Lab photo

Holliday Lab photo Fall 2014. Roxanne (Freshman), Kaleb (MS student), Brianne (Soph), Anthony (Junior), Ian (PhD student), Kenzie (Senior), Henry (PhD student), Amanda (step-PhD student), Casey (tired). with Alligator and Postosuchus.

Holliday lab 2017

Holliday lab photo Spring 2016. Brendan (Freshman), Brianne (Junior), Kevin, Anthony (Senior), Kaleb, (PhD Student), Ian (PhD Student), Rachel Rozin (Sophomore), Alec Wilken (Freshman), Caitlyn Smith (Sophomore).

Lab photo 2018

Holliday Lab photo Spring 2018: Kevin, Alec (Junior), Emily (PhD student), Kaleb (PhD student), Faye (step-PhD student), Caitlyn (Senior), Anmol (Junior), Rachel (Senior), Spiro (PhD Student), Casey. Missing Kala and Conner.

DNCE 2018

The amazing group of volunteers at Dinosaurs & Cavemen Science Expo 2018

PhD Students

Ian Cost


Kaleb Sellers




Samuel (Spiro) Sullivan, Willow Springs, IL. B.S. University of Chicago 2016. He’s interested in the functional morphology and evolution of birds. I’m currently studying bird locomotion and the musculoskeletal anatomy behind it, focusing on their unique pectoral girdles.

Emily Lessner, Kennett Square, PA. B.S. Virginia Tech.

Emily Lessner, Kennett Square, PA. B.S. Virginia Tech 2017. A number of extant animals (e.g., birds, crocodylians) utilize trigeminal-innervated sensory systems to interact with their environments. I am interested in understanding the innervation, anatomy, and evolution of these systems (especially in pseudosuchian archosaurs) in order to apply them to extinct animals.

Undergraduates (Spring 2018)


Brianne Schmiegelow, a Biology major from Joplin, MO at Life Sciences Week 2017. Her project explored the ontogeny of enamel thickness in Alligator. She’s off to UMKC Dental School.

Alec wilken 3

Alec Wilken, a biology major and aspiring functional morphologist from Sedalia, MO at AAA 2017. His project has explored the biomechanics of lizard skulls.

Rachel Rozin

Rachel Rozin, a Wildlife and Conservation Bio major and aspiring marine biologist from Atlanta, GA at SICB 2018. Rachel’s project has discovered biomechanical patterns in the skulls of galliform birds (chickens and kin). She’s off to an internship at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Caitly and Sue

Caitlyn Smith, a Biology Major  and pre-Med student from St. Louis, MO at AAA 2017. Her project explored the biomechanics of flexible bones in duck skulls. She is working at Mercy Health Orthopedics.

Anmol sethi

Anmol Sethi, a biology major and pre-Dent student from Columbia, MO at SICB 2018. Anmol has been investigating the 3D architecture of jaw muscles in geckos. She’s preaccepted to UMKC Dental School.

Kala Frazier

Kala Frazier, a biology major and pre-Dent student from Chicago, IL is studying enigmatic ligaments that connect our jaw muscles to our ears.

Connor Verhulst

Conner Verhulst, a Biology major and Pre-Med student from Kansas City, MO is using 3D modeling to explore the jaw muscle function of parrots and tongue muscles of pangolins.


High School Interns


Corrine Cranor spent her senior year of high school (Rock Bridge HS) learning 3D modeling and developed many of our 3D Alligator models for Sketchfab. She’s off to undergrad at South Dakota School of Mines & Tech to major in Paleontology. Keep an eye out for her!


Alida Bailleul (now postdoc at IVPP). Skeletal tissue biology and evolution of cranial joints.

Henry Tsai (Postdoc Brown University, now Asst Prof at Missouri State). Skeletal tissue biology and evolution of appendicular joints.

Rotation PhD Students:

Amanda Smolinsky, PhD: Alligator symphyseal biomechanics (postdoc, Rocky Vista)

Ian George, PhD: crocodilian facial sensation (Postdoc Stony Brook University, now Asst Prof at Rocky Vista)

Undergraduate researchers (where are they now?): 

Anthony Spates (UMKC School of Dentistry): Biomechanics of Ostrich Skulls

Mackenzie Jacoby (Missouri School of Medicine): Morphometrics of crocodylian symphyses

Roxanne Turner (University of Missouri Sophomore):

Ally McEntire (Freelance Journalism): duckbill dinosaur paleobiology

Cortaiga Gant (Ellis-Fischel Cancer Center, now Washington University St. Louis Psychology): Anatomy of Alligator symphyses

Josh Heimerdinger (UMKC School of Dentistry): enamel thickness in croc teeth

Rebecca Skiljan (Logan University Sports Mgmt): biomechanics of protosuchian symphyses

Sami Pathan (University of Missouri Senior): jaw muscle anatomy in Alligator

Jong-In Kim (School of Pharmacy): trigeminal anatomy of Alligator

Nick Gardner (Marshall University): description of Aegisuchus

Mallory Douthitt (St. Marys Medical Center)

Sylvia Paesani (Marshall University): lizard symphyseal anatomy

Summer Interns:

Millie-Joan Mongalo (University of Hawaii): Joint surface area in Alligator

Chanel Miller-Phillips (Xavier University):

Juliann Tea (Baylor College of Medicine): Bite force estimation in Tyrannosaurus rex.