The brain's waterscape

20 February 2020
Marie Elisabeth Rognes

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Short bio:

Marie E. Rognes is Chief Research Scientist and Research Professor in Scientific Computing and Numerical Analysis at Simula Research Laboratory, Oslo, Norway. She received her Ph.D from the University of Oslo in 2009 with an extended stay at the University of Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, US. She has been at Simula Research Laboratory since 2009, led its Department for Biomedical Computing from 2012-2016 and currently leads a number of research projects focusing on mathematical modelling and numerical methods for brain mechanics including an ERC Starting Grant in Mathematics. She won the 2015 Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software, the 2018 Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters Prize for Young Researchers within the Natural Sciences, and was a Founding Member of the Young Academy of Norway.


Your brain has its own waterscape: whether you are reading or sleeping, fluid flows around or through the brain tissue and clears waste in the process. These physiological processes are crucial for the well-being of the brain. In spite of their importance we understand them but little. Mathematics and numerics could play a crucial role in gaining new insight. Indeed, medical doctors express an urgent need for modeling of water transport through the brain, to overcome limitations in traditional techniques. Surprisingly little attention has been paid to the numerics of the brain’s waterscape however, and fundamental knowledge is missing. In this talk, I will discuss mathematical models and numerical methods for the brain's waterscape across scales - from viewing the brain as a poroelastic medium at the macroscale and zooming in to studying electrical, chemical and mechanical interactions between brain cells at the microscale.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar