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Scientists are obsessed with this lake - Nicola Storelli and Daniele Zanzi


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In the millions of years since oxygen began saturating Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, most organisms have evolved to rely on this gas. However, there are some places where oxygen-averse microorganisms like those from Earth’s earliest days have re-emerged. And one such place is hidden high in the Swiss Alp’s Piora Valley. Nicola Storelli and Daniele Zanzi dive into the depths of Lake Cadagno.

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The meromictic Lake Cadagno, located on the southern side of the Swiss Alps in the Piora Valley, is unanimously recognized for its scientific importance, with many publications in scientific journals as well as in the book Ecology of Meromictic Lakes

Scientific interest has led to the establishment of the Alpine Biology Center (CBA) Foundation, which provides accommodations, a laboratory equipped for microbiology, and everything necessary for monitoring and sampling Lake Cadagno. In this context, the Institute of Microbiology (IM) at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) collaborates as a scientific advisor for microbial ecology with the CBA and is active in fundamental research related mainly to the primordial anaerobic microorganisms in the deep part of Lake Cadagno. 

The IM is also active in the diffusion of science arising from competitive research in the field of microbial ecology. In fact, an Agora project from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) is currently underway to develop an interactive exhibit on the bio-evolutionary journey one can take in the waters of the meromictic Lake Cadagno. The IM is also an active participant in teaching microbial ecology in the university context, with several theory and practical courses at the University of Geneva (UNIGE).

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Nicola Storelli, Daniele Zanzi
  • Director Ivana Volda, Thomas Johnson Volda
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Composer Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Sazia Afrin
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Charles Wallace

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