Brooke Benson

Brooke Benson

Graduate Student


I am interested in how marine organisms adapt to their environments and their capacity to persist under global change. I use a combination of lab experiments, field research, physiology, and genomics to investigate patterns of evolution in natural populations spanning a myriad of environmental gradients. My dissertation research leverages two systems of marine foundation species: the temperate eelgrass Zostera marina and reef-building corals of the genus Acropora. I am deeply interested in the connections between science, policy, and societies, especially the ways in which we can improve human and environmental health by strengthening these connections.

I was born and raised near Durham, North Carolina, and I lived in Boston for a couple years working as a lab manager before starting my Ph.D. I am fortunate to have consistently experienced supportive mentorship, and my experiences have highlighted how central equity and accessibility are to good science. As a colleague and mentor, I aim to help maintain an atmosphere of inclusion, empathy, and justice.

My favorite ways to spend my free time are hiking, playing guitar, and hanging out with my dog and cat.

  • Evolution
  • Ecological Genomics
  • Science Policy
  • BA in Environmental Studies, 2017

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill