Slime moulds thrive in damp woodlands and normally spread over rotting logs eating bacteria and fungi. They are also unusual in being single giant cells that show remarkably sophisticated behaviour considering their humble form. This talk presents a little vignette of the science behind these curious beasts and how it has led to better understanding of other networked systems, and even the origins of civilisation.
Mark Fricker started as a plant physiologist working on stomatal physiology with Colin Willmer in Stirling, and calcium signal transduction in Edinburgh with Tony Trewavas and Nick Read. He continued with in vivo imaging of calcium, pH and redox dynamics in plant and then fungal and slime mold systems after the move to Oxford sometime last century. This evolved into the current interest in signalling and transport in networked systems.
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