• 162 Citations
  • 7 h-Index
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Personal profile

Area of Expertise

My research explores the growth and function of cranial tissues, particularly the structures involved in feeding. The biomechanical demands imposed by diet are known to affect chewing behavior and joint kinematics and, over time, the growth trajectories of the craniofacial skeleton and its associated soft tissues. By modulating diet, we are able to affect the overall growth of these tissues, bone quality in the jaws, integrity of the jaw joint (TMJ), dental occlusion, and masticatory muscle structure. I am particularly interested in how early life history events (such as weaning and dental eruption/replacement) affect feeding, growth, and adult morphological outcomes.
Current research themes include:
1) Variation in maturation rates among tissues of the masticatory complex and how this affects feeding performance and plasticity. What happens during the transition between infant-like suckling and adult-like chewing, and what are the structural and behavioral constraints that limit efficient feeding during early childhood?
2) The role of type I collagen in the growth of the craniofacial skeleton. How do collagen disorders, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, affect the facial phenotype? What behavioral and/or pharmaceutical interventions are effective in recovering the phenotype and function in these disorders?

Education/Academic qualification

PhD in Anatomy, University of Missouri

BA in Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rachel Menegaz is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

rabbits Agriculture & Biology
Diet Medicine & Life Sciences
Rabbits Medicine & Life Sciences
diet Agriculture & Biology
joints (animal) Agriculture & Biology
bone Earth & Environmental Sciences
Primates Agriculture & Biology
primate Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Projects 2019 2021

Research Output 2008 2017

  • 162 Citations
  • 7 h-Index
  • 8 Article
  • 1 Chapter
5 Citations (Scopus)

Ontogenetic and functional modularity in the rodent mandible

Menegaz, R. A. & Ravosa, M. J., Oct 2017, In : Zoology. 124, p. 61-72 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Limitations of a morphological criterion of adaptive inference in the fossil record

Ravosa, M. J., Menegaz, R. A., Scott, J. E., Daegling, D. J. & McAbee, K. R., 1 Nov 2016, In : Biological Reviews. 91, 4, p. 883-898 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Feeding Behavior
feeding behavior
25 Citations (Scopus)

XROMM analysis of tooth occlusion and temporomandibular joint kinematics during feeding in juvenile miniature pigs

Menegaz, R. A., Baier, D. B., Metzger, K. A., Herring, S. W. & Brainerd, E. L., 1 Aug 2015, In : Journal of Experimental Biology. 218, 16, p. 2573-2584 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

miniature swine
Temporomandibular Joint
Biomechanical Phenomena
joints (animal)
5 Citations (Scopus)

Experimental Approaches to Musculoskeletal Function in Primates

Ravosa, M. J., Congdon, K. A. & Menegaz, R. A., 14 Jan 2013, A Companion to Paleoanthropology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., p. 55-74 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

37 Citations (Scopus)

Evidence for the influence of diet on cranial form and robusticity

Menegaz, R. A., Sublett, S. V., Figueroa, S. D., Hoffman, T. J., Ravosa, M. J. & Aldridge, K., 1 Apr 2010, In : Anatomical Record. 293, 4, p. 630-641 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bite Force
Frontal Bone