Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell
Instructor in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Harvard Medical School; Investigator, Mass Eye and Ear
Ecology & Biodiversity Medicine
Outside professional activities


Dr. Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell is an Investigator in the laboratory of Sunil Puria, PhD, within the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories. She is funded by a K01 Mid-Career Transition Award from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicable Disorders. Her research focus is on middle-ear mechanics and the low frequency acoustic and bone conduction hearing of species with sensitivity to frequencies below the human hearing threshold—mainly the elephant. The elephant ear is very similar to that of humans, albeit shifted lower, which makes it a great model for understanding both high and low hearing thresholds. O’Connell-Rodwell and her colleagues are credited with demonstrating that the elephant ear is two orders of magnitude more sensitive to bone conduction hearing than humans. Her previous discoveries in the area of vibrotactile sensitivity and long-distance propagation of low-frequency elephant vocalizations—through both the air and ground—have drawn the attention of the international research community. She has authored several award-winning books on the subject. Her works have been translated into four different languages. In 2007, she was awarded “Outstanding Young Alumna” by her graduate school alma mater, University of California, Davis. Her Mid-Career Transition Award allowed her to leave a leadership role in the biotech industry, where she served as principal investigator (PI) and co-PI of several NASA grants focused on cell signaling and microfluidic instrumentation in microgravity. Prior to working in biotech, Dr. O’Connell-Rodwell studied heat shock proteins and acoustic stress as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Before leaving academia, she had served as a consulting Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where she worked on developing a vibrotactile hearing aid informed by the elephant’s vibrotactile sensitivity.

Outside professional activities

Outside Professional Activities

In the spirit of transparency and integrity, Salata Institute Faculty Associates disclose publicly their key professional activities outside of Harvard University. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some of the activities may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell
Outside Activities Information Pending

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