Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Regina Campbell-Malone
Regina Campbell-Malone's photoRegina Campbell-Malone

Contact Information:
Work: 508 289 3651
Building: Marine Research Facility 219

Mailing Address:
Mailstop 50
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests
          Ship strikes are a major source of mortality in the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale population. Vessel-whale collisions often result in major blunt trauma and skeletal fractures. Bones commonly fractured when an animal is hit by a ship include the skull, jaw bones (mandibles), ribs, and vertebrae.
           The jaw bone is wrapped in a thin layer of soft tissue compared to other bones and may be presented during behavioral avoidance of an oncoming vessel, possibly making it the Achilles heel of the right whale when it comes to ship strikes. The jaw bone has a simple geometry and is often the site of injury, making it a viable bone for modeling purposes.  CT-scanning, 3-D laser scanning, physical density measurements and mechanical testing will be used to determine the physical and material properties of the jaw bone.
           These properties were incorporated into a finite element model designed by collaborators at the University of New Hampshire and were used to predict the 3-dimensional response of the mandible to applied stress. Once the stress required to induce a fracture was determined, this value was then compared to the stresses generated by ships of a given mass moving at a particular speed to determine if speed restrictions are a viable management strategy for reducing mortality and serious injury resulting from vessel-whale collisions.
          A complete pdf of my thesis can be found here. The findings from my thesis were utilized by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to substantiate the use of speed restrictions for vessels 65 feet or larger traversing right whale critical habitat (
          I have recently relocated to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where I am presently a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Rebecca German in the Deparment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I use some of the same techniques to study rehabilitation issues related to neurotrauma including dysphagia (swallowing defects) and traumatic brain injury in porcine animals models. Imaging studies, electromyography, behavioral observation, audio analysis and gross dissection provide us with a better understanding of normal and pathologic conditions and potential therapies.

2007     Massachusetts Institute of Technology   Cambridge, MA
Ph.D., Biological Oceanography MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program
Michael J. Moore, advisor
2000                University at Buffalo                     Buffalo, NY
B.S., Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University Honors Program,
Distinguished Honors Scholar Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Laboratory Skills –
  • Computed tomography (CT), Quantitative CT and Fluoroscopic Imaging
  • Uniaxial compression testing of mammalian bone and soft tissue
  • Biomechanical testing of mammalian soft tissue in tension
  • Electromyography
  • DNA/RNA extraction and quantification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Molecular subcloning
  • Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS)
  • Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
  • Tissue culture
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Microtomy & IHC slide preparation
  • Extensive vertebrate/invertebrate dissection experience
  • Surgery & measurement of physiological vitals in laboratory animal models

Additional Skills -

  • Marine mammal necropsy
  • Shipboard hydrocast deployment
  • Phytoplankton/zooplankton identification
  • Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTD) sensor deployment & processing
  • Tursiops behavioral observation & recording
  • Tursiops acoustic recording & analysis
  • Water quality analysis of lakes and estuaries
  • Dredging (for Tursiops feeding ecology studies)
  • Seining (for plankton and fish larvae migration studies)
  • Equine behavioral observation & recording
  • Statistical analysis
  • NAUI S.C.U.B.A certification
  • CPR/First Aid certification
  • Airplane ditch training certification

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