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Heidi Nepf, the Donald and Martha Harleman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture.
The lecture will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in 210 Hodson Hall.
How vegetation alters waves and current, and the feedbacks to environmental system function
Vegetation provides a wide range of ecosystem services valued at over 4 trillion dollars per year. Seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves, damp storm surge and waves, mitigate anthropogenic nutrient loads, and provide important habitat and blue carbon reservoirs. The conservation and restoration of these landscapes has become the center-point of nature-based solutions for coastal protection and carbon mitigation. This seminar will summarize basic concepts in vegetation hydrodynamics, focusing on flexible meadows of seagrass, for which the bending of plants in response to fluid motion (called reconfiguration) plays an important role in setting the drag. Scaling laws are developed to describe the damping of currents, turbulence and waves as a function of plant morphology, flexibility, and shoot density. The feedbacks from plant-flow interaction to sediment transport and carbon sequestration are also discussed.
Sponsored by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the JHU Student Section and the Baltimore Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Thao (Vicky) Nguyen will deliver a lecture titled “Biomechanics of the optic nerve head in glaucoma” as part of the Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series. Nguyen is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Marlin U. Zimmerman, Jr. Faculty Scholar.
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by damage to the optic nerve axons and remodeling of the connective tissues in the optic nerve head. High pressure in the the eye is a major risk factor for the disease, and lowering this pressure is currently the only effective way to slow the disease’s progression. Nguyen seeks to understand the fundamental biomechanical mechanisms through which changes in the intraocular pressure alter the physiological function of cells and remodel the collagen structures of the optic nerve head. In this presentation, she will describe ongoing work to measure the deformation response of the cellular and connective tissue structures of the optic nerve head to pressure, characterize alterations with age and glaucoma, model the effects of structural variations on the deformation and stress response, and investigate the mechanisms through which stress can direct connective tissue growth and remodeling.
The Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series began in 1993 as a way to honor newly promoted full professors. Professor Giddens, originator of the series, served as the fifth dean of Engineering at Johns Hopkins.