About EPA

About the Director of EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL)

William H. Benson, Acting

William H. Benson, Ph.D., serves as Acting Director of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development. In that capacity, Dr. Benson is responsible for coordinating health and ecological effects research in NHEERL, and working with national research programs, offices, laboratories, and centers to assure integrated research vital to the future of environmental protection. Dr. Benson has held various positions since joining the Agency in 1999, including Associate Director for Ecology for NHEERL, Director of NHEERL's Gulf Ecology Division, acting Chief Scientist in the Office of the Science Advisor, Interim Laboratory Director for the National Exposure Research Laboratory and acting Associate Assistant Administrator.

Prior to joining the Agency, Dr. Benson spent 15 years in academia. Dr. Benson's research has been directed towards assessing the influence of environmental stressors on health and ecological integrity. He has conducted research in the areas of metal and pesticide bioavailability, reproductive and developmental effects in aquatic organisms, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and use of indicators in assessing health and ecological integrity. In addition, he has published extensively on topics focusing on environmental toxicology and chemistry.

Dr. Benson obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida Institute of Technology. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Toxicology were obtained from the University of Kentucky. While in graduate school, he was the first recipient of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Pre-Doctoral Fellowship sponsored by The Procter & Gamble Company. Dr. Benson is a Past President of SETAC and has served on the International Council of SETAC. Dr. Benson was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is active in several other professional societies, including the Society of Toxicology.