Casey Holliday, PhD

Casey Holliday, PhD

Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Director of Graduate Admissions
Associate Professor



The Holliday lab's research focuses on structural and functional relationships of vertebrate organ systems to determine their ecological and adaptive significance. Dr. Casey Holliday, PhD uses the fossil record, biomechanical analyses, and experimental methods to answer questions regarding craniofacial biology, skeletal tissue physiology, and feeding function, behavior, and evolution. In particular, his research focuses on elucidating the relationship between structure and function in archosaurs, the group of vertebrates that includes crocodilians, birds, and dinosaurs.

Dr. Holliday’s lab employs classical anatomical techniques integrated with 3D-imaging and modeling applications. Using anatomical foundation Dr. Holliday can more accurately analyze cranial function and evolution in living taxa such as lizards, crocodylians, and birds, as well as test functional hypotheses in fossil dinosaurs, crocodyliforms and stem groups.

Dr. Holliday is heavily engaged in training the next generation of scientists. Taking full advantage of his lab’s unique focus promotes and inspires inquiry among students of all ages. Dr. Holliday hosts educational classes, workshops and online modules for K-beyond groups through his Inside Dinosaurs STEM education & Outreach Program. He manages the Annual Dinosaurs & Cavemen Science Expo each Spring at Rock Bridge High School in conjunction with the Columbia Schools Planetarium. The event shares topics and research with the community through a host of activities and displays.

Academic Information

Director of Graduate Admissions
Associate Professor
P. 573-884-6599

Research Interests

  • Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Comparative Biomechanics
  • Skeletal Tissue Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Physiology
  • 3D Imaging and Modeling
  • Histology
  • Dissection
  • Morphometrics
  • Veterinary and Human Medicine
  • Medical Education & Pedagogy
  • Graphic Design & Illustration

Areas of Expertise

  • Craniofacial Biomechanics, Development and Evolution
  • Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Human, Veterinary, and Exotics Anatomy
  • Musculoskeletal Biology
  • Skeletal Tissue Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

Ohio University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


  • Holliday, C. M. and L. M. Witmer. 2007. Archosaur adductor chamber evolution: integration of musculoskeletal and topological criteria in jaw muscle homology. Journal of Morphology268:457-484.
  • Holliday, C. M. and L. M. Witmer. 2008. Cranial kinesis in dinosaurs: intracranial joints, protractor muscles, and their significance for cranial evolution and function in diapsids. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(4):1073-1088.
  • Holliday, C. M. 2009. New insights into dinosaur jaw muscle anatomy. The Anatomical Record. Special Issue: Unearthing the anatomy of dinosaurs. 292:1246-1265.
  • Holliday, C. M. and L. M. Witmer. 2009. The epipterygoid of crocodyliforms and its significance in the evolution of the orbitotemporal region of eusuchians. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(3): 713-733.
  • Holliday, C. M., R. C. Ridgely, J. C. Sedlmayr, L. M. Witmer. 2010. Cartilaginous epiphyses in extant archosaurs and their implications for reconstructing limb function in dinosaurs. PLoS One 5(9):15p
  • Holliday, C. M., N. M. Gardner, M. Douthitt, S. M. Paesani, J. L. Ratliff. 2010. Microanatomy of the mandibular symphysis in lizards: patterns in fiber orientation and Meckel’s cartilage and their significance in cranial evolution. The Anatomical Record. 293:1350-1359.
  • Holliday, D. K. and C. M. Holliday. 2011. The effects of the organopollutant PCB-126 on bone density in juvenile Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin). Aquatic Toxicology 109: 228-233.
  • Holliday, C. M. and N. M. Gardner. 2012. A new eusuchian crocodilian with novel cranial integument and the origin of Crocodylia. PLoS One 7(1):e30471.
  • Holliday, C. M. and Nesbitt, S. J. 2013. Morphology and diversity of the mandibular symphysis of archosauriforms. Special Papers of the Geological Society, London 379: 1-18.
  • George, I. D. and C. M. Holliday. 2013. Scaling of the trigeminal nerve in Alligator mississippiensis and its significance for the evolution of crocodilian facial sensation. The Anatomical Record 296: 670-680.
  • Holliday, C. M., Tsai H. P., Skiljan R. J., George I. D. Pathan S. 2013. A 3D Interactive Model and Atlas of the Jaw Musculature of Alligator mississippiensis. PLoS One: e62806.