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Darlene Ketten

Senior Scientist, Biology Department

Darlene Ketten is a neuroethologist, studying how behavior is linked to sensory system anatomy in various species. She started out to be a Romance language specialist but discovered as an undergraduate that biology opened many more mysterious worlds inside the heads of exotic animals. While working on her doctorate at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, she began using computerized tomography (CT and MRI scanning) to explore how biomedical imaging techniques could be used to investigate how inner ears in different species are structured and coupled to the rest of their heads. This led to micro-imaging work at Harvard Medical School to improve diagnosis of causes of hearing loss in human ears. In 1997, she joined the Biology Department of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and brought her combined backgrounds of neuroethology and neuroradiology to bear on modeling hearing in marine mammals based on their specialized auditory systemanatomy, and most recently to analyzing potential effects of man-made noise inthe oceans. In addition to basic research, she does specialty forensic analyses of heads and necks of stranded animals for NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service investigations. Although much of her work involves mathematical models and 3D software, she has never lost her preference for working directly on the “wetware.” Photo by Sam Ogden.

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Darlene Ketten

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