University of South Carolina College of Arts & Sciences Marine Science Program School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment



Marine Science Program University of South Carolina 712 Main Street, PSC 108, Columbia, SC 29208

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Benner, Ronald


Carolina Distinguished Professor, Marine Science Program and Biological Sciences

Director, Marine Science Program

Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1984.

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SUM 346



My research focuses on the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous cycles. Microorganisms play key roles in biogeochemical cycles through the production, transformation and consumption of organic matter. Photochemical transformations influence the cycling of bioactive elements, and the coupling of photochemical and microbial processes are also being investigated.

Recent Publications:

Kaiser, K., and R, Benner. 2012. Organic matter transformations in the upper mesopelagic zone of the North Pacific: chemical composition and linkages to microbial community structure. J. Geophys. Res., 117, C01023,doi: 10.1029/2011JC007141.

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.

Flerus, R., B.P. Koch, O.J. Lechtenfeld, S.L. McCallister, P. Schmitt-Kopplin, R. Benner, K. Kaiser, G. Kattner. 2012. A molecular perspective on the ageing of marine dissolved organic matter.  Biogeosciences, 9: 1935–1955.

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.

Kaiser, K., and R, Benner. 2012. Characterization of lignin by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry using a simplified CuO oxidation method. Anal. Chem., 84: 459-464.

Matsuoka, A., A. Bricaud, R. Benner, J. Para, R. Sempéré, L. Prieur, S. Bélanger and M. Babin. 2012. Tracing the transport of colored dissolved organic matter in water masses of the Southern Beaufort Sea: relationship with hydrographic characteristics.  Biogeosciences, 9: 925-940.

Shen, Y., C. G. Fichot, and R. Benner. 2012. Dissolved organic matter composition and bioavailability reflect ecosystem productivity in the western Arctic Ocean. Biogeosciences, 9: 4993-5005.

Chapelle, F.H., P.M. Bradley, P.B. McMahon, K. Kaiser, and R. Benner. 2012. Dissolved oxygen as an indicator of bioavailable dissolved organic carbon in groundwater. Ground Water, 50: 230-241.

Xie H., S. Bélanger, G. Song, R. Benner, A. Taalba, M. Blais, V. Lefouest, J.-É Tremblay, M. Babin. 2012. Photoproduction of ammonium in the southeastern Beaufort Sea and its biogeochemical implications. Biogeosciences, 9: 3047-3061.

Huang, Q., K. Kaiser, and R. Benner. 2012. A simple HPLC method for the measurement of nucleobases and the RNA and DNA content of cellular material. Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods, 10: 608-616.

Ortega-Retuerta, E., W. H. Jeffrey, M. Babin, S. Bélanger, R. Benner, D. Marie, A. Matsuoka, P. Raimbault, and F. Joux. 2012. Carbon fluxes in the Canadian Arctic: patterns and drivers of bacterial abundance, production and respiration on the Beaufort Sea margin. Biogeosciences, 9: 3679-3692. 


Courses Taught:

MSCI 102: The Living Ocean (Honors)

MSCI 503/BIOL 502: Environmental Microbiology

MSCI 753/BIOL 752: Marine Biogeochemistry