Modeling and control of microbial ecosystems and biological processes

Microbial ecosystems are the functional core of biotechnological processes. In this presentation, particular attention will be given to the so-called "chemostat" which makes it possible to produce cultures of microorganisms. As a first step, we will review the different types of models available and see how useful their analysis can be to better understand some of today's important ecological issues. In particular, we will address issues of optimizing the functioning of these systems in relation to ecosystem biodiversity. We will also present recent results of optimal control in order to maximize the performance of certain depollution reactors.

Prof. Jerome Harmand, LBE-INRA-France

Jerome Harmand is Research Director at INRA (French National Institute in Agronomic Research). Since 2015, he has led the SAMI team (System, Analysis, Modeling, Informatics) within the Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology ( He is also the coordinator of the Euro-Mediterranean research network TREASURE on the reuse of non-conventional waters ( and the coordinator of the SICMED-REUSE network ( His research focuses on the modeling and control of microbial ecosystems and bioprocesses. More precisely, the aim is to develop methods from automatic control theory for analysis and design, control and observation and, more generally, for the optimization of biological processes for environmental purposes (liquid and solid waste treatment, biomass valorization,...). According to the scale of modeling adopted, considering as an elementary entity of a biological system sometimes the microbial individual, sometimes the floc or an element infinitesimal of biolfilm sometimes the reactor, his research aim to identify and understand the links and interactions which condition the macroscopic behavior observed at the level of a population or a process and use the knowledge generated (formalized in the form of a system of differential equations) in order to better understand or even optimize the functioning of the entity studied. He is the author of 95 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, about 120 papers in international conferences. Co-author of two patents, he has participated in several scientific books including the most recent "The chemist at: Mathematical theory of the continuous culture of microorganisms" which is the first volume of an ISTE series on modeling and control of bioprocesses.