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Università della Svizzera italiana

Warm bodies in the Chinese borderlands : architecture, thermal infrastructure, and territorialization in the arid continental climate of Ürümchi, Xinjiang

Kobi, Madlen

In: Eurasian geography and economics, 2020, vol. 61, no. 1, p. 77-99

Architectural research often considers buildings and settlement practices as local material adaptations to climate, particularly when it comes to the analysis of architecture in rural and small-scale settlements. Based on ethnographic data from the rapidly urbanizing oasis metropolis Ürümchi in China’s northwestern borderlands, this paper goes beyond such a localized view of climate ...

Université de Fribourg

First fossil frog from Antarctica: implications for Eocene high latitude climate conditions and Gondwanan cosmopolitanism of Australobatrachia

Mörs, Thomas ; Reguero, Marcelo ; Vasilyan, Davit

In: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, p. 5051

Cenozoic ectothermic continental tetrapods (amphibians and reptiles) have not been documented previously from Antarctica, in contrast to all other continents. Here we report a fossil ilium and an ornamented skull bone that can be attributed to the Recent, South American, anuran family Calyptocephalellidae or helmeted frogs, representing the first modern amphibian found in Antarctica. The two bone...

Université de Fribourg

Predicting impact of a biocontrol agent: integrating distribution modeling with climate-dependent vital rates

Augustinus, Benno ; Sun, Yan ; Beuchat, Carine ; Schaffner, Urs ; Müller‐Schärer, Heinz

In: Ecological Applications, 2020, vol. 30, no. 1, p. e02003

Species distribution models can predict the suitable climatic range of a potential biological control agent (BCA), but they provide little information on the BCA's potential impact. To predict high population buildup, a prerequisite of biocontrol impact, studies are needed that assess the effect of environmental factors on vital rates of a BCA across the environmental gradient of the BCA's...

Université de Fribourg

A new species of Palaeopython (Serpentes) and other extinct squamates from the Eocene of Dielsdorf (Zurich, Switzerland)

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Scheyer, Torsten M.

In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 2019, vol. 112, no. 2, p. 383–417

The lizard and snake fauna from the late middle–late Eocene (MP 16–MP 20) of Dielsdorf, near Zurich, Switzerland, is described comprehensively in this paper. Detailed comparisons of the Dielsdorf material with other extinct taxa allow us to establish a new species of the large “booid” genus Palaeopython, i.e., Palaeopython helveticus sp. nov., characterized by a unique combination of...

Université de Fribourg

Wolbachia modifies thermal preference in Drosophila melanogaster

Truitt, Amy M. ; Kapun, Martin ; Kaur, Rupinder ; Miller, Wolfgang J.

In: Environmental Microbiology, 2019, vol. 21, no. 9, p. 3259–3268

Environmental variation can have profound and direct effects on fitness, fecundity, and host–symbiont interactions. Replication rates of microbes within arthropod hosts, for example, are correlated with incubation temperature but less is known about the influence of host–symbiont dynamics on environmental preference. Hence, we conducted thermal preference (Tp) assays and tested if...

Università della Svizzera italiana

Metainference : a Bayesian inference method for heterogeneous systems

Bonomi, Massimiliano ; Camilloni, Carlo ; Cavalli, Andrea ; Vendruscolo, Michele

In: Science advances, 2016, vol. 2, no. 1, p. e1501177

Modeling a complex system is almost invariably a challenging task. The incorporation of experimental observations can be used to improve the quality of a model and thus to obtain better predictions about the behavior of the corresponding system. This approach, however, is affected by a variety of different errors, especially when a system simultaneously populates an ensemble of different...

Università della Svizzera italiana

Microclimates and the city : towards an architectural theory of thermal diversity

Roesler, Sascha ; Kobi, Madlen

In: The urban microclimate as artifact : towards an architectural theory of thermal diversity, 2018, p. 12-24

The term “microclimate” was coined by German and British meteorologists and geographers in the first half of the 20th century. Rudolf Geiger and Albert Kratzer realized that the climate in the air layer “two meters above the ground” differs considerably between rural and urban sites. W.G.V. Balchin and Norman Pye proved that the urban climate within one city, Bath, was not homogenous,...