Senior Resource Group Member Spotlight: Bill Benson
Matt Moore, Senior Resource Group
This month, the Senior Resource Group (SRG) is proud to highlight the accomplishments and career of William H. (Bill) Benson, who currently serves as Acting Director for the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. In this capacity, Benson is responsible for coordinating health and ecological effects research at NHEERL and working with national research programs, offices, laboratories and centers to assure integrated research vital to the future of environmental protection.
Prior to joining the agency, Benson spent 15 years in academia at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of Mississippi. His research activities have been directed towards assessing the influence of environmental stressors on health and ecological integrity. He has conducted research in the areas of metal and pesticide bioavailability, reproductive and developmental effects in aquatic organisms, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and use of indicators in assessing health and ecological integrity.
Benson is a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology and the University of Kentucky. While in graduate school, he was the first recipient of SETAC’s Pre-Doctoral Fellowship sponsored by The Procter & Gamble Company. Additionally, he has served as SETAC North America President and on the SETAC World Council. Benson was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is active in several other professional societies, including the Society of Toxicology. Recently, the University of Mississippi named a graduate student award in honor of his achievements.
Bill is quick to give credit to the impact of SETAC on the development and sustainability of his career:
“Along the way, participation in Pellston workshops were instrumental in growing as a scientist and leader in environmental toxicology and chemistry. Rich Di Giulio and I co-chaired the first joint SOT–SETAC Pellston in interconnections between human health and ecological integrity. As an academic, SETAC was ‘the place’ to have my graduate students and post-docs highlight their work and begin their careers in science. Now, while being in government service, SETAC continues to be an effective and influential mechanism to have academia, government, private sector and NGOs work together to solve today’s environmental problems. SETAC is an incubator for great people, innovative ideas and a fulfilling career in science, no doubt.”
The mission of the SRG is to identify, cultivate and mentor future SETAC leaders, as well as document the society’s history and evolution of environmental science. If you are interested in becoming a member of the SRG, or if you simply want more information about the group, please contact Laura Swanson.
Author’s contact information: Matt.Moore@ars.usda.gov
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