Ilse Callens has started a PhD on November 2006 on “modeling soil ecosystems with dynamical systems approach” under the supervision of A. Rapaport and L. Ranjard (micro-biologist, INRA Dijon), but has decided to resign in July 2007. Another PhD student, Miled El Hajji has entered a PhD position on the same subject, following her.
Miled El Hajji has begun his PhD in December 2007, under the supervision of A. Rapaport and L. Ranjard. Microbial communities of soil ecosystems appear to possess some similitude with waste-water ecosystems that are worth being studied more deeply, which is the main purpose of this thesis, granted by INRA. An originality of the work relies on experiments on simple ecosystems conducted at INRA Dijon.
Maxime Dumont has begun his PhD Thesis in November 2005. His thesis aims at confronting concepts of the theoretical ecology to experimental data. His work will consist in proposing a number of experiments with model ecosystems commonly used in biological wastewater plants, such as the nitrification process, in order to validate, or to invalidate the fact that mutualism among individuals and species promotes diversity. The first experiments have been run at the end of 2005 and continue today. Three nitrification reactors are now operated under different environmental conditions and microbial analyzes are on the way. The first results show that a simplified ecosystem has taken place but that some oscillations take place. The first results obtained for identifying the functional group of unknown micro-organisms within the nitrification process have been presented at the AFEM (association francophone d'écologie microbienne) 2007 conference held in La Grande Motte [Oops!] .
Nabil Mabrouk develops individual-based computer models for bacterial communities, taking spatial structure (like flocks and bio-film) into account. The simulator has been validated by comparison with analytical models, which under certain conditions approximate the individual-based models quite accurately. In particular, the behavior of a population-balance model for bacterial flocculation has been reproduced. This work has been communicated at the M2M (model to model) conference in Marseille [Oops!] , and at the STATPHYS conference in Genova [Oops!] . Moreover, a bio-film model has been proposed where bacteria belonging to the bio-film keep some mobility in a polymeric substance. This work has been communicated at the Complex Systems conference in Dresden [Oops!] .