User Profile

Name: Ronald Benner
Member Since: August 23rd, 2006
Member Name: Ronald.benner


Employment History

  • 1999 - present, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Marine Science Program, Univ. of South Carolina
  • 1998 - 1999, Professor and Senior Research Scientist, Department of Marine Science and Marine Science Institute, Univ. of Texas at Austin
  • 1993 - 1998, Associate Professor, Department of Marine Science, Univ. of Texas at Austin
  • 1990 - 1993, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Science, Univ. of Texas at Austin
  • 1987 - 1998, Research Scientist, Univ. of Texas Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, TX
  • 1986 - 1987, Research Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, Georgia
  • 1984 - 1986, Postdoctoral Associate, Institute of Ecology, Univ. of Georgia

Professional Activities (since 2000)

  • Review Editor for Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 2006-2010
  • Associate Editor for Limnology and Oceanography, 1999-2004
  • Panel Chair for the NOAA- and EPA-sponsored symposium, Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Assessing the State of the Science, New Orleans, April 25-27, 2006
  • Chair of the A. C. Redfield Award (Lifetime Achievement) committee for the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, 2004-2007
  • Member of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) Fleet Improvement Committee 2003-2006
  • Member of the NSF-sponsored Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program Synthesis committee 2003
  • Co-Organizer of the symposium, New Approaches in Marine Organic Biogeochemistry, Friday Harbor Laboratory, Washington 2003, and Guest Editor of the special issue of Marine Chemistry (vol. 92 issues 1-4) dedicated to the proceedings of the symposium.
  • Member of the NSF-sponsored Ocean Carbon Transport, Exchanges and Transformations (OCTET) Committee 2000
  • Organizer of the symposium, Origin and Reactivity of Dissolved Organic Matter, Ocean Sciences 2000 Meeting (AGU/ASLO), San Antonio, TX 2000


Honors and Awards

  • 2005 University of South Carolina Educational Foundation Award for Research in Science, Mathematics and Engineering
  • 2005 Thompson-ISI listing as one of the world’s most cited and influential researchers during the past 20 years (

Peer-Reviewed Publications (since 2000)


  • Tremblay, L., and R. Benner. 2006. Microbial contributions to N-immobilization and organic matter preservation in decaying plant detritus. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta., 70: 133-146.
  • Hernes, P.J., and R. Benner. 2006. Sources and fluxes of terrigenous organic matter in the North Atlantic Ocean and North Atlantic Deep Water. Mar. Chem., 100: 66-79.
  • Hertkorn N., R. Benner, P. Schmitt-Kopplin, M. Witt, K. Kaiser, M. Frommberger, A. Kettrup, J. I. Hedges. 2006. Characterization of a major refractory component of marine dissolved organic matter. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta., 70: 2990-3010.
  • Kawasaki, N., and R. Benner. 2006. Bacterial release of dissolved organic matter during cell growth and decline: molecular origin and composition. Limnol. Oceanogr., in press.
  • Maie, N., K. J. Parish, A. Watanabe, H. Knicker, R. Benner, T. Abe, K. Kaiser and R. Jaffe. 2006. Characterization of dissolved organic nitrogen in an oligotrophic subtropical coastal ecosystem. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, in press.


