Dr Benkendorff's research program is focused on the bioresource value of marine molluscs.
She has been researching the biology and chemistry of Muricidae family of predatory marine snails over the last 20 years. This research provides evidence to support the ethnomedical uses of these snails as well as identifying them as exciting new leads for the development of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.
She has also made significant contributions towards assessing the impacts of climate change of seafood quality and human impacts on intertidal reefs, using marine molluscs as indicators. She has developed a suite of assays for assessing disease resistance in molluscs to reduce mortality in aquaculture and uses biochemical analysis with multivariate statistics to assess changes in biochemical profiles of molluscs under stress.
Dr Benkendorff has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and is an Associate Editor for Marine Drugs and Nature Scientific Reports. She is on the council for the Australasian Malacological Society (Vice President 2009-2015).