ESP Biography

ARNOLD MATHIJSSEN, Stanford postdoc in bioengineering

Major: Bioengineering

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: 2020

Picture of Arnold Mathijssen

Brief Biographical Sketch:


I grew in a small town by the seaside in Zeeland, a province of The Netherlands. At my local high school I studied physics and biology and tutored basic French classes.

I did my training in the UK, obtaining a masters in theoretical physics from University College London and a PhD in biophysics from Oxford with Julia Yeomans. I taught a number of classes in quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and soft matter physics.

Now I'm a postdoc in the Prakash lab at Stanford, studying the various aspects of fluid mechanics in biology.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

C5837: Living Fluid Mechanics in Splash Spring 2017 (Apr. 22 - 23, 2017)
Many biological processes are controlled by fluid dynamics: Molecules are actively transported inside cells, many marine animals like starfish larvae generate their own flows to draw in food, bacteria use intriguing hydrodynamic mechanisms to swim and form colonies on surfaces, and organisms can even communicate or synchronise their motion via pressure waves. In this short introduction we will discuss the basic concepts of ‘living fluid mechanics’. The focus will not be on maths and equations, but on ideas and new strategies we can learn from the fascinating world around us. Expect many pictures and videos, and perhaps a couple of live demonstrations! This class should be understandable to 7th graders but interesting for anyone up to researchers, simply because biology has so many layers of complexity. The question is: what to look for? After we develop an idea what animals can do with liquid flows, we can try to explain how they live underwater, and why they behave as they do. Curiosity is central in this path towards discovery!