Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Mathematics and Statistics


Microalgal biofilms are comprised of a syntrophic consortium of microalgae and other microorganisms embedded within an extracellular matrix. Despite significant processes in the application of microalgal biofilms in wastewater treatment, mechanistic understanding and optimization of microalgal biomass yield and productivity under environmental constraints is still lacking. This paper identifies theoretical insights on this challenging biological problem by leveraging novel mathematical and computational tools. In particular, through a computational mathematical model to advance the understanding of microalgal biofilm growth kinetics under environmental constraints through a systematic parameter study. Moreover, design of algae biofilm reactors for optimal biomass yield and productivity in wastewater treatment under different environments is explored. The proposed model could be further calibrated to generate reliable predictions that can improve the design, operation, and management of microalgal biofilms in wastewater treatment.



Faculty Mentor

Jia Zhao

Departmental Honors Advisor

Brent Thomas