Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson - University of South Carolina
Title: Neurotoxins and the Environment. Understanding the Production, Cycling and Fate of Domoic Acid Along the California Coast.
Dr. Benitez-Nelson is also highly regarded as a teacher and mentor, having received the National Faculty of the Year Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in 2005 and the University of South Carolina’s Mungo Teaching Award in 2006. In 2013, Dr. Benitez-Nelson was named the University of South Carolina’s Distinguished Professor of the Year and in 2014 received the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring from the Biogeosciences Section of the American Geophysical Union. In 2015, she was named a fellow of the AAAS, one of the highest honors in the sciences that a researcher can receive. At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Benitez-Nelson served as both the Undergraduate Director and Director of USC’s Marine Science Program, doubling undergraduate enrollment and increasing the number of faculty. She is regularly called upon by national and international scientific and policy agencies for her expertise and currently serves or has served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Geoscience Directorate of NSF, the EPA Science Advisory Board, and the National Academy of Science’s Ocean Studies Board. Dr. Benitez-Nelson earned a B.S. in chemistry and oceanography from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program in 1999.