Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Peter T. Madsen
Peter T. Madsen's photoPeter T. Madsen
Postdoctoral Investigator

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Research Interests
Sensory physiology of marine mammals and their prey. Functional anatomy, dynamics and biomechanics of odontocete sound production. Biosonar, signal properties, prey detection and auditory scene analysis of toothed whales. Ecophysiology, behavior, energetics and foraging ecology of deep diving odontocetes. Acoustic interactions between toothed whales and prey. Physiological, behavioral and energetic effects of man made noise on marine mammals. Controlled exposure and playback experiments for mitigative purposes.


PhD. in sensory physiology at Dr. Bertel Moehls biosonar lab at the Dept. of Zoophysiology, Aarhus University , Denmark : ”Sperm whale sound production”.


Post doc. at Dr. Roger Payne’s lab at the Ocean Alliance (MA, USA) and Chief Scientist of the RV Odyssey.


Post doc. at Dr. Peter Tyack’s lab, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MA, USA ).

Peer-reviewed publications
1. Madsen P.T., and Mohl B., (2000), "Sperm whales (Physeter catodon L. 1758) do not react to sounds from detonators," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 668-671.

2. M??hl B., Wahlberg M., Madsen P.T., Miller L. A. and Surlykke A. (2000), "Sperm whale clicks: Directionality and Source level revisited," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 638-648.

3. Wahlberg M., M??hl B. and Madsen P.T. (2001), "Estimating source position accuracy of a large aperture hydrophone array used for bioacoustics," J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 109(1), 397-406.

4. Madsen P.T., R. Payne, N.U. Kristiansen, M. Wahlberg, I. Kerr and B. M??hl (2002), A?Sperm whale sound production studied with ultrasound-time-depth recording tagsA?. J. Exp. Biol. 213, 1899-1906.

5. Madsen P.T., B. M??hl, B. K. Nielsen and M. Wahlberg (2002), A?Sperm whale behavior during exposures to remote air gun pulses and artificial codasA? Aq. Mam. 28(3): 231-240.

6. Teilman J., L. Miller, T. Kirketerp, R. Kastelein, Madsen P.T., Nielsen B.K. and Au W.W. (2002), A?Characteristics of echolocation signals used by a harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) during target detection.A? Aq. Mam. 28(3): 275-284.

7. Madsen P.T., M. Wahlberg and B. M??hl (2002), A?Male sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) acoustics in a high latitude habitat: implications for echolocation and communicationA? Behav. Ecol. Sociol. 53: 31-41.

8. M??hl B., Madsen P.T., Wahlberg M., Au W.W.L., Nachtigall P. and Ridgway S. (2002), A?Sound transmission in the spermaceti complex of a recently expired sperm whale calfA?, Acoustical Research Letters Online, 4(1): 19-24.

9. Madsen, P.T., Carder, D.A., Au, W. W., Nachtigall, P.E., Mohl, B., and Ridgway, S.H. (2003). "Sound production in neonate sperm whales." J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 113(6), 2988-2991.

10. M??hl, B., Wahlberg, M., Madsen, P.T., Heerfordt, A., and Lund, A. (2003). "The monopulsed nature of sperm whale clicks." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 114(2), 1143-1154.

11. Madsen, P.T., Kerr I., and Payne, R. (2004) A?Echolocation clicks of two free-ranging, oceanic delphinids with different food preferences: False killer whales (Pseudorca crasidens) and RissoA?s dolphins (Grampus griseus)A? J. Exp. Biol., 207, 1811-1823.

12. Johnson, M.P., Madsen, P.T., Zimmer, W.M.Z., Aguilar de Soto, N., and Tyack, P.T. (2004) A?Beaked whales echolocate on preyA? Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Letters.DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0208

13. Madsen, P.T., Kerr I., and Payne, R. (2004) A?Source parameter estimates of echolocation clicks from free ranging pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata)A? J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116(4): 1909-1912.

14. Zimmer, W.M.X, Tyack, P.L., Johnson, M., and Madsen, P.T. (2005), A?3-Dimensional beam pattern of regular sperm whale clicks confirms bent-horn hypothesisA? J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117(3): 1473-1485.

15. Madsen P.T., Johnson M., Aguilar DeSoto N., Zimmer W.M.X, and Tyack P. (2005), A?Biosonar performance of foraging beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris.A? J. Exp. Biol.. 208: 181-194.

16. Zimmer, W.M.Z., Johnson M., Madsen P.T. and Tyack P.T., (in press) A?Click characteristics of free-ranging CuvierA?s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris). J. Acoust. Soc. Am.

17. Madsen P.T. (In press), A?Marine Mammals and Noise: What is a safety level of 180 dB re. 1uPa (rms) for transients?A?, J. Acoust. Soc. Am.

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