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Articles about research

Cheese fondue © EPFL / iStock / margouillatphotos 2023

Climpact: Flying, Fondue and CO2

— Everything we do has a carbon footprint but are our perceptions of the emissions we generate on a daily basis aligned with reality? To find out, two EPFL researchers have launched Climpact a new tool to help separate fact from fiction.

Giulia Marino is architect and researcher at EPFL. © DR

What can the Avanchet-Parc housing complex teach us today?

— In this column, published in three regional dailies, researcher and architect Giulia Marino discusses how the Avanchet-Parc housing complex near Geneva can inspire future ecodistricts

A section of the Rhône close to its natural state. © Michel Roggo

Scientists gain further insight into riverscape dynamics

— A compendium of research findings entitled "Riverscape – sediment dynamics and connectivity" has just been published by several Swiss research institutes. EPFL’s Platform of Hydraulic Constructions (PL-LCH) contributed to the work through two PhD theses and one postdoc study.

Aerial view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. © iStock

Centralized database helps scientists better understand coral reefs

— Coral reefs are under a growing threat from climate change and human activity, making it more important than ever to understand their strengths and vulnerabilities. A team of EPFL scientists has now taken an important step in this direction with the new RECIFS open-access database on reef environments.

Corals are at risk of going extinct due to global warming.© A.Roik

Fungi's beneficial effects on coral are not yet fully understood

— Until now, most studies of fungi have focused on their role in marine disease. But according to research done at EPFL, these fungi may also help protect coral reefs against climate change. 

© Alain Herzog / EPFL

Art exhibition showcases the importance of light hygiene

— Lighten Up! On Biology and Time is a new EPFL Pavilions exhibition that uses the lens of art to explore how living organisms are connected to natural daylight cycles. One of its curators is ENAC professor Marilyne Andersen, who is also an artist in the show for which she created an installation – Circa Diem – based on her research at EPFL.

Mathias Lerch is researcher at EPFL. © A. Herzog/EPFL

Will urban sprawl in Switzerland ever end?

— Public policies aimed at curbing urban sprawl have limited effects, says Mathias Lerch in this column. The ENAC researcher cites a study conducted by his laboratory on peri-urbanization in Switzerland since the 1960s.

Andrea Rinaldo in his lab. © EPFL / Fred Merz | Lundi13

Andrea Rinaldo wins the “Nobel Prize in Water”

— Prof. Andrea Rinaldo, an EPFL expert in hydrology, has been selected as the 2023 winner of the Stockholm Water Prize – the world’s most prestigious award in water research, handed out by the king of Sweden.


Global warming kills forests by restricting tree transpiration

— UN International Day of Forests on 21 March is the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the important forest research being done at EPFL. For instance, one recent study found that the changes in relative humidity caused by higher temperatures are having a significant impact on trees.

Three EPFL researchers in Vernier: Aurèle Pulfer, Marco Vieira Ruas and Emmanuelle Agustoni. © Alain Herzog/EPFL

New maps chart our affective relationship with the local environment

— EPFL researchers have studied Vernier, a city in the canton of Geneva, as the pilot site for an interactive map that explores our relationship with the built and natural environments.

Lobby, 2021. © Claudio Merlini

EPFL publishes monograph on Le Cèdre, a jewel of Swiss architecture

— Two EPFL architects have completed a detailed study of the headquarters of Vaudoise Assurances, a Lausanne-based insurance company, with a view to informing future restoration work. The opening of the book will take place on March 16 at 6 pm at the Musée cantonal de design et d'arts appliqués contemporains (MUDAC), in Lausanne.

Several EPFL laboratories are working to pinpoint what makes Red Sea corals so resilient to global warming and pollution. ©Guilhem Banc-Prandi

Scientists monitor wildlife to boost preservation efforts

— To mark the tenth annual UN World Wildlife Day, we compiled a sample of EPFL research projects that are using technology to protect and preserve wildlife.

The surrounding of the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Station located in East Antarctica.©Hendrik Huwald

Scientists improve the accuracy of weather and climate models

— Scientists from EPFL and the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF have developed a program that improves the accuracy of a widely used weather forecasting model by incorporating surface phenomena that weren’t previously taken into account.

Aerial view of the Rhone river in Geneva. © EPFL/LAST/N. Sedlatchek.

EPFL architects rethink the city-river balance within neighborhoods

— Architects at EPFL have developed a new, multi-criteria evaluation method to support better decision-making for the redevelopment of brownfield sites in Geneva, Sion and elsewhere along the Rhone.

A satellite image of Siberia Lena delta that flows in the Arctic Ocean. © NASA

Why rivers matter for the global carbon cycle

— In a new journal article, EPFL professor Tom Battin reviews our current understanding of carbon fluxes in the world’s river networks. He demonstrates their central role in the global carbon cycle and argues for the creation of a global River Observation System.

The unmanned, GPS-guided catamaran used to observe the lake. © Alain Herzog / EPFL

Scientists delve into natural slicks on Lake Geneva

— An EPFL researcher has, for the first time, documented slicks – those visually arresting, moving patches of smooth water – and explained what is happening beneath the surface. 

Anna Karla de Almeida Santos. © Alain Herzog / EPFL

Industrial heritage: a driver of the socioecological transition

— In this article appearing in Switzerland’s French-speaking press, Anna Karla de Almeida Santos, a PhD candidate at the Laboratory of Urbanism (Lab-U), explains that the transformation of sites with an industrial past represents an opportunity to test research avenues and materialize the socio-ecological transition.

Airborne Virus Transmission in Droplets. © iStock Photos

Acids help against airborne viruses

— A new study by various Swiss universities, including EPFL, shows that aerosols in indoor air can vary in acidity. This acidity determines how long viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2 remain infectious in the air – with profound implications for virus transmission and strategies to contain it.

Equipe du Lausanne Hockey Club © Lionel Dériaz

Artificial intelligence deployed to enhance sports performance

— EPFL researchers have teamed up with Dartfish and the Lausanne Hockey Club to push the boundaries of sports-performance analysis by applying computer vision and machine-learning technology to action on the ice.

Patrick Giromini is lecturer at EPFL. © Alain Herzog / 2022 EPFL

Chalets provide insight into our relationship with mountains

— Chalets have been widely adopted as the standard form of architecture for mountain homes – but according to Patrick Giromini, an architect and lecturer at EPFL, it’s worth taking a close look at why. In a well-documented book, he explores how chalets reflect a societal construct established in the 18th century that has largely shaped our relationship with mountains.

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