During my years of university in Italy (Ancona), I completed my bachelor and master in marine biology. In these years I studied and learnt about several aspect concerning the marine environment, particularly animal physiology and biodiversity, the interaction between the organism and the natural environment, aquaculture and about the environmental impact of the anthropic activity including aquaculture etc.
During my PhD at Havforskningsinstituttet, as a member of Dyrevelferdgruppen, I had the privilege to be part of the CopeWell project, a 7th Framework Programme funded by EU. My duty was to
study the stress regulation in farmed Atlantic Salmon and to test the concepts of allostasis (stability through change) as fundamental regulatory process to explain variation in the stress responsiveness. In particular, my experiment tested how chronic exposure to different levels of stress, ranging from mild to overloads, activates the various components of the stress axis, and how this affects the ability to deal with an additional acute stress. In my study particular attention was focused on the salmon brain.Furthermore, part of my Phd was also to compare the stress responsiveness between different salmon life stages (parr and post-smolt) and fish stress appraisal after conditioning to stress.
During my PhD I learned to use different analytical methodologies to study gene expression (i.e. RNA purification, cDNA Synthesis, qPCR and in situ
hybridization) and hormone detection in blood and water (cortisol, ELISA). In Matre marine station I also became confident with the function and use of tank systems for the setup and carrying experiment on fish.
From January 2016, when I started my post-doc, I have been taking part in a project founded by DSM (France) which aims to investigate the biochemical mechanism involved in the metabolism and deposition of Astaxanthin in the muscle of Atlantic salmon. In the study I am trying to screen and individuate possible genes involved in the muscle pigmentation both by relative gene expression and transcription studies. My duty is also to compare fish that normally have an unpigmented muscle, i.e. cod, with salmon in order to unravel the mechanism involved in salmon pigmentation. Recently I have started to ultracentrifuge salmon plasma in order to isolate and study the lipoprotein that transport astaxanthin in fish blood. Furthermore, as part of the study, I learned to extract pigment from plasma and different tissues as well as to quantify them by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
From April 2018 I had the privilege to receive a researcher position (1109) at IMR in the Animal Welfare research group,
Assess welfare and performance on Atlantic salmon triploid under commercial production conditions by using the Salmon Welfare Index Models (SWIM). Other ongoing collaborations include:
- Investigations on biochemical mechanisms involved in metabolism and deposition of Astaxanthin in Atlantic salmon with DSM (France)
- Investigate Atlantic salmon stress physiology and behavior.
- Assess survival, physiology and behavior of claner fish in Salmon sea cages.
Teaching experience: I have contributed to the teaching of master courses at NTNU in Trondheim
- Stress Physiology (BI3068, 2017)
- Fish Health and Welfare (BI3069, 2019)