My interest in insects became obvious early on when I started culturing moth and butterfly caterpillars in my room as a boy. This, as it turns out, was the beginning of a career in comparative biology with a focus on insects, their eyes, their genomes, and genes. I earned my PhD degree from the Department of Zoology at the University of Munich in 1995 and joined WSU in 1999 after 3 years of postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology.
Research Interest/Area of Expertise
My lab explores the developmental evolution of the insect visual system integrating molecular phylogenetics, comparative development and genomic approaches. Our animal models in the lab include the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum and the small carrion cave beetle Ptomaphagus hirtus.
Luan Q, Chen Q, Friedrich M. (2014) The Pax6 genes eyeless and twin of eyeless are required for global patterning of the ocular segment in the Tribolium embryo. Developmental Biology 394: 367–381.
Friedrich M (2015) Evo‐Devo gene toolkit update: at least seven Pax transcription factor subfamilies in the last common ancestor of bilaterian animals. Evolution & Development 17 (5), 255-257.
Friedrich M, Zelhof A, Cook TA. (2016) Ancient default activators of terminal photoreceptor differentiation in the pancrustacean compound eye: The homeodomain transcription factors Otd and Pph13. Current Opinion in Insect Science 13, 33–42.
de Mendoza A., Jones J.W., and Friedrich, M. (2016) Methuselah/Methuselah-like G protein-coupled receptors constitute an ancient metazoan gene family. Scientific Reports.
BIO 6020 Methods, Analyses
BIO 4200 Introduction Evolution
BIO 1500 Organismal Diversity
BIO 6055 Biology of the Eye