About me

I am a Research Fellow at IFREMER (“Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation karine-3de la Mer” – French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea), France. As ecophysiologist my research interests span on integrative approaches from molecules to the whole-organism to investigate how physiological mechanisms underlie life-history trajectories in animals. Specifically, I am examining whether energy metabolism and oxidative stress are proximate causes of life history variation and underlie trade-offs. I also focus on the importance of mitochondrial plasticity in responses to environmental change. My research is pushing the boundary of ecophysiological research by combining multidisciplinary cutting-edge approaches and technological breakthroughs.


July 2018

Poster presentation at the SEB 2018, Florence, Italy: Depletion in dietary Omega 3 and mitochondrial efficiency in mullet.

May 2018

Publication of our study on “How metabolic adjustments in response to food scarcity can have long-term negative effects.

Photo Cover FE

Many animals experience periods of food shortage in their natural environment. Some animals can reduce their metabolic requirements to preserve their limited resources. However, recent research suggests that, although metabolic reduction can bring quick benefits, it is also associated with a surprising variety of costs that are often not evident until much later in animal life. We don’t understand why this short-term benefit is associated with long-term deleterious effects.

Our findings demonstrate that brown trout experiencing a period of food shortage show dramatic reductions in the mitochondrial requirement for oxygen, and in turn for energy substrates. This reduction in the energy requirements in fasted fish, however, was associated with significantly increased ROS levels, and hence potentially a greater risk of cell damage. This work sheds light on the mechanisms by which temporary reductions in energy requirements during fasting, while providing short-term energetic benefits, can lead to a potential cost that might be the cause of the known long-term deleterious effects of periods of food shortage on animals.

Salin K., Villasevil E.M., Anderson G.J., Auer, S.K., Selman, C., Hartley, R.C., Mullen, W., Chinopoulos, C. and Metcalfe, N.B. Decreased mitochondrial metabolic requirements in fasting animals carry an oxidative cost. Functional Ecolology. 2018;00:1–9. (doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13125) PDF

April 2018

Start of a couple of months experiment to investigate the effect of depletion in dietary Omega 3 on mitochondrial efficiency in golden grey mullet Liza aurata; in collaboration with Marie Vagner, at LIttoral, ENvironment and Societies (LIENSs) – UMR 7266, La Rochelle University, France.


March 2018

Introducing the high-resolution respirometry of the red blood cell mitochondria of Sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax to Sarah Howald, Louise Cominassi and Carmen Gonzalel Fernandez for tweaking the protocol of the cell permeabilization. The protocol includes steps of washing of the blood that has been freshly collected on an anesthetized fish, plus permeabilization of the red blood cells based on a protocol developed by Damien Roussel (Université Lyon 1, France) and Tony Hickey (University of Auckland, NZ).  This assay will be used in our laboratory to determine how fish mitochondria respond to environmental changes.


March 2018

Join us in Florence for Mitochondria in changing climates: Biosensors and mediators of animal resilienceSubmit your abstract for the Society of Experimental Biology’s Annual Meeting – Deadline: 30 March

Session Slide SEB

Feb 2018

Salon Azimut Brest: Interactive time at a career choice event in Brest. Several staff members of Ifremer have been presenting their job such as IT service, admin or research in marine sciences. It was impressive to see so many motivated and ambitious students.

Jan 2018

SICB 2018 San Francisco: We had a very nice conference!! The symposium “Inside the black box: the mitochondrial basis of life-history variation and animal performance” was a fantastic, well-attended session with mutidisplinary talks spanning all major animal taxa. Thanks to the speakers, Inna Sokolova, Jay Treberg, Ana Jimenez, Steven Austad, Pierre Bize, Kristi Montooth, Graham Scott and Trish Schulte for their great talk; and Wendy Hood for the helping in the organization.

Dec 2017

Frank Seebacher and I are organising a session on Mitochondria in changing climates: Biosensors and mediators of animal resilience at the Society of Experimental Biology’s Annual Meeting in Florence (3-6 July 2018). This is an exciting meeting to take part in with over 800 delegates from around the world expected to attend and a very diverse programme.

Abstract submission for the meeting is now open and we wanted to ask you to consider submitting your research to our session.


