I am a postdoc in Jean-René Huynh's team at Collège de France working on on oogenesis and meiosis in the jellyfish Clytia hemisphaerica , in collaboration with the Cnidarian developmental mechanisms group in Villefranche-sur-mer.

I am interested in animal diversity. In particular, the evolutionary and developmental processes that give rise to a diversity of form and function.

For my PhD in the Dunn lab , I worked on the evolution and development of siphonophores, a unique group of colonial cnidarians.


Live imaging of early oogenesis and meiosis in Clytia hemisphaerica

This project is focused on long-term live imaging of the first steps of oogenesis in the isolated gonad of the jellyfish Clytia hemisphaerica . The goal is to capture the entire sequence of events during early meiosis, as the gonad is optically clear and produces oocytes ex vivo for several days. ( Clytia image by Freya Goetz)

Evolution of gene expression in siphonophores

This project focuses on placing gene expression patterns in a phylogenetic context; using transcriptomes to build phylogenies, and assessing how gene expression patterns differ between tissues and developmental stages. For this study, I used RNA-Seq to look at the mRNA expression in different zooid (siphonophore body) types at different developmental stages both within a single Siphonophore species, and also between different species. My work on the phylogenetic relationships within Siphonophora is available here.

Siphonophore morphology and development

Siphonophores are highly complex, functionally specialized, colonial “superorganisms”. Siphonophores differ significantly from all other colonial hydrozoans in terms of structure and development. I am interested in the morphology and development of siphonophores. My work on the development and morphology of the Portuguese man of war is available here.

Eco-physiology: the effect of hydrostatic pressure on gene expression

This project examined the effect of hydrostatic pressure on three different early life stages of the northern stone crab, Lithodes maja; using four genes (two traditional markers of the cellular stress response, one pressure specific gene, and one marker of aerobic capacity) and the respiration rate as markers. We suggest that the acute high pressure tolerance decreases as ontogeny advances. This was my master's thesis work in the pressure lab at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton UK. This work is published here.


Jessus C, Munro C, Houliston E (2020). Managing the Oocyte Meiotic Arrest — Lessons from Frogs and Jellyfish. Cells. 9:1150. Link: doi:10.3390/cells9051150

Munro, C, Z Vue ,RR Behringer,CW Dunn (2019). Morphology and development of the Portuguese man of war, Physalia physalis. Scientific Reports. Link: doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51842-1

Munro, C, S Siebert, F Zapata, M Howison, A Damian-Serrano, S H Church, F E Goetz, P R Pugh, S H D Haddock, C W. Dunn (2018) Improved phylogenetic resolution within Siphonophora (Cnidaria) with implications for trait evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 127:823-833 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.06.030 . bioRxiv preprint:doi:10.1101/251116.Github repository: siphonophore_phylogeny_2017

Dunn, CW, F Zapata, C Munro, S Siebert, A Hejnol (2018) Pairwise comparisons are problematic when analyzing functional genomic data across species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Link: doi:10.1073/pnas.1707515115. bioRxiv preprint:. Github repository:comparative_expression_2017

Dunn, CW, C Munro (2016) Comparative genomics and the diversity of life. Zoologica Scripta. 45:5-13. doi:10.1111/zsc.12211

Munro, C, JP Morris, A Brown, C Hauton, S Thatje (2015). The role of ontogeny in physiological tolerance: decreasing hydrostatic pressure tolerance with development in the northern stone crab Lithodes maja. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 282(1809): 20150577 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0577

Shank, TM, ET Baker, RW Embley, S Hammond, JF Holden, S White, SL Walker, M Calderon, S Herrera, TJ Lin, C Munro, T Heyl, L Stewart, M Malik, M Lobecker, J Potter (2012) GALREX 2011: Exploration of the Deep-Water Galapagos Region. Oceanography 25 Suppl.: 50-51. Link

Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about my work.