Professor of Chemistry
Chair, Department of Chemistry
Ph.D., University of Maryland
M.S., University of Connecticut
B.A., Connecticut College
My research focuses on the biogeochemistry of mercury (Hg) and other trace metals in estuaries and wetlands with emphasis on pore water reactions and transport, sediment-water exchange, and chemical and biological controls on Hg methylation. My most recent publication reports on a project with Professor Cato (Biology Department) studying Hg transformations in one of the campus vernal pools.
I’ve also begun a collaborative investigation with Professor Kirkpatrick (Psychology Department) on the effects of methylmercury toxicity. Along with a team of research students, we’re examining behavioral (Kirkpatrick lab) and biochemical (Benoit lab) changes in mice associated with methylmercury exposure. Some of our results were presented at the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Edinburgh, Scotland in Aug 2013.
I frequently teach Chem 153 Chemical Principles, Chem 232 Aqueous Equilibria, Chem 303 Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry, and Chem 332 Instrumental Analysis.
Benoit, J.M., D.A. Cato, K.C. Denison, and A.E. Moreira. 2013. Seasonal Mercury Dynamics in a New England Vernal Pool. Wetlands. 33:887-894.
Benoit, J.M., D.H. Shull, R.M. Harvey and S.A. Beal. 2009. Effect of bioirrigation on sediment-water exchange of methylmercury in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. Environmental Science and. Technology. 43:3669-3674.
Shull, D.H., J.M. Benoit, C. Wojcik, and J.R. Senning. 2009. Infaunal burrow ventilation rates and pore-water transport in muddy sediments. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 83:277-286.
Benoit, J.M., D.H. Shull, P. Robinson and L.R. Ucran. 2006. Infaunal burrow densities and sediment monomethyl mercury distributions in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. Marine Chemistry. 102:124-133.
Ekstrom, E.B., F.M.M. Morel and J.M.Benoit. 2003. Mercury methylation independent of the Acetyl-CoA Pathway in sulfate-reducing bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:5414-5422.
Benoit, J.M. C.C. Gilmour, A. Heyes, R.P. Mason and C.L. Miller. 2003. Geochemical and biological controls over methylmercury production and degradation in aquatic ecosystems. In: Biogeochemistry of Environmentally Important Trace Elements, Y. Cai and O.C. Braids, Eds., American Chemical Society Symposium Series 835, pp 262-297.
Lamborg, C.H., W.F. Fitzgerald, A.W.H. Damman, J.M. Benoit, P.H. Balcom and D.R. Engstrom. 2002. Modern and historic atmospheric mercury fluxes in both hemispheres: Global and regional mercury cycling implications. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 16:1104-1114.