency, antifogging abilities, aerophilicity and self-propulsion.

Professor Quéré’s research field is soft matter, with a strong interest in interfacial hydrodynamics which include drops, films, morphogenesis, coating, biomimetics. He has taught at ESPCI, École Normale Supérieure, MIT and Tsinghua University.