Diane A. KellyHome.html

By day, I’m a scientist. My ongoing research falls under two broad headings:

The Evolution and Functional Morphology of Intromittent Organs. Or in plain English, how penises work. Yes, really. I’ve worked on mammals and turtles, and I’m currently collaborating with Brandon Moore (Sewanee, University of the South) and Patricia Brennan (Mount Holyoke College) to figure out how the system evolved in archosaurs.


Want to know more? Check out the talk I gave about penis biomechanics at TED MED 2012.

Sexual Dimorphism in Neural Circuitry.

I’m collaborating with Joseph Bergan (UMass Amherst) to describe the connectome of one subset of neurons in a sexually-relevant region of the brain.

Research Publications

Moore, B. C. and D. A. Kelly 2015. Histological investigation of the adult alligator phallic sulcus. S. Am. J. Herp. 10: 32-40.

Herdina, A. N., D. A. Kelly, H. Jahelkova, P. H. C. Lina, I. Horacek and B. D. Metscher 2015. Testing hypotheses of bat baculum function with 3D models derived from microCT. J. Anat. 226: 229 -235.

Kelly, D. A., M. M. Varnum, A. A. Krentzel, S. Krug and N. G. Forger 2013. Differential control of sex differences in estrogen receptor α in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and anteroventral periventricular nucleus. Endocrinology 154(10): 3836-3846.

Kelly, D. A. 2013. Penile anatomy and hypotheses of erectile function in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis): Muscular eversion and elastic retraction. Anat. Rec. 296: 488-494.

Seney, M., D. A. Kelly, B. D. Goldman, R. Sumbera and N. G. Forger. 2009. Social structure predicts genital morphology in African mole-rats. PLoS ONE 4: e7477.

Kelly, D. A. 2007. Penises as variable-volume hydrostatic skeletons. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1101: 453-463.

Kelly, D. A. 2004. Turtle and mammal penis designs are anatomically convergent. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271: S293-S295 

Kelly, D. A. 2002. The functional morphology of penile erection: tissue designs for increasing and maintaining stiffness. Integ. Comp. Biol. 42(2): 216-221.

Kelly, D. A. 2000. Anatomy of the baculum-corpus cavernosum interface in the laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus) and implications for force transfer during copulation. J. Morphol. 244: 69-77.

Kelly, D. A. 1999. Expansion of the tunica albuginea during penile inflation in the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). J. Exp. Biol. 202(3): 253-265.

Kelly, D. A. 1997. Axial orthogonal fiber reinforcement in the penis of the nine banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). J. Morphol. 233(3): 249-255.