Maddalena Salvalaio: Plant Physiology First Author

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

Brief bio:

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.