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Catherine Benson

Katie is a broadly trained conservation biologist with expertise in wetland restoration ecology, fish and wildlife management, and environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis. Her doctoral dissertation focused on characterizing the ecological value of public-private partnership wetland restorations in the St. Lawrence River Valley of New York. Currently, Katie’s research interests are focused on using eDNA metabarcoding and qPCR to monitor fish and wildlife use of aquatic ecosystems. She is involved in eDNA projects monitoring mammals in the Southwest Borderlands region of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico and characterizing fish communities in the Chesapeake Bay. Katie teaches courses in support of the general education curriculum, and the biology, environmental science, and nursing degree programs, and is a Co-PI on the NSF Scholarships in STEM High-Intensity Student Engagement Model (NSF S-STEM Award #1643498) program.


  • B.S., Environmental Science and Policy, Clarkson University
  • M.S., Environmental Science and Engineering, Clarkson University
  • Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Biotechnology, Clarkson University

Research Interests

  • Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Wetland Restoration
  • eDNA Analysis


A few jaguars now roam the Arizona borderlands—why that’s a big deal. 25 Jul 2022. National Geographic, available from:

Valente MJ, Benson CE, Chmiel MR, Lewis MR, Peatman E, Eaton HL. 2021. A case of mistaken identity: Genetic and morphological evidence for the Coosa Bass (Micropterus coosae) in the Verde River, Arizona. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.
Benson CE, Eaton HL. 12 Mar 2020. Integrating molecular techniques into the wildlife management classroom: a joint course-based undergraduate research experience between students in molecular biology and wildlife management techniques. 13th Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources (Missoula, Montana)
Benson CE, Carberry B, Langen TA. 2019. Public-private partnership wetland restorations provide quality forage for waterbirds in Northern New York. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.

Courses Taught

  • BIO100 – Fundamentals of Biology
  • BIO119 – Biology for Health Professionals
  • BIO120 – General Biology I
  • BIO121 – General Biology II


  • A.S., Biology
  • A.S., Environmental Science