Rachel Menegaz

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Rachel A. Menegaz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Center for Anatomical Sciences
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Ft. Worth, TX 76107

Ph.D. Pathobiology (Integrative Anatomy), University of Missouri (2013).
B.A. Anthropology (with special honors), University of Texas (2006).

Curriculum Vitae
Menegaz Lab Website

ResearchRachel Rat Skulls 228x300

Dr. Menegaz studies the biology of feeding and chewing in humans and other mammals. Her research investigates how the material properties of diet affect the growth, structure, function, and evolution of craniofacial tissues. She is also interested in the biomechanics of feeding, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) kinematics and food-tooth interactions. Dr. Menegaz studies both healthy and dysmorphic phenotypes, such as osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJDs). Her lab uses three-dimensional geometric morphometrics, diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT), dynamic histomorphometry, and serum-based markers of bone physiology to investigate diet-related changes in the craniofacial skeleton and its associated soft tissues (e.g. muscles, cartilages, etc.).

Current Projects

  • Ontogeny and functional morphology of the rodent skull
  • Craniofacial development in osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease)
  • Hominin paleoecology, diet, and craniofacial development

Selected Publications

  • Menegaz RA, Ravosa MJ. 2017. Ontogenetic and functional modularity in the rodent mandible. Zoology 124:61-72.
  • Ravosa MJ, Menegaz RA, Scott JE, Daegling DJ, McAbee KR.  2016. Limitations of a morphological criterion of adaptive inference in the fossil record. Biological Reviews 91:883-898.
  • Menegaz RA, Baier DB, Metzger KA, Herring SW, Brainerd EL. 2015. XROMM analysis of tooth occlusion and temporomandibular joint kinematics during feeding in juvenile miniature pigs. Journal of Experimental Biology 218:2573-2584.
  • Ravosa MJ, Congdon KA, Menegaz RA. Experimental approaches to musculoskeletal function in primates. 2013. In D.R. Begun (Ed.): Companion to Paleoanthropology. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 55-74.
  • Menegaz RA, Sublett SV, Figueroa SD, Hoffman TJ, Ravosa MJ, Aldridge K. 2010. Evidence for the influence of diet on cranial form and robusticity. Anatomical Record 293A:630-641.
  • Jašarević E, Ning J, Daniel AN, Menegaz RA, Johnson JJ, Stack MS, Ravosa MJ. 2010. Masticatory loading, function and plasticity: A microanatomical analysis of mammalian circumorbital soft-tissue structures. Anatomical Record 293A:642-650.
  • Menegaz RA, Kirk EC. 2009. Septa and processes: convergent evolution of the orbit in haplorhine primates and strigiform birds. Journal of Human Evolution 59:672-687.
  • Menegaz RA, Sublett SV, Figueroa SD, Hoffman TJ, Ravosa MJ. 2009. Phenotypic plasticity and function of the hard palate in growing rabbits. Anatomical Record 292A:277-284.
  • Ravosa MJ, López EK, Menegaz RA, Stock SR, Stack MS, Hamrick MW. 2008. Using “Mighty Mouse” to understand masticatory plasticity: myostatin-deficient mice and musculoskeletal function. Integrative and Comparative Biology 48(3):345-359.
  • Ravosa MJ, López EK, Menegaz RA, Stock SR, Stack MS, Hamrick MW. 2008. Adaptive plasticity in the mammalian masticatory complex: you are what, and how, you eat. In: Vinyard CJ, Ravosa MJ, Wall CE, eds. Primate Craniofacial Biology and Function. New York: Springer Academic Publishers. Pp. 293-328.


At UNT Health Science Center, Dr. Menegaz serves as course director for Nervous System 1 (MEDE 7812) for Osteopathic Medical Students and teach other dissection- and prosection-based anatomy courses for Medical, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Graduate students.

Courses Taught
  • MEDE 7812: Nervous System 1 (medical students) – Course Director
  • MEDE 7811: Musculoskeletal and Skin Systems 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7615: Cardiopulmonary System 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7611: Gastrointestinal & Renal Systems 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7715: Reproductive & Endocrine Systems 1 (medical students).
  • DPHT 7200 & 7400: Clinical Anatomy 1 & 2 (physical therapy students).
  • MPAS 5401 & 5208: Clinical Anatomy 1 & 2 (physician assistant students).
  • SARS 5401: Structural Anatomy (graduate students)