The incessant activity of swimming microorganisms has a direct physical effect on surrounding microscopic objects, leading to enhanced diffusion far beyond the level of Brownian motion with possible influences on the spatial distribution of non-motile planktonic species and particulate drifters. I will report on our recent investigation of the effect of eukaryotic flagellates, represented by the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, on microparticles. Macro- and micro-scopic experiments reveal that microorganism-colloid interactions are dominated by rare close encounters leading to large displacements through direct entrainment. Simulations and theoretical modelling show that the ensuing particle dynamics can be understood in terms of a simple jump-diffusion process, combining standard diffusion with Poisson-distributed jumps. This heterogeneous dynamics is likely to depend on generic features of the near-field of swimming microorganisms with front-mounted flagella. 

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