Menu Close

Kirsten Benkendorff

Kirsten Benkendorff is a Professor at the National Marine Science Centre, Southern Cross University, Australia. She coordinates an interdisciplinary research program focused on sustainable use of the marine environment. Kirsten has made significant contributions towards assessing the impacts of ocean climate change and environmental contaminants on the health, nutritional quality and functional food properties of seafood species. Her current research includes assessing post-flood recovery, mitigating impacts from agricultural run-off, as well as optimising ecosystem services associated with oyster reefs and aquaculture, with the aim of improving water quality in estuaries. She is also investigating the use of marine molluscs for human medicine and has identified a promising anticancer and anti-inflammatory agent currently in preclinical trials. Kirsten has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers in international scientific journals a mentored a large and diverse team of postgraduate researchers. In recognition of her contributions to marine science, Kirsten was awarded the 2000 Young Australian of the Year Award in Science and Technology, a 2008 SA Young Tall Poppy Award, the 2011 Dorothy Hill Award from the Australian Academy of Science and has been named as one of the 2023 Superstars of STEM.


  • 2019–present
    Professor, Southern Cross University
  • 2014–2019
    Associate Professor in Marine Biology, Southern Cross University
  • 2010–2014
    Senior lecturer, Southern Cross University
  • 2003–2010
    Lecturer, Flinders University of South Australia


  • 1999 
    University of Wollingong, PhD, Biology and Chemistry


2023-24 Superstar of STEM, 2013 Dorothy Hill Award, Australian Academy of Science