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Choanoflagellates are unicellular aquatic organisms with a single flagellum that
drives a feeding current through a funnel-shaped collar filter on which bacteria-sized prey are caught. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) we model the beating flagellum and the complex filter flow of the choanoflagellate Diaphanoeca grandis. Our CFD simulations based on the current understanding of the morphology underestimate the experimentally observed clearance rate by more than an order of magnitude: The beating flagellum is simply unable to draw enough water through the fine filter. Our observations motivate us to suggest a radically different filtration mechanism that requires a flagellar vane (sheet), and addition of a wide vane in our CFD model allows us to correctly predict the observed clearance rate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventComplex Motion in Fluids Summer School - Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Sep 201730 Sep 2017


CourseComplex Motion in Fluids Summer School
LocationCambridge University
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • 1 Participating in or organising workshops, courses, seminars etc.

Complex Motion in Fluids Summer School

Seyed Saeed Asadzadeh (Participant), Jens Honore Walther (Participant), Lasse Tor Nielsen (Participant), Julia Dölger (Participant), Thomas Kiørboe (Participant) & Anders Peter Andersen (Participant)

24 Sep 201729 Sep 2017

Activity: Attending an eventParticipating in or organising workshops, courses, seminars etc.


Cite this

Asadzadeh, S. S., Walther, J. H., Nielsen, L. T., Kiørboe, T., Dölger, J., & Andersen, A. P. (2017). Computational Fluid Dynamics of Choanoflagellate Filter-Feeding. Poster session presented at Complex Motion in Fluids Summer School, Cambridge, United Kingdom.