Dr. Mark C. Harrison

Postdoctoral Research Associate and Principle Investigator

Email: m.harrison@wwu.de

Tel.: +49-(0)251-83-21634

Room: 100.19


Scientific Career and Education

  • 05/2016 - present: Postdoc at the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster
  • 10/2012 - 04/2016: PhD in Evolutionary Biology at University of Leicester, UK with Dr Rob Hammond and Dr Eamonn Mallon. Titel: "The influence of ploidy-specific expression on selection." https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/38035)
  • 10/2010 - 09/2012: MSc Biology (Biodiversity) at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. Master thesis with Prof. Florian Leese, title: "The application of next generation sequencing technology in phylogeography and population genetics: A test case using Antarctic brittle stars."
  • 10/2007 - 10/2010: BSc Biology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.

Research Interests

  • Molecular evolution and patterns of selection
  • Cockroach genomics
  • The evolution of eusociality in insects


  • SMBE Young Investigator Award, 2020


  • He S, Sieksmeyer T, Che Y, Esparza Mora MA, Stiblik P, Banasiak R, Harrison MC, Šobotník J, Wang Z, Johnston PR, McMahon DP. "Evidence for reduced immune gene diversity and activity during the evolution of termites." Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2021
  • Harrison MC, Chrenyshova AM, Thompson GJ. "No obvious transcriptome-wide signature of indirect selection in termites." Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2020
  • Harrison MC, Mallon EB, Twell D and Hammond RL. "Deleterious mutation accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen genes: a role for a recent relaxation of selection." Genome Biology & Evolution, 2019
  • Bornberg Bauer E, Harrison MC, Jongepier E."The first cockroach genome and its significance for understanding development and the evolution of insect eusociality" (editorial) Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B, 2018.
  • Harrison MC, Arning N, Kremer LPM, ..., Bornberg-Bauer E, ..., Schal C. "Expansions of key protein families in the German cockroach highlight the molecular basis of its remarkable success as a global indoor pest" Journal of Experimental Biology Part B. 2018.
  • Harrison MC, Jongepier E, Robertson HM, ..., Belles X, Korb J, Bornberg-Bauer E "Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality". Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018.
  • Price, Jon, Harrison, MC, Hammond, RL, Adams, S, Gutierrez-Marcos, JF, Mallon, EB "Alternative splicing associated with phenotypic plasticity in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris". Molecular Ecology, 2018.
  • Lopez-Ezquerra A, Harrison MC, Bornberg-Bauer E. "Comparative analysis of lincRNAs in insect species." BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2017.
  • Harrison MC, Hammond RL, and Mallon EB. "Reproductive workers show queenlike gene expression in an intermediately eusocial insect, the buff‐tailed bumble bee Bombus terrestris." Molecular ecology 24.12 (2015): 3043-3063.
  • Submitted

  • Harrison MC, Mallon EB, Hammond RL "Purged haploids - sheltered diploids: ploidy influences selection efficacy in a haplodiploid bee."
  • Harrison MC, Jaimes Nino, LM, Almeida Rodrigues M, Flatt T, Oettler J, Bornberg-Bauer E. "Gene co-expression network reveals highly conserved, well-regulated anti-ageing mechanisms in old ant queens." Submitted. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.14.431190
  • Séguret AC, Stolle E, Fleites-Ayil FA, Quezada-Euán JJG, Hartfelder K, Meusemann K, Harrison MC, Soro A, Paxton RJ. Transcriptomic signatures of ageing vary in solitary and social forms of an orchid bee https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.30.228304v1