Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 7448g.sena Website




450Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





My background is in theoretical physics and developmental biology. If I had to pick a general label for my main research interest, that would be quantitative developmental biology.

I am broadly interested in physical and genetic mechanisms generating “growth and form” in multicellular systems, especially through the establishment and maintenance of spatio-temporal patterns within a field of interacting cells. I view tissue development as a process of self-organization and morphogenesis as one of its emergent properties.

I believe that plants offer many experimental advantages that make them attractive model systems to address fundamental questions on multi-cellular organization. 

Arabidopsis thaliana is the model system of choice in my lab, and the preferred approach is a combination of genetics, quantitative imaging and mathematical modeling




  • Senior Lecturer (2020 – present), Imperial College London, London, U.K.
  • Lecturer (2012 – 2020), Imperial College London, London, U.K.
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate (2005 - 2011), K. Birnbaum lab, New York University, New York, U.S.A.
  • Visiting Fellow (2005 - 2011), S. Leibler lab, The Rockefeller University, New York, U.S.A.
  • Post-doctoral Fellow (2003 - 2005), S. Leibler labThe Rockefeller University, New York, U.S.A.
  • Research Assistant, volunteer (1996 - 1997), M. D'Incalci lab, Istituto Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.


  • Ph.D., Biology (2003). Developmental Genetics. ProfP. Benfey lab, New York University, New York, U.S.A. 
  • B.Sc. / M.Phys., Physics (1995, Laurea), 110/110 with honour. Theoretical physics, Prof. L. Girardello, University of Milan, Milan, Italy. 



Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Moratto E, Rothery S, Bozkurt TO, et al., 2023, Enhanced germination and electrotactic behaviour of Phytophthora palmivora zoospores in weak electric fields, Physical Biology, Vol:20, ISSN:1478-3967, Pages:1-10

Salvalaio M, Oliver N, Tiknaz D, et al., 2022, Root electrotropism in Arabidopsis does not depend on auxin distribution but requires cytokinin biosynthesis, Plant Physiology, Vol:188, ISSN:0032-0889, Pages:1604-1616

Amarteifio S, Fallesen T, Pruessner G, et al., 2021, A random-sampling approach to track cell divisions in time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, Plant Methods, Vol:17, ISSN:1746-4811

Reijne A-M, Bordeu I, Pruessner G, et al., 2019, Linear stability analysis of morphodynamics during tissue regeneration in plants, Journal of Physics D - Applied Physics, Vol:52, ISSN:0022-3727

Kral N, Hanna Ougolnikova A, Sena G, 2016, Externally imposed electric field enhances plant root tip regeneration, Regeneration, Vol:3, ISSN:2052-4412, Pages:156-167

Sena G, Frentz Z, Birnbaum KD, et al., 2011, Quantitation of cellular dynamics in growing Arabidopsis roots with light sheet microscopy., PLOS One, Vol:6, ISSN:1932-6203, Pages:e21303-e21303

Sena G, Wang X, Liu HY, et al., 2009, Organ regeneration does not require a functional stem cell niche in plants., Nature, Vol:457, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:1150-1153

Sena G, Benfey PN, 2004, A broad competence to respond to SHORT-­‐ROOT as revealed by tissue-­‐specific ectopic expressions, Development, Vol:131, ISSN:0950-1991, Pages:2817-2826

Nakajima K, Sena G, Nawy T, et al., 2001, Intercellular movement of the putative transcription factor SHR in root patterning, Nature, Vol:413, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:307-311


Baesso P, Randall RS, Sena G, 2018, Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy Optimized for Long-Term Imaging of Arabidopsis Root Development., Pages:145-163

More Publications