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Lydia Bourouiba

Contact Info


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2008



Research Interests

Focusing on the interface of fluid dynamics and epidemiology, the Bourouiba Group aims to elucidate the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the transmission dynamics of pathogens in human, animal, and plant populations where drops, bubbles, multiphase and complex flows are at the core.
Key topics of research in the Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory include:

Fluid Dynamics:

  • Interfacial flows: bubbles, drops and films
  • Fluid fragmentation and droplet formation
  • Turbulence and multiphase flows
  • Mixing, transport, and pathogen deposition and contamination
  • Hydrodynamic instabilities and waves
  • Viscoelastic and biological fluids 


  • Contact dynamics and pathogen transport and disease transmission in epidemiololgy
  • Nosocomial diseases, respiratory diseases, waterborne diseases, and foliar diseases
  • Disease transmission and contamination in indoor environments, including hospitals.

We use a combination of theoretical  (applied mathematics, including differential equations, linear algebra, nonlinear dynamics, waves and stability) and experimental approaches (flow visualization, high speed imaging techniques, microscopy, image processing) to elucidate the fundamental physical mechanisms of transmission of nosocomial diseases, respiratory diseases, waterborne diseases, and foliar diseases where fluids are ubiquitous and to design and formulate new control strategies.

Online Data

News Archive can be found here.

Honors + Awards

  • 2021, American Physical Society (APS) Fellow 



  • American Physical Society
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • American Mathematical Society
  • Society for Mathematical Biology
  • Sigma XI



  • Fluids and diseases  (1.631/HST.537/2.250 at MIT)
  • Nonlinear dynamics and turbulence (1.068-1.686/18.358/2.033 at MIT)
  • Multivariable calculus (18.02 at MIT)
  • Differential equations (18.03 at MIT) 
  • Nonlinear dynamics II: continuum systems (1.062/18.354/12.207 at MIT)
  • Linear Algebra (equivalent of 18.06 at MIT)
  • Undergraduate seminars in physical applied mathematics (guest lecturer,  18.384 at MIT)
  • Nonlinear dynamics I (guest lecturer, 18.353/2.050/12.006 at MIT)

Online Courses:

MIT Open Course Ware Scholar VIDEO Lectures


Publications can be found here.

Video Gallery can be found here.

Image Gallery can be found here.