Darlene R. Ketten, Ph. D. - Senior Scientist / CSI Facility Director

Darlene Ketten Shark Scan Field Dissection Minke Whale Scan Ear Extraction Turtle Dissection

Darlene R. Ketten, Ph. D.
Senior Scientist
Office Phone: +1 508 289 2731
Email: dketten [at] whoi [dot] edu

Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Biology Department
Marine Research Facility, MS #50
Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA

B. A., Washington University, 1971, Biology and French
M. S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1979, Biological Oceanography
Ph. D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1984, Neuroethology and Experimental Radiology

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Facility Role(s):
Facility Director

Dr. Darlene R. Ketten is a marine biologist and neuro-anatomist specializing in functional analyses and biomedical imaging of sensory systems. She received a B. A. from Washington University (Biology and French, 1971), an M. S. from M.I.T. (Biological Oceanography, 1979), and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University (jointly awarded neuroanatomy, behavioral ecology, and experimental radiology, 1984). Her work is a blend of modern biomedical imaging, forensics, and biophysical models of hearing in both humans and marine mammals.
She currently holds joint appointments as a Senior Scientist in Biology at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and as an Assistant Professor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Her training includes specialty courses and accreditation in Otopathology (Harvard Medical School, 1987), Neuroradiology (AFIP, 2003), Veterinary Pathology (AFIP, 2005), and Forensic Pathology (AFIP, 1995, 2005). She serves as a specialty lecturer on inner ear imaging, anatomy, and CT/MRI diagnostic imaging for head and neck trauma for the American Medical Association - Head and Neck Surgery courses.
Her research focuses on two areas: how structural differences in marine vs. terrestrial mammal ears relate to physical differences, habitats, and feeding behaviors and how electrode placement and inner ear pathologies impact hearing and the effectiveness of hearing aids and inner ear prostheses.
In the course of her work, she also employs her forensic training to conduct necropsies and assists with autopsies, particularly those requiring expertise in head and neck trauma, neuropathology, and auditory pathology. To date she has assisted with or conducted radiological exams on over 1000 cases covering more than 100 species and has been the principal prosector and author of 159 human clinical case reports and 92 marine mammal reports. Human Case Reports cover pre and post-operative status of the head and neck anatomy and pathologies in implant patients, trauma victims, and reconstructive surgery cases that are filed with surgeons, radiology archives, and law enforcement agencies. Marine Mammal Case Reports are detailed analyses of gross and microscopic anatomy that include life history information, cause of death, and pathology assessments and are filed with NOAA Fisheries and other governmental agencies.