Associate Professor Kirsten Benkendorff

B.Sc. (Hons 1st class, Mq)
Ph.D. (UoW)

Research Summary

Dr Kirsten BenkendorffDr Benkendorff's research program is focused on the bio resource value of marine molluscs. She has made significant contributions towards the development of marine molluscs as indicators for assessing human impacts on intertidal reefs. She has developed a suite of assays for assessing disease resistance in molluscs to reduce mortality in aquaculture and predict the effects of global climate change. She is also investigating the development of marine molluscs for human medicine and has identified a promising anticancer agent that is currently undergoing preclinical trials. Dr Benkendorff is the Vice president of the Australasian Malacological Society.


  • 2011 Dorothy Hill Award from the Australian Academy of Science
  • 2008 SA Young Tall Poppy Award, Australian Institute of Policy and Science
  • 2001 N.S.W. Young Australian of the Year Award for the Environment, NSW National Australia Day Council
  • 2000 Young Australian of the Year Award for Science and Technology, National Australia Day Council


A/Prof. Benkendorff has attracted over $6million in research funding. Recently funded projects include:

Philanthropic Foundation. Preclinical testing of purified muricid mollusc extract in rodent models for colorectal cancer.

Abalone Industry. Biochemical changes associated with browning and pruning in cooked abalone.

Teaching and Supervision

A/Prof Benkendorff is the School Director of Higher Degree Research and is Unit assessor for Ecology in the School of Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University. She teaches undergraduate units including Aquaculture and Marine Communities as Sentinals of Change.  A/Prof Benkendorff has successfully supervised 12 PhD students, 2 Masters of Biotechnology and 30 Honours students to completion and currently supervises 10 PhD students and 1 Masters students.

Recent Publications