Mark BenfieldMark C. Benfield

Position: Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences

Phone: 225-578-6372

Fax: 225-578-6513


Office: 2271 Energy, Coast and Environment Building, Lab: ECE 2266

Bachelor's Degree(s): B.S. University of Toronto, 1980

Master's Degrees(s): M.S. University of Natal, 1985

Ph.D.(s): Ph.D. Texas A&M University, 1991


Research Interests:

Zooplankton ecology, optical and acoustic sensing of zooplankton, computer-based classification of zooplankton, acoustical telemetry studies of fish and invertebrates, application of industrial remotely operated vehicles (ROV) in biological observatories.

Classes Taught:

OCS 2008. Introduction to Marine Life Processes (every Spring)
OCS 2011. Introduction to Matlab for Coastal Sciences

Awards & Honors:

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Post-doc (Biology Department)

Selected Publications:

Hoving, H.J.T., L.D. Zeidberg, M.C. Benfield, S.L. Bush, B.H. Robison, and M. Vecchione. 2013. First in situ observations of the deep-sea squid Grimalditeuthis bonplandi reveal unique use of tentacles. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 20131463.

Benfield, M.C., S. Cook, S. Sharuga, and M.M. Valentine. 2013. Five in situ observations of live oarfish (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Fish Biology, doi:10.1111/jfb.12144.

Culverhouse, P., N. MacLeod, R. Williams, M. Benfield, R. Lopes and M. Picheral. 2013. An empirical assessment of the consistency of taxonomic identifications. Marine Ecology Progress Series, DOI:10.1080/17451000.2013.810762.

Bi, H., S. Cook, H. Yu., M.C. Benfield, and E.D. Houde.  2013. Deployment of an imaging system to investigate fine-scale spatial distribution of early-life stages of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Plankton Research, 35: 270 – 280, DOI:10.1093/plankt/fbs094.

Ianson, D., S.E. Allen, D.L. Mackas, M.V. Trevorrow and M.C. Benfield. 2011. Response of Euphausia pacifica to small-scale shear in turbulent flow over a sill in a fjord. Journal of Plankton Research, 33: 1679-1695.

Bi, H., K.A. Rose, and M.C. Benfield. 2011. Estimating copepod stage-specific mortality rates in open-ocean waters: a case study from the northern Gulf of Mexico, USA. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 427: 145 – 159.

MacLeod, N., M.C. Benfield, and P.F. Culverhouse. 2010. Time to automate identification. Nature, 467: 154 – 155.

Benfield, M.C. and W.M. Graham. 2010. In situ observations of Stygiomedusa gigantea in the Gulf of Mexico with a review of its global distribution and habitat. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 90: 1-15.

Brown, H., M.C. Benfield, S.F. Keenan, and S.P. Powers. 2010. Movement patterns and home ranges of a pelagic carangid fish, Caranx crysos, around a petroleum platform complex. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 403: 205 – 218.

Benfield, M.C., J.H. Caruso, and K.J. Sulak. 2009. In situ video observations of two manefishes (Perciformes: Caristiidae) in the mesopelagic zone of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Copeia. 2009(4): 637 – 641.

Benfield, M.C., B.A.Thompson and J.H. Caruso. 2008. The second report of a sleeper shark (Somniosus (Somniosus) sp.) from the bathypelagic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science, 82(2): 195 – 198.

Lavery, A., P.H. Wiebe, T. Stanton, G. Lawson, M.C. Benfield, and N. Copley. 2007. Determining dominant scatterers of sound in mixed zooplankton populations. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 122: 3304 – 3326.

Benfield, M.C., P. Grosjean, P.G. Culverhouse, X. Irigoien, M.E. Sieracki, A. Lopez-Urrutia, H.G. Dam, Q. Hu, C.S. Davis, A. Hansen, C.H. Pilskaln, E. Riseman, H. Schultz, P.E. Utgoff, and G. Gorsky. 2007. RAPID: Research on automated plankton identification. Oceanography, 20(2): 172 – 187.

Keenan, S.F., M.C. Benfield, and J. K. Blackburn. 2007. Potential importance of the artificial light field around offshore petroleum platforms for the associated fish coammunity. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 331:219 – 231.