Markus Friedrich

Markus Friedrich


Biological Sciences
5047 Gullen Mall, Suite 3117
Detroit, MI 48202




Biological Sciences

Markus Friedrich

My interest in insects became obvious at the age of 10, when I began rearing moth and butterfly caterpillars. This was the beginning of a career in comparative biology with a focus on insects, their eyes, their genes, and their genomes. I earned my Ph.D. degree from the Department of Zoology at the University of Munich in 1995 as a lucky member in the group of Diethard Tautz and joined WSU in 1999 after three years of very lucky postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology with Seymour Benzer and Kai Zinn.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Insect development and diversification
  • Gene family evolution and comparative genomics
  • Evolution of arthropod visual systems
  • Cave adaptation

Awards and grants

  • Advisory collaborator on Australian Research Council project DP230100731 “Evolution of sensory systems in the dark biosphere” 
  • 2023-2024 Editor-in-Chief for Insects Molecular Biology and Genomics Section MDPI “insects”

News mentions

Selected publications

  • Dakarapu, T., & Friedrich, M. (2024). Evolutionary Conservation and Diversification of Five Pax6 Homologs in the Horseshoe Crab Species Cluster. Arthropoda, 2(1), 85–98.
  • Friedrich, M. (2023). Parallel losses of blue opsin correlate with compensatory neofunctionalization of UV-opsin gene duplicates in aphids and planthoppers. Insects 14 (9), 774
  • Chen, Q., Sasikala-Appukuttan, A. K., Husain, A., Shrivastava, A., Spain, M., Sendler, E. D., Daines, B., Fischer, S., Chen, R., Cook, T. A., & Friedrich, M. (2023). Global gene expression analysis reveals complex cuticle organization of the Tribolium compound eye. Genome Biology and Evolution, 15 (1), evac181
  • Royzenblat, S., Kulacic, J., and Friedrich, M. (2023). Evidence of ancestral nocturnality, locomotor clock regression, and cave zone-adjusted sleep duration modes in a cave beetle. Subterranean Biology 45, 79-94
  • Friedrich, M. (2022). Coming into clear sight at last: Ancestral and derived events during chelicerate visual system development. BioEssays 44(12), e2200163
  • Friedrich, M. (2021). Deep conservation of Hid-like RHG gene family homologs in winged insects revealed by “Taxon Hopping” BLAST. Insects, 12(11), 957
  • Bao, R., & Friedrich, M. (2020). Genomic signatures of globally enhanced gene duplicate accumulation in the megadiverse higher Diptera fueling intralocus sexual conflict resolution. PeerJ, 8, e10012
  • Leray Vincent L., Jason Caravas, Friedrich Markus and Zigler, Kirk S. (2019) Mitochondrial sequence data indicate “Vicariance by Erosion” as a mechanism of species diversification in North American Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera: Leiodidae: Cholevinae) cave beetles. Subterranean Biology 29: 35-57

Citation index

Courses taught by Markus Friedrich

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Spring-Summer Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Spring-Summer Term 2022

Winter Term 2022