Holliman earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama and worked as Curator of Mammalogy at the Alabama Museum of Natural History. His research in rare and endangered species spanned from birds to aquatic invertebrates, with a special interest in cottontail rabbits and coastal birds. His research on Alabama beach mice helped usher in their protection as an endangered species. His research contributed to the establishment of the Sipsey Wilderness.
Holliman taught at Alabama, UAB and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. From 1962 until his retirement in 2000 he was on the faculty at BSC, teaching vertebrate field zoology and ecology. He held the Ada Rittenhouse Snavely Professorship in Biology at the end of his career.
He was active with the Audubon Mountain Workshop and the Alabama Ornithological Society and was a founding member of the Alabama Conservancy. He authored a book on the fauna of Aldridge Gardens for the city of Hoover.
Holliman has been honored for his research and teaching, as well as for creating the Greystone Educational Wetland. He was named Wildlife Conservationist of the Year by the Alabama Wildlife Federation in 1996. In 2007 he was presented with the Gardner Award by the Alabama Academy of Science for his achievements in field science in Alabama.
- Harrison, Lisa (Spring 2003) "Dr. Dan Holliman and Dr. Doug Waits: Two early BSC environmentalists led the way." 'Southern magazine
- "Longtime BSC professor Dan Holliman passes away." (February 19, 2009) Birmingham-Southern College press release