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

Salvalaio M, Sena G, 2023, Long-term root electrotropism reveals habituation and hysteresis, Plant Physiology, ISSN:0032-0889

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