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College of Arts & Sciences
School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Ronald Benner

Carolina Distinguished Professor
School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment

Phone Number: 803-777-9561
Office: SUM 346
Research Areas: Biogeochemistry & Geochemistry
Climate Change
Research Summary:

My research focuses on the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous cycles in aquatic environments, from wetlands to the open ocean. Experimental approaches are used to characterize biogeochemical processes and the roles of microorganisms as key players in the production and transformation of organic matter. Geochemical approaches are used to integrate processes over space and time.  I advise graduate students in Marine Sciences.

Curriculum vitae: Download PDF
Ronald Benner


MSCI 102: The Living Ocean (Honors) MSCI 503/BIOL 502: Environmental Microbiology MSCI 753/BIOL 752: Marine Biogeochemistry

Recent Publications:

Fichot, C. G., R. Benner, K. Kaiser, Y. Shen, R.W.M. Amon, H. Ogawa, and C-J. Lu. 2016.  Predicting dissolved lignin phenol concentrations in the coastal ocean from chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption coefficients. Frontiers Mar. Sci., 3:7. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00007.

Philben, M., S. Ziegler, K. Edwards, R. Kahler III, and R. Benner. 2016. Rates of soil organic nitrogen cycling increase with temperature and precipitation along a boreal forest latitudinal transect. Biogeochem., DOI 10.1007/s10533-016-0187-7

Shen, Y., C. Fichot, S-K. Liang, and R. Benner. 2016. Biological hot spots and the accumulation of dissolved organic matter in a highly productive ocean margin.  Limnol. Oceanogr., 61: 1287-1300, doi: 10.1002/lno.10290

Benner, R., and R. Amon. 2015. The size-reactivity continuum of major bioelements in the ocean. Ann. Rev. Mar. Sci., 7: 185-205.

Lechtenfeld, O. J., N. Hertkorn, Y. Shen, M. Witt, and R. Benner. 2015. Marine sequestration of carbon in bacterial exometabolites. Nature Communications, 6:6711 doi: 10.1038/ncomms7711.

Shen, Y., F. H. Chapelle, E. W. Strom, and R. Benner. 2015. Origins and bioavailability of dissolved organic matter in groundwater. Biogeochemistry 122: 61-78.

Fichot, C., and R. Benner. 2014. The fate of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon in a river-influenced ocean margin.  Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 28, doi:10.1002/2013GB004670.

Philben, M., K. Kaiser, and R. Benner. 2014. Biochemical evidence for minimal vegetation change in peatlands of the West Siberian Lowland during the Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age.  J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 119, doi:10.1002/2013JG002396.

Fichot, C., S. E. Lohrenz, and R. Benner. 2014. Pulsed, cross-shelf export of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon to the Gulf of Mexico.  J. Geophysical Res.,119, doi: 10.1002/2013JC009424.

Fichot, C. G., K. Kaiser, S. B. Hooker, R. M. W. Amon, M. Babin, S. Bélanger, S. A. Walker, and R. Benner.  2013. Pan-Arctic distributions of continental runoff in the Arctic Ocean. Sci. Rep. 3 (Nature Publ. Group), 1053: DOI:10.1038/srep01053 (2013).

Fichot, C., and R. Benner. 2012. The spectral slope coefficient of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (S275−295) as a tracer of terrigenous dissolved organic carbon in river-influenced ocean margins. Limnol. Oceanogr., 57: 1453-1466.

Shen, Y., C. Fichot, and R. Benner. 2012. Floodplain influences on dissolved organic matter composition and export from the lower Mississippi-Atchafalaya River system to the Gulf of Mexico.  Limnol. Oceanogr., 57: 1149-1160.