Postdoctoral Fellow Position Open: Evolution of Dinosaur Jaw Musculature and the Origins of Avian Cranial Kinesis.


Position Details:

Project title: Evolution of Dinosaur Jaw Musculature and the Origins of Avian Cranial Kinesis. Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

The Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the University of Missouri School of Medicine invites applications for a postdoctoral research associate. The position is for one year and is renewable up to 3 years. The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Drs. Casey M. Holliday and Kevin M. Middleton on a National Science Foundation-funded program in 3D Cranial Biomechanics and Morphometrics. The position is 80% Research and 20% Outreach (allocation is negotiable) and offers a competitive salary plus benefits. Review of applications will begin March 1, 2015 and remain open until filled with an anticipated start date of August 1, 2015.


1) The candidate will work directly with PIs Holliday and Middleton to develop and conduct analyses of cranial biomechanics and morphometrics of fossil and extant dinosaur species. They will also interact with coPIs Julian Davis and Lawrence Witmer on occasion.

2) The candidate will help develop 3D anatomical and biomechanical visualizations and mobilize these data to appropriate online databases and outreach locations.

3) The candidate will present findings in collaboration with project leaders and associated students. The candidate will develop and participate in the Inside Dinosaurs education and outreach program at University of Missouri. Funds for research expenses and travel are available.


By the start date, all elements of the PhD, including the dissertation, must be completed and the degree conferred in biological, earth sciences, engineering or similar field, with an emphasis on vertebrate biomechanics and paleobiology.

Additional qualifications include demonstrated experience in one or more of the following: 3D computational biology, Morphometric analysis, and/or 3D anatomical visualization such as experience working with CT image data and with 3D model rendering software (Amira, Maya), MATLAB, and R; demonstrated experience managing personnel and leading research projects; and demonstrated ability to publish in English-language peer-reviewed journals.

Prefernce will be given to individuals with interests in morphology-based research and whose interests complement those of current faculty in the Integrative Anatomy group ( will be given priority. The Integrative Anatomy Group provides a collegial environment with substantial opportunities for intellectual creativity and diverse research.

Application Materials

To apply please submit (1) cover letter including contact information for three references; (2) curriculum vitae; and (3) a research statement including previous experience and future plans

University of Missouri web site is  At the top of the webpage, select ‘prospective employees’ and search for ‘pathology’ to reach the link for the position.  The Job ID number is 15786.

Benefit Eligibility

This position is eligible for University benefits. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts.  For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of Missouri is an equal access, equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that is fully committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. The university will recruit and employ qualified personnel and will provide equal opportunities during employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran or status as a qualified person with a disability. For more information, call the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resource Services/Affirmative Action officer at 573-882-4256. To request ADA accommodations, please call the Director of Accessibility & ADA Education at 573-882-5835.

About Casey

I am an Associate Professor of Anatomy at University of Missouri-Columbia. I teach Anatomy for the Medical School. I conduct research on the evolutionary morphology of vertebrates, particularly the structure, function, and evolution of the feeding apparatus. Much of this involves studying the biology of bone, cartilage and muscle. of dinosaurs and fossil crocs. I have a great job.
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