Casey Holliday

Assistant Professor

Pathology and Anatomical Sciences




  • BS, University of Florida, Zoology, 1997
  • PhD, Ohio University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2006

Additional Study

  • Post-doctoral researcher, Ohio University, (2006-2007)

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, University of Missouri (2009-Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Anatomy and Pathology, Marshall University, (2007-2009)

Research Description

The Holliday Lab focuses on the structure, function and evolution of the vertebrate head with particular emphasis on reptiles (lizards, crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds). Using a variety of classical anatomical techniques (dissection, histology) and imaging (CT, MRI), the lab investigates the relationship between diet, environmental factors, and age on the adaptive plasticity of the connective tissues (e.g., cartilage, bone, ligament, and muscle) of the heads of lizards and alligators.

These data are then used to not only investigate the intimate relationship between cranial form and function in living animals, but also to infer the feeding behavior, cranial function, and phylogenetic relationships of fossil taxa, particularly crocodyliforms and non-avian dinosaurs.


  • Form, Function, and Mechanics of the Vertebrate Head
  • Reptilian Bone and Connective Tissue Biology
  • Craniofacial development and plasticity
  • Crocodilian and Dinosaur Evolution
  • 3D imaging, Modeling, and Histology

Representative Publications

  1. Holliday, C. M. and L. M. Witmer. 2007. Archosaur adductor chamber evolution: integration of musculoskeletal and topological criteria in jaw muscle homology. Journal of Morphology 268:457-484.
  2. 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.
  3. Holliday, C. M. 2009. New insights into dinosaur jaw muscle anatomy. The Anatomical Record. Special Issue: Unearthing the anatomy of dinosaurs. 292:1246-1265.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.