Milena Salgado Lynn

Milena Salgado Lynn
Scientific Advisor

Milena’s favourite holiday destination as a child was “Chapultepec”, Mexico City’s Zoo, always hoping to one day see apes in the wild. Her dream came true with a CONACYT scholarship bringing her to Sabah in 2007 for her PhD studies. Her project was on population genetics and parasitology of wild populations of proboscis monkeys and long-tailed macaques in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. Back then, DGFC was under renovation and not yet functional, but when it opened in 2008 she became the first PhD student to be based there. Before the end of the PhD, and having fallen in love with the Kinabatangan and the people there, she had decided to stay and help building up the field centre. Upon completion of her PhD in 2010, Milena formally became its Scientific Advisor.

Milena’s path to conservation was not straightforward, even though she always liked wildlife and nature. As a young girl she never considered being a Biologist, it was in high-school where she made the decision to become one. The itch came from a subject called “Scientific Research on the XXth Century”, the teacher, Dr. Sonia Mujaes, was a passionate Biologist that opened a world of possibilities for Milena. Although she chose Biology because she wanted to work on genetics of wildlife populations and because she liked doing field work, as an undergraduate and Master student she worked mostly in a laboratory environment. Her topics gravitated towards cellular biology of pathogens, particularly on Dengue Virus at the National Institute of Public Health (in Mexico) and on Entamoeba histolytica at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), nothing related with ecology or conservation. She had a break from research where she worked as Technology Transfer Coordinator for the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM); time useful to re-direct her career path. Faced with a near-death experience, Milena became determined in doing research that could help with the conservation of threatened species; mainly she became very interested in infectious emerging diseases and their impact on wildlife populations, and this also rekindled her interest in population / landscape / conservation genetics. The Kinabantangan itself was the final turning point for Milena. The more time she spent there observing the landscape, the wildlife, and the people, the more it was clear for her that she wanted to contribute as much as possible to avoid losing it further.

As DGFC’s Scientific Advisor, Milena contributes in the development of collaborations and research projects. In 2012 she helped developing the Sabah Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Health, Genetics and Forensics Laboratory along with EcoHealth Alliance. She currently co-manages the WHGFL where she oversees DGFC’s genetic-related projects on crocodiles, monitor lizards and reticulated pythons, and advises and supervises students. Among others, she co-leads the population genetics aspect of the Proboscis Monkey Conservation Program, the proboscis monkey relatedness  project in collaboration with Prof. Ikki Matsuda, and also is the main coordinator of the primatology component of the MONKEYBAR project. As a conservation geneticist, Milena believes that all results from research are fruitless if they are not disseminated to policy makers and the public, and are not translated into tangible actions for conservation. Therefore, the ultimate goal of all these projects is to provide solid and scientific-based information to be incorporated in the State’s management plans for the ecosystem and targeted species, contributing to their long-term survival.


Cardiff University, 2010. PhD on the “Genetic diversity and parasite burden of long-tailed macaques and proboscis monkeys in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, Sabah, Malaysia”.


Cardiff University. Honorary Research Fellow
Cardiff University. Sustainable Places Research Institute’s Research Fellow


Abram, NK, Abram, KL, Knight, AT, Ancrenaz, M, Tzanopoulos, J, Koh, LP, Ross, J, Hearn, AJ, Lackman, I, Peter, L, Oram, F, Goossens, B, Kler, H, Wong, ST, Stark, DJ, Ambu, LN, Othman, N, Salgado-Lynn, M, Gardner, P, Macdonald, DW, MacMillan, DC (in prep). The economics of applying REDD+ to saving threatened biodiversity in the oil palm dominated floodplains of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. To be submitted to Diversity and Distributions.

Salgado Lynn, M, Jalil, MFB, Chikhi, L., Ancrenaz. M., Ambu, LN, Bruford, MW, Goossens B. (In Press) Landscape Genetics Applied to the Conservation of Primates in Flooded Forests: A Case Study of Orang-utans in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. In: Barnett, A.A.; Matsuda, I.:; Nowak, K. (Eds); Primates in Flooded Habitats: Ecology and Conservation (Chapter 38). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Frias, L.; Stark, D. J.; Salgado Lynn, M.; Nathan, S. K. S. S.; Goossens, B.; Okamoto, M.; MacIntosh, A. J. J. 2018. Lurking in the dark: Cryptic Strongyloides in a Bornean slow loris. Int. J. Parasitol. Parasites Wildl., 7, 141–146. [Resources/Peer Reviewed/Frias etal IJPPW 18]

Salgado Lynn, M.; William, T.; Tanganuchitcharnchai, A.; Jintaworn, S.; Thaipadungpanit, J.; Lee, M. H.; Jalius, C.; Daszak, P.; Goossens, B.; Hughes, T.; Blacksell, S. D. 2018. Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis in a Wildlife Researcher in Sabah, Malaysia: A Case Study. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., 3, 29-36. [Resources/Peer Reviewed/Salgado Lynn etal TropicalMed_18]

Salgado Lynn, M, Sechi, P, Chikhi, L, Goossens, B. (2016) Primate conservation genetics at the dawn of conservation genomics. In: Wich, S.A. and Marshall, A.J. (Eds); An Introduction to Primate Conservation (Chapter 5). Oxford University Press, UK. pp. 53 -77.

Goossens, B., Salgado-Lynn, M, Rovie-Ryan, JJ, Ahmad, AH., Payne, J., Zainuddin, ZZ, Nathan, SKSS, Ambu, LN. 2013. Genetics and the last stand of the Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis. Oryx, 47 (3): 340.

Goossens, B. & Salgado-Lynn, M. 2013. Advances and difficulties of molecular tools for carnivore conservation in the tropics. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 28: 43–53.

Salgado-Lynn, M. 2010. Primate viability in a fragmented landscape: genetic diversity and parasite burden of long-tailed macaques and proboscis monkeys in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, Sabah, Malaysia (PhD Thesis). School of Biosciences, Cardiff University.

Salgado-Lynn M, Stanton DW, Sakong R, Cable J, Goossens B, Bruford MW. 2010. Microsatellite markers for the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). Conservation Genetics Resources, 2: 159-163.

Salgado M, Villagomez-Castro JC, Rocha-Rodriguez R, Sabenero-Lopez M, Ramos MA, Alagon A, Lopez-Romero E, Sanchez-Lopez R. 2005. Entamoeba histolytica: Biochemical and molecular insights into the activities within microsomal fractions. Exp Parasitol 110(4):363-73.

Salgado Lynn, M. 2003. Caracterización de fracciones subcelulares de Entamoeba histolytica con apoyo de marcadores moleculares y actividades enzimáticas propias de retículo endoplásmico (Tesis de Maestría en Ciencias Químicas (Bioquímica)). Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Salgado Lynn, M. 2000. Cambio en los patrones de fosforilación en residuos de tirosina de la línea U-937 durante la infección por virus dengue (Trabajo de desarrollo profesional por etapas, Licenciatura en Ciencias Biológicas). Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos.