The feedback-controlled chemostat
Patrick De Leenheer (Department of Mathematics, University of Florida)
(May 4, 2006 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)
The chemostat is a biological reactor used to study the dynamics of species competing for nutrients. If there are n>1 competitors and a single nutrient, then at most one species survives, provided the control variables of the reactor are constant. This result is known as the competitive exclusion principle. I will review what happens if one of the control variables-the dilution rate- is treated as a feedback variable. Several species can coexist for appropriate choices of the feedback. Also, the dynamical behavior can be more complicated, exhibiting oscillations or bistability.