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Dr. Markus Koch

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Research Focus

  • Biodiversity and evolutionary phenomics of soil arthropods
  • Origin and early evolution of insects (Hexapoda)
  • Systematics and integrative taxonomy of apterygote hexapods (focus: Diplura, Zygentoma)
  • Phylogeny of myriapods
  • Morphogenesis of arthropods (focus: organogenesis, evolution of the mesoderm)
  • Anatomical ontologies and information technology (BIOfid, Specialized Information Service for Biodiversity Research)


Bachelor-Programme Biology

  • BP02 Morphologie und Evolution der Tiere
  • BP15 Zoologische Bestimmungsübungen
  • BPL16 Ökologie mit Bestimmungsübungen - Exkursion
  • WP06 Biodiversität und Evolution der Tiere: Schwerpunkt A - Evolution und adaptive Radiation der Metazoa; Schwerpunkt E: Ultrastruktur und Evolution der Tiere

International Master-Programme "Organismic Biology, Evolutionary Biology and Palaeobiology" (OEP Biology)

  • OEP1 Organismic Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity, Physiology
  • OEP Free 3C Histology, tomography, and computer-aided 3D-reconstruction of animal anatomy
  • OEP Free 3D Morphological character analysis in phylogenetics
  • OEP Free 3G Practical course on electron microscopy

Scientific Career

Sept-Dez 2018 Visiting Professor, University of Córdoba (Spain)


Research Associate

2014-2017 Akademischer Rat auf Zeit, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn


Interim Professor for Systematics and Biodiversity of Insects, Biocentre Grindel and Zoological Museum, University of Hamburg

2009-2011 Akademischer Rat auf Zeit, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn

Assistant Professor, Institute of Biology, Dept. Animal Systematics and Evolution, Freie Universität Berlin

2000-2002 Postdoc, Faculty of Biology, Dept. Zoomorphology & Systematics, University of Bielefeld
1996-2000 Ph.D. student (Zoological Systematics), University of Hamburg
1989-1995 Diploma student (Biology), University of Hamburg

Selected Publications

Information technology

  • Koch, M., Driller, C., Schmidt, M., Hörnschemeyer, T., Weiland, C., Miko, I., Yoder, M. & Hickler, T. (2018) Current progress in the development of taxonomic and anatomical ontologies within the scope of BIOfid. – Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 2: e25585.
  • Driller, C., Koch, M., Schmidt, M., Weiland, C., Hörnschemeyer, T., Hickler, T., Abrami, G., Ahmed, S., Gleim, R., Hemati, W., Uslu, T., Mehler, A., Pachzelt, A., Rexhepi, J., Risse, T., Schuster, J., Kasperek, G. & Hausinger, A. (2018) Workflow and current achievements of BIOfid, an information service mobilizing biodiversity data from literature sources. – Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 2: e25876.
  • Koch, M., Kasperek, G., Hörnschemeyer, T., Mehler, A., Weiland, C. & Hausinger, A. (2017): Setup of BIOfid, a new Specialised Information Service for Biodiversity Research. – Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 1: e19803.

Evolution of the Mesoderm

  • Koch, M., Quast, B. & Bartolomaeus, T. (2014): Coeloms and nephridia in annelids and arthropods. – In: Waegele, W. & Bartolomaeus, T. (eds.), Deep Metazoan Phylogeny: The Backbone of the Tree of Life. New insights from analyses of molecules, morphology, and theory of data analysis. Chapter 11, pp. 173-284. DeGruyter.

Evolution of Insects (Hexapoda)

  • Koch, M. (2016): Current views on the early evolution of the insect head revisited. – Zitteliana 88: 31.
  • Blanke, A., Koch, M., Wipfler, B., Wilde, F. & Misof, B. (2014): Head morphology of Tricholepidion gertschi indicates monophyletic Zygentoma. – Frontiers in Zoology, 11:16.
  • Chen, W.J., Koch, M., Mallat, J.M. & Luan, Y.X. (2014): Comparative analysis of mitochondrial genomes in Diplura (Hexapoda, Arthropoda): taxon sampling is crucial for phylogenetic inferences. - Genome Biology and Evolution, 6(1):105–120.
  • Hörnschemeyer, T., Haug, J., Bethoux, O., Beutel, R.G., Charbonier, S., Hegna, T.H., Koch, M., Rust, J., Wedmann, S., Bradler, S. & Willmann, R. (2013): Is Strudiella a Devonian insect? – Nature 494: E3-E4 (DOI 10.1038/nature11887).
  • Blanke, A., Wipfler, B., Letsch, H., Koch, M., Beckmann, F., Beutel, R.G. & Misof, B. (2012): Revival of Palaeoptera – head characters support a monophyletic origin of Odonata and Ephemeroptera (Insecta). – Cladistics 28: 560-581.
  • Koch, M. (2009): Biodiversity of the two-pronged bristletails (Diplura) in Western Australia as revealed from recent mining projects. – Enviromental Protection Authority Report (Government of Western Australia), Tropicana Gold Project, Supplementary Study 3k.

Evolution of Myriapods

  • Moritz, L. & Koch, M. (2020) No Tömösváry organ in flat backed millipedes (Diplopoda: Polydesmida). ZooKeys 930 (Special Issue "Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Myriapodology, 25‒31 August 2019, Budapest, Hungary"): 103-115.
  • Moritz, L., Wesener, T. & Koch, M. (2018): An apparently non-swinging tentorium in the Diplopoda (Myriapoda): Comparative morphology of the tentorial complex in giant pill-millipedes (Sphaerotheriida). - Zookeys 741: 77-91.
  • Koch, M. (2015): Diplopoda – General Morphology. – In: A. Minelli (ed.), Treatise on Zoology – Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology. The Myriapoda, Volume 2, Chapter 2, pp. 7-67. Brill, Leiden.
  • Koch, M. (2015): Diplopoda – Skeletomuscular System and Locomotion. – In: A. Minelli (ed.), Treatise on Zoology – Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology. The Myriapoda, Volume 2, Chapter 4, pp. 101-107. Brill, Leiden.
  • Koch, M., Schultz, J. & Edgecombe, G.D. (2015): Tentorial mobility in centipedes (Chilopoda) revisited: 3D reconstruction of the mandibulo-tentorial musculature of Geophilomorpha. – Zookeys 510: 243-267.
  • Koch, M. & Edgecombe, G.D. (2012): The preoral chamber in geophilomorph centipedes: comparative morphology, phylogeny and the evolution of centipede feeding structures. – Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 165: 1-62.
  • Koch, M., Edgecombe, G.D. & Shelley, R. M. (2010): Anatomy of Ectonocryptoides (Scolopocryptopidae: Ectonocryptopinae) and the phylogeny of blind Scolopendromorpha (Chilopoda). – International Journal of Myriapodology 3: 51-81.
  • Koch, M., Pärschke, S. & Edgecombe, G.D. (2009): Phylogenetic implications of gizzard morphology in scolopendromorph centipedes (Chilopoda). – Zoologica Scripta 38: 269–288.

Editorial Board