  • Benner, R., P. Louchouarn, and R.M.W. Amon. 2005. Terrigenous dissolved organic matter in the Arctic Ocean and its transport to surface and deep waters of the North Atlantic. Global Biogeochem. Cycles. 19, GB2025, doi:10.1029/2004GB002398.
  • Sannigrahi, P., E. D. Ingall, and R. Benner. 2005. Cycling of dissolved and particulate organic matter at station Aloha: Insights from 13C NMR spectroscopy coupled with elemental, isotopic and molecular analyses. Deep-Sea Res. I. 52: 1429-1444.
  • Smith, E. M. and R. Benner. 2005. Photochemical transformations of riverine dissolved organic matter: Effects on estuarine bacterial metabolism and nutrient demand. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 40: 37–50, 2005.
  • Davis, J. and R. Benner. 2005. Seasonal trends in the abundance, composition and bioavailability of particulate and dissolved organic matter in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and western Canada Basin. Deep-Sea Res. II, 52: 3396-3410.
  • Kaiser, K., and R. Benner. 2005. Hydrolysis-induced racemization of amino acids. Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods, 3: 318-325.
  • Overpeck J. T. and 23 co-authors. 2005. Arctic system on trajectory to new, seasonally ice-free state. Eos, 86 (34): 309-313.
  • Cooper, L.W., R. Benner, J.W. McClelland, B.J. Peterson, R.M. Holmes, P.A. Raymond, D.A. Hansell, J.M. Grebmeier, and L.A. Codispotti. 2005. Linkages among runoff, dissolved organic carbon, and the stable oxygen isotope composition of seawater and other water mass indicators in the Arctic Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. 110, G02013, doi:10.1029/2005JG000031, 2005.


  • Benner, R., B. Benitez-Nelson, K. Kaiser, and R. M. W. Amon. 2004. Export of young terrigenous dissolved organic carbon from rivers to the Arctic Ocean. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L05305, doi:10.1029/2003GL019251.
  • Benner, R. 2004. What happens to terrestrial organic matter in the ocean? Mar Chem. 92: 307-310.
  • Obernosterer, I., and R. Benner. 2004. Competition between biological and photochemical processes in the mineralization of dissolved organic carbon. Limnol. Oceanogr.. 49: 117-124.
  • Dagg, M., R. Benner, S. Lohrenz, and D. Lawrence. 2004. Transformation of dissolved and particulate materials on continental shelves influenced by large rivers: plume processes. Cont. Shelf Res. 24: 833-858.
  • Ziegler, S., E. Kaiser, and R. Benner. 2004. Dynamics of dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in a seagrass meadow of Laguna Madre, Texas. Bull. Mar. Sci., 75; 391-407.
  • Burns, K. A., P. Greenwood, R. Benner, D. Brinkman, G. Brunskill, S. Codi, and I. Zagorskis. 2004. Organic biomarkers for tracing carbon cycling in the Gulf of Papua (Papua New Guinea). Cont. Shelf Res. 24: 2373-2394.
  • McCarthy, M. D., R. Benner, C. Lee, J. I. Hedges, and M. L. Fogel. 2004. Amino acid carbon isotopic fractionation patterns in oceanic dissolved organic matter: an unaltered photoautotrophic source for dissolved organic nitrogen in the ocean? Mar Chem., 92: 123-134.
  • Kim, S., L. A. Kaplan, R. Benner, and P. G. Hatcher. 2004. Hydrogen deficient molecules in natural riverine water samples - evidence for the existence of black carbon in DOM. Mar. Chem., 92: 225-234.
  • Lee, C., S. G. Wakeham, and R. Benner. 2004. Symposium on new approaches in marine organic biogeochemistry: a tribute to the life and science of John I. Hedges. Mar. Chem. 92: 1-3.


  • Benner, R., and K. Kaiser. 2003. Abundance of amino sugars and peptidoglycan in marine particulate and dissolved organic matter. Limnol. Oceanogr. 48: 118-128.
  • Amon, R. M. W., and R. Benner. 2003. Combined neutral sugars as indicators of the origin and diagenetic state of dissolved organic matter in the Arctic Ocean. Deep-Sea Res. I 50, 151-169.
  • Wakeham, S. G., T. K. Pease, and R. Benner. 2003. Hydroxy fatty acids in marine dissolved organic matter as indicators of bacterial membrane material. Org. Geochem. 34: 857-868.
  • Obernosterer, I., N. Kawasaki, and R. Benner. 2003. Phosphate limitation of respiration in the Sargasso Sea and uncoupling of P cycling in size fraction experiments. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 32: 229-237.
  • Benner, R. 2003. Molecular indicators of the bioavailability of dissolved organic matter, pp. 121-137, In: Aquatic Ecosystems: Interactivity of Dissolved Organic Matter, S.E.G. Findlay and R.L. Sinsabaugh (eds.), Academic Press.
  • Hernes, P. J., and R. Benner. 2003. Photochemical and microbial degradation of dissolved lignin phenols: Implications for the fate of terrigenous dissolved organic matter in marine environments. J. Geophys. Res., 108 (C9), doi: 10.1029/2002JC001421, 2003.


