Congratulations Josh and Maddy


This Spring, I bid farewell to two fantastic undergraduate researchers: Maddy LaChance and Josh Fajardo, who both graduated from MU.

I have had the great pleasure of working with them for the past few years, even when it was impossible to meet in person. In fact, both carried out their research largely remotely.

Maddy was studying cranial shape in high-activity mice, and Josh was developing tools for studying mouse locomotion. Maddy is moving on to industry, and Josh is taking a gap year while applying to medical school.

There are still manuscripts to work on, so I’ll get to interact with them in the coming months and years. I wish them both all the best.

Congratulations, Sarah!


Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Peacock on her recent doctoral dissertation defense and graduation from the University of Missouri.

Sarah is starting a position as an Assistant Teaching Professor at Northeastern University in January, 2020.

Gold Chalk Award


I was really honored to be a recipient of a 2019 Gold Chalk Award in Natural and Mathematical Sciences for graduate teaching. I appreciate being nominated by the IA graduate students for this award.

IA at ICVM 2019 in Prague


A large contingent of Integrative Anatomy students and faculty attended the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology conference in Prague.

Lab members (past and present) had many presentations:

  • Methods for Visualizing and Comparing Force Vectors in Two- and Three-Dimensions, with Applications for Vertebrate Feeding and Locomotion (Middleton KM, Sellers KC, Cost IN, Spates AT, Holliday CM)
  • Metabolic and Environmental Factors Shaping the Morphology of Respiratory Turbinates in Mammals and Archosaurs (Owerkowicz T, Poff M, Middleton KM, Crompton AW)
  • Functional Morphology of the Palate in Varanus exanthematicus (Squamata: Varanidae) and Its Significance for the Evolution of Cranial Kinesis (Wilken AT, Middleton KM, Sellers KC, Cost IN, Holliday CM)
  • Morphology and Function of the Avian Furcula (Sullivan SP, Middleton KM, Holliday CM)
  • Joint Loading and Transformation in Suchian Evolution (Sellers KC, Middleton KM, Holliday CM)
  • Effects of Artificial Selection for Increased Voluntary Wheel Running on Hindlimb Skeletal Shape in Mice (Smolinsky AN, Aldridge K, Castro AA, Garland T, Jr, Middleton KM)
  • Connecting the Chondrocranium: Biomechanics of the Palatocranial Joints of Sauropsids (Holliday CM, Wilken AT, Bailleul AM, Sellers KC, Cost IN, Rozin RE, Middleton KM)

IA past (Amanda Smolinsky, Henry Tsai, and Eva Herbst) and present (Carol Ward, Kevin Middleton, Kaleb Sellers, Casey Holliday, Alec Wilken, and Emily Lessner)

IA and friends

Congratulations, Amanda!


Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Smolinsky on her recent (August) doctoral dissertation defense and graduation from the University of Missouri. Amanda is a Postdoctoral Anatomy Fellow at Rocky Vista University.

Her dissertation was titled “Plastic and evolved morphological responses of the hind limb skeleton to mechanical loading in mice”.

MU Life Sciences Week 2018

Sarah and Amanda both presented their doctoral research at the 2018 MU Life Sciences Week.

Dinosaurs and Cavemen 2018

The 6th annual Dinosaurs and Cavemen Science Expo was, a always, a huge success.

MU Health Sciences Research Day 2017

Amanda and Sarah both presented their doctoral research at the 2017 MU Health Sciences Research Day.

Forthcoming AJPA paper

Sarah Peacock’s paper “Predicting the bending properties of long bones: insights from an experimental mouse model” was recently accepted for publication in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Congratulations Sarah, with coauthors Brittney Coats (David Speer Academy), Kyle Kirkland (Michigan State University), Corwin Tanner (Blivet Solutions), and Ted Garland, Jr. (UC Riverside).

Bone cross-sections

In this paper, we try a new approach for the analysis, Bayesian inference. We preferred this method because it was simpler and more direct that traditional frequestist inference, with the added benefit of being closer to the way that we actually conceptualize such analysis.

We were mainly interested in the differences between groups, which we were able to estimate directly from the posterior samples:

Differences of posterior distributions.

So we had to come up with a method for displaying these posterior summaries:

Posterior summaries of differences.