Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, Research and innovation, Sustainability
- 2 minutes
Photo: ©SUPSI DACD_Max Fonseca
The project "Cadagno Meromittico. A Journey into the History of Life through the Sublacustrine Ecosystem" proposed by the two institutes of SUPSI's Department of Environment Constructions and Design has received funding from the SNSF-Swiss National Science Foundation under the Agora Projects , which have as their focus the dissemination of scientific topics to the general public. Because of its characteristics similar to those of the primordial oceans (2,500 to 541 million years ago), Lake Cadagno does, in fact, allow us to understand the evolutionary path of life on Earth.
From Monday, Aug. 21 to Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, an interdisciplinary participatory workshop with three groups will be held at the Alpine Biology Center in the Piora Valley to brainstorm ideas and trails.
One group will work on the graphic visualization that will need to be developed for the exhibition (e.g., for exhibition panels); another group will focus on the set-up and the experience that people visiting the exhibition will want to have; and another group will lean into promotion with a focus on a traveling version of the exhibition in the Canton Ticino high schools and a series of meetings.
The workshop will be attended by researchers from the Microbiology Institute, collaborators from the Design Institute, and students from the degree programs in Visual Communication, Interior Architecture and Interaction Design. As in: harnessing cross-disciplinary skills that coexist within SUPSI's Department of Environment Construction and Design to create a well-rounded experience.
External experts will also participate, including Carla Langella, science communication expert and professor at the University of Naples Federico II, and Daniele Zanzi, tourism animator for the Municipality of Faido. In addition, Bruno Giussani, European director of TED, will be present at the presentation of the workshop results scheduled for the morning of Friday, August 25.
The project-led by Nicola Storelli and Mauro Tonolla (Microbiology Institute) together with Max Da Rocha Fonseca, Luca Morici and Giulio Zaccarelli (Design Institute)-is being launched in the centennial year of research on Lake Cadagno and will continue until 2025. The exhibition at the Alpine Biology Center in Piora will open during 2024; it will be followed by a tour to the 5 high schools in Ticino.
Why is Lake Cadagno so special?
Cadagno's is a lake composed of two layers of water that do not mix together-a rare natural phenomenon called meromixis. Cadagno's permanent stratification promotes the development of an environment very similar to the primordial oceans of the Proterozoic (2,500 to 541 million years ago) where the first life forms on our planet are supposed to have appeared. In addition, between the two layers of water (chemocline) are found ideal conditions for the development of phototrophic microorganisms that form a pink bacterial layer visible even to the naked eye. Here the dominant microorganism, Chromatium okenii, is able to mix large portions of water through the coordinated movement of tens of thousands of cells in a process called bioconvection. Nowadays, bioconvection has been observed in nature only in Cadagno Lake, as well as in the oceans.
A true journey through time.
Department of Environment Constructions and Design
+41 58 666 62 07