Michael Benedict, Ph.D.

Conservation Director and Interim Director of the James H. Barrow Field Station and Northwoods Field Station, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Michael Benedict


Michael Benedict is an ecologist with particular interests in landscape, forest, and wetland ecology. He is certified in geographic information systems (GIS) and has strong interest in applying mapping technologies and integrating multidisciplinary information to broad-scale issues and conservation. He teaches a variety of courses (such as Ecology, Humans & the Environment, GIS Applications, Landscape Ecology and Management, and Grant writing). Many of his courses and his research with students on forest ecology and watersheds at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station emphasize developing practical skills. He is also actively engaged in science education initiatives and the use of technology in learning.


  • B.S., Universidade Santa Úrsula, Brazil
  • M.S.,University of Toledo
  • PH.D.,University of Toledo

Research Interests

My main research interests focus on two different scales. At the landscape level, how do processes such as land use patterns and fragmentation change over time and how they relate to the integrity of aquatic systems? At the local level, how does the structure and diversity of plant communities change over space and time?

Selected Publications

  • Benedict, M., Grace D’Angelo*, Nathaniel Frances*, Bryan Nemire*, Matthew Hils. Edge Effects in a South-Facing Successional Beech-Maple Forest: Preliminary Findings. Poster abstract from the Ohio Natural History Conference, Ohio Biological Survey, Columbus, OH, February 23, 2013.
  • Fichter, J.*, M. Benedict, L. Oliphant. VirtuaForest: A Tool for Simple and Versatile Tree Data Visualization. Proceedings of the 2011 Midstates Conference on Undergraduate Research in Computer Science and Mathematics, Granville, OH, November 19, 2011.
  • Benedict, M., Matthew Hils, Brittany Blum*, Olivia Hess*, Jemika Kastee*, Timothy Luttermoser*, Regeant Panday*. Long-Term Forest Monitoring at James H. Barrow Field Station, Hiram, Ohio. Poster abstract from the Ohio Natural History Conference, Ohio Biological Survey, Sunbury, OH. February 19, 2011.
  • Fortney, R.H., M. Benedict, J.F. Gottgens, T. Walters, B. Leady, and J. Rentch. 2004. Aquatic plant community composition and distribution along an inundation gradient at two ecologically-distinct sites in the Pantanal region of Brazil. Wetlands Ecology and Management 12: 575-585.
  • Gottgens, J.F., J.E. Perry, R.H. Fortney, J.E. Meyer, M. Benedict, and B.E. Rood. 2001. The Paraguay-Paraná Hidrovia: Protecting the Pantanal with Lessons from the Past. BioScience 51 (4): 301-308.

*undergraduate student collaborators

Fun Facts

  • My wife and I enjoy gardening, keeping our backyard pretty wild, and watching (and naming) our “pet” wildlife.
  • I was an avid rock climber in college, going up mountains like the Sugar Loaf in my hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • I was a snorkeling and scuba diving instructor.

Additional Links

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