Ashley Morhardt, PhD

Ashley Morhardt, PhD

Assistant Professor of Anatomy in Neuroscience

Morhardt Lab | Google Scholar Profile | ResearchGate Profile


As a paleoneurologist, the laboratory director’s research questions stem from a desire to understand the evolution of neural diversity within and across non-mammalian vertebrate clades, especially dinosaurs. Using comparative anatomical studies, digital restoration, and modern comparative methods, the research program investigates evolutionary patterns of dinosaur brain and brain-region size and shape in an effort to expand our overall understanding of how, when, and why vertebrate brains evolve.

Selected publications

  • Early CM, Morhardt AC, Cleland TP, Milensky CM, Kavich GM, James HF. Chemical effects of diceCT staining protocols on fluid preserved avian specimens. PLoS ONE. September 2020; 15(9):e0238783.
  • Morhardt AC. From Fossils to Function: Integrative and Taxonomically Inclusive Approaches to Vertebrate Evolutionary Neuroscience. Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 2018; 91:123-124.
  • Gignac PM, Kley NJ, Clarke JA, Colbert MW, Morhardt AC, Cerio D, Cost IN, Cox PG, Daza JD, Early CM, Echols MS, Henkelman RM, Herdina AN, Holliday CM, Li Z, Mahlow K, Merchant S, Müller J, Orsbon CP, Paluh DJ, Theis ML, Tsai HP, Witmer LM. Diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT): an emerging tool for rapid, high-resolution, 3-D imaging of metazoan soft tissues. Journal of Anatomy. 2016; 228(6): 889-909.

See a complete list of Dr. Morhardt’s publications on PubMed.


2016 PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ohio University

2009 MS, Biology, Western Illinois University

2006 BS, Biology, Illinois College

Selected honors

2017 – Postdoctoral Platform Presentation Award Session Selected Participant, American Association of Anatomists

2016 – Alfred Sherwood Romer Prize Session Selected Participant, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

2014 – Research Fellow – Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies