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Institute of Molecular Evolution

Welcome to the Institute of Molecular Evolution at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf. Our main scientific interests are endosymbiosis, cell evolution, genome evolution, early evolution, the origin of life, and the origin of metabolism from H2 dependent CO2 reduction at hydrothermal vents on the early Earth.



The ancestral mitotic state: Closed orthomitosis with intranuclear spindles in the syncytial last eukaryotic common ancestor

Genome Biology and Evolution evad016 (2023)

doi: 10.1093/gbe/evad016

Sven Oswald and Daniel Finger interviewed William Martin about the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) on rbb Radio Eins, a radio station broadcast by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) in Berlin and Brandenburg, in the  program "Zwei auf Eins":


28.10.2022 Graduation | Andrey do Nascimento Vieira

Andrey do Nascimento Vieira successfully finished his doctorate with the thesis entitled

"The role of nitrogen in the onset of metabolism".

26.10.2022 Publication | PNAS

Commentary on new findings in PNAS by Colman et al. about acetogen genomes recovered from serpentinizing hydrothermal vents

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2022)

doi: 10.1073/pnas.2216017119

21.09.2022 Graduation | Bing Song

Bing Song successfully finished her doctorate with the thesis entitled

"On the origin and distribution of prokaryotic cellulases and metazoan oxygen sensing pathway".

04.07.2022 Publication | Life

Realistic gene transfer to gene duplication ratios identify different roots in the bacterial phylogeny using a tree reconciliation method 

Life 12:995 (2022)

doi: 10.3390/life12070995



Origins as evolution of catalysts

Bunsen-Magazin (2022)




The greening ashore

Trends in Plant Science (2022)

doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2022.05.005

HHU report: In German | In English



15.06.2022 Graduation | Jessica Wimmer

Jessica Wimmer successfully finished her doctorate with the thesis entitled

"Energetik und Stoffwechsel des letzten gemeinsamen Urvorfahren".

Dr. Martina Preiner receives Düsseldorfer Förderpreis für Wissenschaften 2021

Ancestral state reconstructions trace mitochondria but not phagocytosis to the last eukaryotic common ancestor

Genome Biology and Evolution (2022)

doi: 10.1093/gbe/evac079

Bill Martin speaks about his research:

Wie startete das Leben?

In German and English

Bill Martin speaks about how science works, reveals how he chooses a research question and boosts his creativity:

Bill Martin on paying attention

Rheinische Post, a major German regional daily newspaper, published an article about Bill Martin and his research on the origin of life:

Wie das Leben auf der Erde begann

Find more news in the archive:

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