Online Conference Motile Active Matter

Date Oct. 26-29 2020

International Conference, Organized by the DFG Priority Programme SPP 1726: Microswimmers – From Single Particle Motion to Collective Behaviour


The online International Conference on “Motile Active Matter” was held on Oct.26-29, 2020. Originally, the event was planned for April 2020 in Bonn, but due to the restrictions related to the Covid-19 crisis, it had to be postponed and transformed into an online event.

Organized as the final conference of the DFG priority program SPP1726 ‘Microswimmers - From Single Particle Motion to Collective Behaviour’ marking the end of the SPP1726, the meeting gave a platform to all SPP projects to present their results. In addition, external contributed speakers and a selection of keynote speakers complemented the program that consisted of over 50 oral presentations. Two poster sessions with 50 posters each gave the opportunity to share insights and discuss in a more intimate atmosphere of small groups using video calls and screen sharing.

With over 370 registered participants, and an average online attendance of 150 people per session per day, the meeting was a great success.

We thank our sponsors, the journals Soft Matter and European Physical Journal E, for supporting two poster prizes and two prizes for best junior contributed talk. These prizes were awarded to:

Best posters

  • Laura Alvarez Frances (ETH Zürich):Reconfigurable Artificial Microswimmers with Internal Feedback
  • Henning Reinken (TU Berlin):Organizing bacterial vortex lattices by periodic obstacle arrays

Best junior contributed talk

  • Hannah Jeckel (MPI Marburg): Learning the space-time phase diagram of bacterial swarm expansion
  • Patrick Pietzonka (Univ. Cambridge): Autonomous engines driven by active matter: Energetics and design principles

We thank the DFG for funding the SPP, and EUSMI, SoftComp, Soft Matter and European Physical Journal E for financial support.


The motility of cells and microorganisms is a cornerstone of the existence of life and an outstanding achievement of evolution. From a physics perspective, active matter is a novel class of nonequilibrium materials composed of a large number of agents, which consume energy and generate directed motion. Length and time scales range from nanomotors and microswimmers and single cells up to fish, birds and humans. Unraveling, predicting, and controlling the behavior of active matter is a truly interdisciplinary endeavor, and involves scientists from biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Recent progress in experimental and simulation methods, and theoretical advances, now allows for a detailed study of such systems, and to gain new insight into their behavior. This should ultimately lead to the design of novel synthetic active agents.

Interest in this fascinating multidisciplinary field is increasing, and progress in understanding and designing microswimmers is rapidly advancing. The international conference “Motile Active Matter”, organized by the DFG Priority Programme 1726 “Microswimmers”, brings together scientists from the various disciplines involved in research on active matter, disseminating recent progresses and highlighting future challenges. Topics include:

Cells and Microorganisms • Artificial and Biological Microswimmers • Collective Behavior • Steering and Navigation • Confinement and External Fields • Statistical Mechanics of Active Matter

The program will include invited and contributed talks, as well as poster sessions.

Scientific Organization

Gerhard Gompper (Forschungszentrum Jülich) – SPP Coordinator Clemens Bechinger (University of Stuttgart) Stephan Herminghaus (MPI for Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Goettingen) U. Benjamin Kaupp (Forschungszentrum caesar, Bonn) Hartmut Löwen (University of Düsseldorf) Holger Stark (Technical University Berlin) Roland G. Winkler (Forschungszentrum JülichDn)

Download the Microswimmers International Conference Poster here!

Microswimmers International Conference Poster


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Microswimmer International Conference


M. Kleinen
G. Vliegenthart
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH,
Biological Information Processing (IBI)
Phone: +49 2461 / 61-3142/-6131

Last Modified: 14.06.2024