Nov 2017

Start of a tenure position: Research Fellow at IFREMER (“Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer” – French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea). I am in the Laboratory of Adaptation, Reproduction and Nutrition, which is part of the Marine Environmental Science Laboratory.


Oct 2017

End of the post-doc life! But also emotional ending of 4 years being part of the institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, where I was working on a project run by Neil Metcalfe. The project also involves Sonya Auer, Graeme Anderson, Julie Nati, Elettra Leo and Darryl McLennan.

Sept 2017

Start of an experiment to investigate the effects of dietary content in antioxidant and daily fluctuations of the thermal environment on oxidative stress in fish; with Elettra Leo, and in collaboration with Matt Slater, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany.

Mosaic picture for webpage

August 2017

Welcome Julie Nati who will determine the reaction norms of the mitochondrial oxidative capacities of minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) in response to two co-occurring environmental stressors: elevated temperature and hypoxia; in collaboration with Tommy Norin.

July 2017

It is our pleasure to invite you to attend the symposium Inside the black box: the mitochondrial basis of life-history variation and animal performance which will be held at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting Jan 3-7, 2018 in San Francisco, CA.

In addition to the main symposium, companion oral and poster sessions will also be held. You can opt to participate in the companion oral or poster session when submitting the abstract online. Deadline for submissions: September 6, 2017.

June 2017

Great evening at the Café Scientifique for the Glasgow Science Festival. A lot of interesting discussions and a great interest for the mitochondria model (made of a potato and play doh).

model mitochondria

May 2017

Following the publication of the methodology to determine the effective P/O ratio, we now supply supplementary materials to extract and process the raw oxygen and fluorescence signals obtained from an O2k oxygraph equipped with an LED Module, with the steps required to complete the Excel template file as elaborated in Salin et al. (2016, Physio Rep).

April 2017

I am officially a STEM Ambassador!

Feb 2017

I have been awarded an Early Career Mobility Scheme from the University of Glasgow  (£5k). This award allows me to visit (for 2 months) Frank Seebacher‘s lab in the University of Sydney where we will experimentally manipulate the efficiency with which the mitochondria transform energy to estimate the impact of mitochondrial efficiency on animal locomotor performance.

January 2017

Oral presentation at the SICB 2017, New Orleans, LA: How Does Mitochondrial Functioning Constrain Energy Efficiency?

Dec 2016

Acceptance of our method article on an assay that measures ROS in living animals and offers the possibility to store samples prior to analysis, so finally overcoming the main limitations of in vitro assays. We provide a detailed description of how to develop the MitoB protocol in organisms for which the method has never been applied before, with a general focus on issues that are likely to face ecologists and evolutionary biologists working on oxidative stress.

figure 1

Salin, K., Auer, S. K., Villasevil, E. M., Anderson, G. J., Cairns, A. G., Mullen, W., Hartley, R. C., and Metcalfe, N. B.(2017) Using the MitoB method to assess levels of reactive oxygen species in ecological studies of oxidative stress.Scientific Reports, 7, 41228. (doi: 10.1038/srep41228PDF

Nov 2016

I was delighted to be part of the Women of the Future Awards in London, with so many inspirational women. I have been nominated for this UK award as one of 5 dynamic young females in the Science section.

Oct 2016

Start of a 3-month experiment to investigate the link between mitochondrial phenotype and protein synthesis; in collaboration with Simon Lamarre, Université de Moncton, Canada.

Trout measurement body size

Sept 2016

Acceptance of our article on a new method that simultaneously quantifies both ATP production and oxygen consumption in tissue homogenates, so for the first time allowing the calculation of P/O ratios from tissue samples as small as tens of milligrams; in collaboration with Christos Chinopoulos, Semmelweis University, Hungary.

graph P-O article

Salin, K., Villasevil, E., Auer, S., Anderson, G., Selman, C., Metcalfe, N., and Chinopoulos, C. (2016) Simultaneous measurement of mitochondrial respiration and ATP production in tissue homogenates and calculation of effective P/O ratios. Physiological Reports, 4(20), e13007. (doi:10.14814/phy2.13007PDF