EGU22-4812, updated on 05 May 2023
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Active gyrotactic stability of microswimmers using hydromechanical signals

Kristian Gustavsson, Jingran Qiu, Navid Mousavi, and Lihao Zhao
Kristian Gustavsson et al.
  • University of Gothenburg, Physics, Sweden (

Many plankton species undergo daily vertical migration to large depths in the turbulent ocean. To do this efficiently, the plankton can use a gyrotactic mechanism, aligning them with gravity to swim downwards, or against gravity to swim upwards. Many species show passive mechanisms for gyrotactic stability. For example, bottom-heavy plankton tend to align upwards. This is efficient for upward migration in quiescent flows, but it is often sensitive to turbulence which upsets the alignment. In this presentation we suggest a simple, robust active mechanism for gyrotactic stability, which is only lightly affected by turbulence and allows alignment both along and against gravity.


How to cite: Gustavsson, K., Qiu, J., Mousavi, N., and Zhao, L.: Active gyrotactic stability of microswimmers using hydromechanical signals, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4812,, 2022.