Nonlinear Dynamics in Biology

April 25 - May 11, 2000

While the detailed knowledge of the molecular basis of life is rapidly accumulating, the understanding of how observed biological behaviour emerge from the underlying biochemistry and molecular biology is still immature.
The theories of nonlinear dynamics - sometimes called ``the science of complexity'' or ``chaos theory'' - provides a rigid, mathematical framework for such a description of living organisms, which are the ultimate examples of complex systems. Therefore, biologists need to know about nonlinear dynamics, and nonlinear dynamicists need to know about biology. The purpose of this Ph.D. school is to enhance such ``mutual understanding''. 

The Danish Graduate School of Nonlinear Science and Graduate School of Biophysics offers this interdisciplinary Ph.D. school to graduate students in biology, chemistry and biophysics. Given a suitable background, it is open to other students as well. 
The school begins with an intensive two-week series of lectures and excersises on the general concepts of nonlinear dynamics. This introduces a wide range of concepts from nonlinear dynamics, and provides non-specialist participants with a sufficient background for the second part of the school, which is a one-week symposium open as well to the graduate students of the Ph. D. school as to other participants. During this symposium, leading scientists will give talks on the applications of nonlinear dynamics in biology.


April 25 - May 5

detailed schedule

  • Basic concepts of nonlinear dynamics
  • Continuation methods
  • Amplitude equations
  • Pattern formation in reaction-diffusion systems
  • Fractal growth phenomena
  • Chaos in biological systems
  • Cell synchronization
  • Biological examples




May 8 - 11

detailed schedule

  • Cell Synchronization in Beta-Cells
  • Cell Synchronization in Yeast Cells
  • Bacterial Pattern Formation
  • Reaction-Diffusion Systems
  • Modelling Biological Systems
  • Combining Experiments and Models



Senior scientists interested in the topics of the Ph.D. school are encouraged to participate in the symposium. 
Graduate students of biology: A general appreciation of mathematics is recommended, but no special knowledge of nonlinear dynamics is required since this is taught in the first part of the Ph. D. school.
Graduate students of physics, chemistry or engineering: Fundamentals of biochemistry and molecular cell biology is strongly recommended.

The Niels Bohr Institute
University of Copenhagen
Blegdamsvej 17
DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Erik Mosekilde, Physics Department, Technical University of Denmark.
Preben Graae Sørensen, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen.
Sune Danø, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen

The school is funded by The Danish Research Academy through the Graduate School of Biophysics and the Graduate School of Nonlinear Science.