Field of Focus
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Indicators
  • Pollution
  • Public Health
  • Sustainable Development
  • Decision, Risk and Management Science
Area of Expertise
Physical, Chemical and Biological Dynamics of Coastal Wetlands, Estuaries and Near-shore Marine Environments
  • B.S. Biology, Florida Institute of Technology, FL, USA, 1976
  • M.S. Toxicology, University of Kentucky, KY, USA, 1980
  • Ph.D. Toxicology, University of Kentucky, KY, USA, 1984

Director of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory’s Gulf Ecology Division within the U.S. Environmental protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. In that capacity, Dr. Benson is responsible for directing research on the physical, chemical and biological dynamics of coastal wetlands and estuaries, to access ecological condition, determine causes of affected and declining systems, predict future ecological risks, and support development of criteria to protect coastal environments.

Dr. Benson’s research activities have been directed towards assessing the influence of environmental stressors on health and ecological integrity. He has conducted research in the areas of metal and pesticide bioavailability, reproductive and developmental effects in aquatic organisms, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and use of indicators in assessing health and ecological condition. In addition, he has published over 100 scientific publications focusing on environmental toxicology and chemistry.

Dr. Benson serves as Co-Chair of the Science Policy Council Coordinating Committee for Development of Genomics Technical Framework and Training within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is a member of the Steering Team for the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute Committee on the Application of Genomics to Mechanism-Based Risk Assessment. In addition, he currently serves as Chair of Dow Chemical Company’s Technical Advisory Board, responsible for reviewing specific research programs of its Toxicology and Environmental Research and Consulting Laboratory. Dr. Benson also serves as a member of the National Advisory Panel for the Oceans and Human Health Initiative of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Benson is a Past President of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and has served on the International Council of SETAC. Dr. Benson was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is active in several other professional societies, including the Society of Toxicology.