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.


Early oogenesis and meiosis in Clytia hemisphaerica

The jellyfish Clytia hemisphaerica is a powerful model for studying oogenesis, notably because of the simple organisation, transparency, and autonomous function of the gonads. My postdoctoral work specifically focuses on the early meiotic mechanisms in Clytia (preprint here). Read more... ( Clytia image by Freya Goetz)

Evolution of gene expression in siphonophores

An important challenge in comparative biology is comparing functional genomic data across species. Siphonophores are colonial, consisting of an assemby of complex specialized bodies (termed zooids) that are genetically identical, asexually budded, and are physiologically integrated. Using gene expression data collected from 5 zooids and 1 tissue, I investigated gene expression patterns in homologous zooids/tissues across 7 siphonophore species (paper here). Read more...

Siphonophore evolution, morphology, and development

Siphonophores are a hydrozoan clade that are found from the ocean surface to the deep sea. Siphonophores are highly complex, functionally specialized, colonial “superorganisms”. In order to investigate the evolution of any trait in siphonophores, including functional specialization, it is essential to have a good, well resolved phylogeny. My work on the phylogenetic relationships within Siphonophora is available here. 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.

Selected Publications

[PREPRINT] Munro C, Cadis H, Houliston E, Huynh J.-R (2022). Conserved meiotic mechanisms in the cnidarian Clytia hemisphaerica revealed by Spo11 knockout. bioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/2022.01.05.475076

[PREPRINT] Church, SH, Munro C, Dunn, CW, Extavour, CG (2021). Identifying evolutionary divergence in gene expression across species and organs: a case-study using Hawaiian Drosophila. bioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/2021.11.30.470652v2

Houliston E, Leclère L, Munro C, Copley R & Momose T (2022). Past, present and future of Clytia hemisphaerica as a laboratory jellyfish. Eds: Goldstein B & Srivastava M. Current Topics in Developmental Biology. 147:121-151. doi: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2021.12.014 HAL (open): https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03346217

Munro C, Zapata F, Howison M, Siebert S, Dunn CW (2022). Evolution of gene expression across species and specialized zooids in Siphonophora. Molecular Biology and Evoution. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msac027 Github repository: Siphonophore_Expression

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

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about my work (links below), or if you think I would be a good fit for your department or team!