Mariana B. Alfonso Fragomeni

Assistant Professor, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Primary Research Theme

Social-Ecological Systems

Secondary Research Themes

Healthy Cities, People and the City

Research Interests

My research interests are in climate adaptation and decision-making, with focus on heat vulnerability. My fields of expertise are in urban climatology, human bioclimatology and urban design, therefore, I am often working in applied research in urban areas and my research questions aim to understand how we can improve our cities, through design and decision-making, to reduce vulnerability, particularly to at risk populations.

I have and continue to be interested in developing collaborative and interdisciplinary research at the nexus of urban climate and urban design/ planning, which are consistently linked with human health and well-being. Furthermore, my research and continued interest in heat vulnerability are focused on the human perception of heat (human bioclimatology) and the impacts of adaptive design and land-use planning on improving or exacerbating heat sensation, and thus impacting the quality of life in cities.

Recent Cities-Related Projects

  • Identifying the Change in Heat Vulnerability and Land-use Influence for the Resilient Connecticut Project: Developed with the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), as part of the Resilient Connecticut project. This project focuses on identifying areas that are vulnerable to extreme heat and cold. The project has a higher emphasis on heat vulnerability due to its higher morbidity and mortality rate, particularly since local residents are not typically exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time.