  • Benner, R. 2002. Chemical composition and reactivity, pp. 59-90, In: Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter, D. Hansell and C. Carlson (eds), Academic Press.
  • Hernes, P. J., and R. Benner. 2002. Transport and diagenesis of dissolved and particulate terrigenous organic matter in the North Pacific Ocean. Deep-Sea Res. I 49: 2119-2132.


  • Ogawa, H., Y. Amagai, I. Koike, K. Kaiser, and R. Benner. 2001. Production of refractory dissolved organic matter by bacteria. Science 292: 917-920.
  • Benner, R., and S. Opsahl. 2001. Molecular indicators of the sources and transformations of dissolved organic matter in the Mississippi River plume. Org. Geochem. 32: 597-611.
  • Kolowith, L. C., E. D. Ingall, and R. Benner. 2001. Composition and cycling of marine organic phosphorus. Limnol. Oceanogr. 46: 309-320.
  • Amon, R. M. W., H.-P. Fitznar, and R. Benner. 2001. Linkages among the bioreactivity, chemical composition, and diagenetic state of marine dissolved organic matter. Limnol. Oceanogr. 46: 287-297.
  • Hernes, P. J., R. Benner, G. L. Cowie, M. A. Goñi, B. A. Bergamaschi, and J. I. Hedges. 2001. Tannin diagenesis in mangrove leaves from a tropical estuary: A novel molecular approach. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 65: 3109-3122.
  • Routh, J., E. L. Grossman, E. M. Murphy, and R. Benner. 2001. Characterization and origin of dissolved organic carbon in Yegua groundwater in Brazos County, Texas. Ground Water, 39: 760-767.


  • Benner, R., and S. Ziegler. 2000. Do photochemical transformations of dissolved organic matter produce biorefractory as well as bioreactive substrates? pp. 181-192, In : Microbial Biosystems: New Frontiers, Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology. C. R. Bell, M. Brylinsky, and P. Johnson-Green (eds), Atlantic Canada Society for Microbial Ecology, Halifax, Canada.
  • Ziegler, S., and R. Benner. 2000. Effects of solar radiation on dissolved organic matter cycling in a subtropical seagrass meadow. Limnol. Oceanogr. 45: 257-266.
  • Kaiser, K., and R. Benner. 2000. Determination of amino sugars in environmental samples with high salt content by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography and pulsed amperometric detection. Anal. Chem. 72: 2566-2572.
  • Pakulski, J. D., R. Benner, T. Whitledge, R. Amon, B. Eadie, L. Cifuentes, J. Ammerman, and D. Stockwell. 2000. Microbial metabolism and nutrient cycling in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River plumes. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 50: 173-184.
  • Louchouarn, P., S. Opsahl, and R. Benner. 2000. Isolation and quantification of dissolved lignin from natural waters using solid-phase extraction (SPE) and GC/MS. Anal. Chem. 72: 2780-2787.
  • Hedges, J. I., E. Mayorga, E. Tsamakis, M. E. McClain, P. Quay, J. E. Richey, R. Benner, S. Opsahl, B. Black, T. Pimentel, J. Q. Aguirre, and L. Maurice. 2000. Organic matter in Bolivian tributaries of the Amazon River: A comparison to the lower mainstream. Limnol. Oceanogr. 45: 1449-1466.

Contact Information:

Ronald Benner
Department of Biological Sciences and Marine Science Program
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208