Nicholas R. Friedman

J-GLOBAL         Last updated: Jun 10, 2019 at 15:41
Nicholas R. Friedman
Alternative names
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit


I am interested in the origins of biodiversity: how did we get so many species, and how did they get to be so different from one another? My research focuses on reconstructing the evolutionary history of complex and elaborate traits, their functions, and their underlying mechanisms. In particular, I want to understand the origins of diversity in singing behavior and colorful feathers of birds, as well as the functional morphology of social insects. To accomplish this, I use an eco-informatics approach to classify animal behaviors in the wild, and a phylogenetic approach to compare hundreds of species in the museum.

Research Areas


Academic & Professional Experience

Aug 2015
Researcher, Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Mar 2013
Aug 2015
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Zoology & Laboratory of Ornithology, Palacky University


Sep 2007
May 2013
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Sep 2002
May 2006
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Department of Biology, St. Mary's College of Maryland

Published Papers

Friedman, NR, Remes V, Economo EP
Integrative and Comparative Biology      2019   [Refereed][Invited]
Ross, Samuel RP–J, Friedman NR, Janicki J, Economo EP
Journal of Animal Ecology      2019   [Refereed]
Cibois A, Thibaut J-C, Friedman NR, Omland KE, Desutter-Grancolas L, Robillard T, Pasquet E
Emu – Austral Ornithology      2019   [Refereed][Invited]
Andersen, MJ, McCullough JM, Friedman NR, Peterson AT, Moyle RG, Joseph L, Nyari A
Emu – Austral Ornithology      2019   [Refereed][Invited]
Economo EP, Narula N, Friedman NR, Weiser MD, Guénard B
Nature Communications   9 1778   2018   [Refereed]

Teaching Experience


Awards & Honors

Mar 2019
Ecological Research Paper Award, Ecological Society of Japan

Conference Activities & Talks

Evolution of a multifunctional trait: shared effects of foraging ecology and thermoregulation on beak morphology with consequences for song evolution
Friedman, NR, Miller ET, Ball JR, Kasuga H, Remes V, Economo EP
Ecological Society of Japan   Mar 2019   
Urbanisation erodes acoustic diversity and stability in Okinawa [Invited]
Ross, SRP-J, Friedman NR, Yoshimura M, Donahue I, Economo EP
Ecological Society of Japan   Mar 2019   
A morphological integration perspective on the evolution of dimorphism among sexes and social insect castes [Invited]
Friedman, NR, Economo EP
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology   Jan 2019   
Urbanisation erodes acoustic diversity and stability in Okinawa, Japan
Ross, SRP-J, Friedman NR, Yoshimura M, Donahue I, Economo EP
Irish Ecological Association   Jan 2019   
Island song: soundscapes from a terrestrial acoustic monitoring network in Okinawa [Invited]
Friedman NR, Ross SRP-J, Dudley K, Yoshida T, Yoshimura M, Economo E
Taiwan-Japan Ecological Workshop   Nov 2018