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Sergio Munoz-Gomez

Assistant Professor

Associated website(s):

Sergio  Munoz-Gomez


major transitions in evolution; deep phylogeny; origin of eukaryotes; origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts; symbiosis; symbiotic organelles; cell evolution; evolutionary cell biology



Our research lies at the interface between microbiology, cell biology, and evolutionary biology. One of the central questions that drive our research is ‘How does cellular complexity increase?’ We are thus interested in how prokaryotic cells were evolutionarily transformed into much more complex and larger eukaryotic cells. We are also interested in understanding how symbioses emerge and how they can occasionally give rise to symbiotic organelles. Our current research lines are (1) the origin of eukaryotes and their mitochondria, (2) the origin and function of purple photosymbioses, (3) experimental evolution of symbiosis, and (4) evolutionary cell physiology. To answer our questions of interest, we combine experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches. We use diverse microbes that include ciliates, small flagellates, algae, and purple bacteria. To learn more about our research, visit our website at


EMBO Postdoctoral Fellow, Universite Paris-Saclay, France
Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2018), Dalhousie University, Canada
B.Sc. Honors in Biology (2013), Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia


- Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. (2023). “Energetics and evolution of anaerobic microbial eukaryotes”. Nature Microbiology 8, 197-203.
- Schavemaker, P.E., Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. (2022). “The role of mitochondrial energetics in the origin and diversification of eukaryotes.” Nature Ecology and Evolution 6:1307–1317.
- Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. , Susko, E., Williamson, K., Eme, L., Slamovits, C. H., Moreira, D., López- García, P., Roger, A.J. (2022). “Site-and-branch-heterogeneous analyses of an expanded dataset favors mitochondria as sister to known Alphaproteobacteria.” Nature Ecology and Evolution 6:253–262.
- Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. , Kreutz, M., Hess, S. (2021). “A microbial eukaryote with a unique combination of purple bacteria and green algae as endosymbionts.” Science Advances 7:eabg4102.
- Roger, A.J., Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. , and Kamikawa, R. (2017). “The Origin and Diversification of Mitochondria.” Current Biology 27(21):pR1177-R1192.
- Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. , Mejía-Franco, F. G., Durnin, K., Colp, M., Grisdale, C. J., Archibald, J. M., and Slamovits, C. H. (2017). “The new red algal subphylum Proteorhodophytina comprises the largest and most divergent plastid genomes known.” Current Biology 27(11):1677-1684.
- Muñoz-Gómez, S.A. , Slamovits, C.H., Dacks, J.B., Baier, K.A., Spencer, K.D., and Wideman, J.G. (2015). “Ancient homology of the Mitochondrial Contact Site and Cristae Organizing System (MICOS) points to the endosymbiotic origin of mitochondrial cristae.” Current Biology 25(11):1489-1495.

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