Maddalena Salvalaio, first author of “Root electrotropism in Arabidopsis does not depend on auxin distribution but requires cytokinin biosynthesis”
Current Position: Research Technician
Education: Bsc in Biology and Msc in Evolutionary Biology , University of Padova, Italy
Non-scientific Interests: Spending time with family (including my dog Molly) and friends, going to fitness classes, reading crime fiction books, taking care of my indoor plants and baking
During my time at the University of Padova, I worked with microalgae at the Photosynthesis and Plant Biotechnology lab. My research was focused on how a green microalga, Chlorella zofingiensis, responds to changing environmental stimuli. This species is very interesting because it produces high-value compounds when exposed to stress conditions, such as high light and nitrogen deprivation. Moreover, I worked to develop a microscale cultivation platform for microalgae, to elaborate a faster characterization protocol to study their growth/photosynthetic performances.
Then I moved to the UK, where I joined the Laboratory of Plant Morphogenesis at Imperial College London and started working with Arabidopsis thaliana. The main research topic of the lab is root electrotropism, a phenomenon that has been already observed in the past but was never deeply explored. Given the novelty of this research, challenges are always around the corner. A typical day in the lab would involve not only growing plants, but programming power supplies, soldering wires and 3-D printing as well, which makes this research even more exciting. What I enjoy most about my job is being in the lab, developing new assays and building my own tools to perform experiments.