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Educated to Lead. Inspired to Achieve.
Dawn Holliday

Dawn Holliday

Associate Professor of Biology & Environmental Science
 CSC 226
 (573) 592-6125
  • Biology and Environmental Science


Current Position
Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science

Pre-Healthcare Program Coordinator

Scholarly/Professional Highlights
I joined the Department of BiologyTerrapins and Environmental Science in the fall of 2011. I chose to join the Westminster community because the school reminded me of my own undergraduate experience at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse (SUNY ESF). I graduated from SUNY ESF with a B.S. in Environmental Forest Biology and a love of herpetology. This love of reptiles and amphibians brought me to the Midwest to study and earn a master's degree at (Southwest) Missouri State University in Springfield, MO under Dr. Don Moll. After two and a half years catching stinkpots (less dramatically known as common musk turtles), I went on to pursue a Ph.D. at Ohio University with Dr. Willem Roosenburg. During the first year of my Ph.D. a large oil spill impacted the diamondback terrapins at Dr. Roosenburg's study site in Maryland and my research began to evolve into what it is today. I am deeply interested in how human activities, specifically environmental contaminants and climate change, can alter the ecology and physiology of animals and especially turtles. These interests have led to collaborations with researchers at the University of Missouri (where I hold an adjunct position in Pathology and Anatomical Sciences), the Saint Louis Zoo, and the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (where I was previously employed and currently volunteer).

Dawn HollidayIn the fall semester, I have the opportunity to teach both Human Anatomy (BIO 203) and Gross Anatomy (BIO 415). Students enrolled in these courses learn anatomy through radiographic images, models, clinical case studies, and cadaveric dissection. I am very fortunate to be able to teach undergraduate courses which enable students to dissect and learn from human cadavers. In the spring semester, I teach Physiology (BIO 370) a writing intensive course where students conduct independent research projects and present their results annually at the Undergraduate Scholar's Forum. Other classes I have taught include: Human Biology for non-majors (BIO 107), Bioprocesses (BIO 114), Environmental Toxicology (BIO 300). Since joining the faculty, I have also taught Westminster Seminar and an Honors Seminar, and offered numerous opportunities for Independent Study (BIO 398). I put a lot of work into my courses and I expect the same commitment from my students. Although the bar is high, I have seen many students live up to and even exceed my expectations.

In my 'free' time, I can be found answering student emails at 1:00 am, co-leading a Girl Scout Troop, helping wayward box turtles cross busy roads, or hanging out with my two wonderful children.

Select Publications

Jandegian, C.M., S.L. Deem, R.K. Bhandari, C.M. Holliday, D. Nicks, C.S. Rosenfeld, K.W. Selcer, D.E. Tillitt, F.S. vom Saal, V. Velez-Rivera, Y. Yang, and D.K. Holliday. 2015. Developmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) alters sexual differentiation in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). General and Comparative Endocrinology 216:77-85.

Bhandari, R.K., S.L. Deem, D.K. Holliday, C.M. Jandegian, C.D. Kassotis, S.C. Nagel, D.E. Tillitt, F.S. vom Saal, and C.S. Rosenfeld. 2014. Effects of the environmental estrogenic contaminants bisphenol A and 17α-ethinyl estradiol on sexual development and adult behaviors in aquatic wildlife species. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 215:195-219.

Holliday, D.K. and C.M. Holliday. 2012. The effects of the organopollutant PCB 126 on bone density in juvenile diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin). Aquatic Toxicology 109:228-233.

Select Student Work
Hubbard, M., A. Kiso, T. Moyer, and D.K. Holliday. 2016. In War No One Fights Alone, G-Fuel Has Your Back: The Effects of G-Fuel on Gaming Performance. Poster presented at the Missouri Academy of Science, April 22-23, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO.

Bryan, S.J., Manshack, L.K., Conard, C.M., Johnson, S.A., Alex, J.M., Ellersick, M.R., Tillitt, D.E., Deem, S.L., Holliday, D.K., and Rosenfeld, C.S. 2015. Effects of developmental exposure to BPA and EE2 on neurobehavioral programming in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) at the Merial-NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium held July 30-August 2, 2015 at the University of California, Davis.

Manshack, L.K., Johnson, S.A., Conard, C.M., Alex, J.M., Bryan, S.J., Ellersick, M.R., Tillitt, D.E., Deem, S.L., Holliday, D.K., and Rosenfeld, C.S. 2015. Does developmental exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemicals Bisphenol A (BPA) and Ethinyl Estradiol (EE2) affect growth and learning memory in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta)? at the North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology (NASCE) held June 21-25 in Ontario, Canada.

Jandegian, C.M., S. Deem, R. Bhandhari, C. Holliday, D. Nicks, C. Rosenfeld, F. vom Saal, D.E. Tillitt, V. Velez-Rivera and D. Holliday. 2014. Developmental exposure to the endocrine disrupting compound, Bisphenol A (BPA), alters sexual differentiation in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). Poster presented at the Gordon Research Conference Environmental Endocrine Disruptors: An integrated perspective from wildlife to human health. Barga, Italy. 1-6 May.

Jandegian, C.M., S. Deem, R. Bhandhari, C. Rosenfeld, F. vom Saal, D.E. Tillitt, and D. Holliday. 2013. Exposure to the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA) during ontogeny may alter sex determination in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta). Poster presented at the Missouri Public Health Association’s annual conference, Columbia, Missouri. 23 September.

Epstein, N., Moulton, A., Moulton, N., Smith, E, Backes, R and Holliday, D.K. 2012 Student-led teaching tools for undergraduate cadaveric dissection. Poster Presentation at the American Association of Anatomists Regional Meeting. Chicago, IL, 24-25 February.

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