Ian Cost, Ph.D. – Albright College

Ian Cost, Ph.D.

Ian Cost, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Science Center room 231

Ph.D., University of Missouri (Pathobiology)
M.S., Fort Hays State University (Biology)
M.Ed., Lesley University (Elementary and Special Education)
B.A., Bridgewater State University (History)


Ian Cost joined Albright College in 2019 as an assistant professor of biology specializing in anatomy and physiology. He graduated from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in History with an Asian studies concentration. He then completed a Master of Education at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He used this training to work as a grade school educator specializing in curriculum development for students with special learning needs. Later, he returned to graduate school and completed a Master of Science in biology at Fort Hays State University in Kansas where he studied integrative biology. He recently completed his Ph.D. in integrative anatomy at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Dr. Cost’s research focuses on the biomechanics of bird and non-avian theropod dinosaur feeding. He is an integrative biologist who combines statistical and model-based analysis of large data-sets with avian ecology to explore the world at multiple hierarchical scales. Beyond the laboratory, Dr. Cost is also an avid birder and photographer.

For more information about Dr. Cost, please visit his personal and professional website: https://www.ianncost.com/


Areas of Expertise

  • Human Anatomy
  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Ornithology
  • Paleontology
  • Biomechanics


Areas of Research


  • Cost, I. N., Sellers, K. C., Rozin, R. E., Spates, A. T., Middleton, K. M. and Holliday, C. M. 2022. 2D and 3D visualizations of archosaur jaw muscle mechanics, ontogeny and phylogeny using ternary diagrams and 3D modeling. J. Exp. Biol. 225, doi: 10.1242/jeb.243216
  • Amendano, B., Spriggs, S. and Cost, I. N. 2021. A comparative description of the maxillary and mandibular divisions of the trigeminal nerve in birds. J. Pa. Acad. Sci. 95, 121–134. doi: 10.5325/jpennacadscie.95.2.0121
  • Wilken A. T., Sellers K. C., Cost I. N., Rozin R. E., Middleton K. M., Holliday C. M. 2020. Connecting the chondrocranium: Biomechanics of the suspensorium in reptiles. Vertebrate Zoology 70:275–90. doi: 10.26049/VZ70-3-2020-02
  • Cost, I. N., Sellers, K. C., Middleton, K. M., Echols, M. S., Witmer, L. M., Davis, J. L., and Holliday, C. M. 2020. Palatal biomechanics and its significance for cranial kinesis in Tyrannosaurus rex. Anat Rec. doi: 1002/ar.24219
  • Wilken A.T., Middleton K.M., Sellers K.C., Cost I.N., Holliday C.M. 2019. The roles of joint tissues and jaw muscles in palatal biomechanics of the Savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus) and their significance for cranial kinesis. J Exp Biol. doi: 10.1242/jeb.201459
  • Gignac, P.M., Kley N.J., Clarke J.A., (and 20 others including Cost I.N.) 2016. 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. doi: 10.1111/joa.12449


Recent Student Research Collaborations

  • Kamaryn Koch ’22: “Comparing Cardiovascular Anatomy of Avian Species Across Flying Styles”
  • Brigette Amendano ’22: “A Comparative Analysis of the Trigeminal Nerve in the Orbits of Predatory Birds”
  • Phuong Chau ’22: “Comparing Dental Measurement in North American Bats with Corresponding Diets”
  • Robert Schwartz ‘21: “Getting a Grasp on the Avian Tendon Locking Mechanism”
  • Suzanne Spriggs ‘21: “Comparative Mapping of the Trigeminal Nerve in Birds”


Courses Taught

BIO 151: General Biology I (Structure and Function) Lab

BIO 152: General Biology II (Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution)

BIO 207: Medical Terminology

BIO 234: Human Anatomy and Physiology I

BIO 235: Human Anatomy and Physiology II

BIO 331: Comparative Anatomy

BIO 485: Behavior and Morphology