Scott Benson

Scott Benson

Research Associate

Department: NOAA Marine Mammal and Turtle Division



phone: (831) 771-4154

office: Norte


Stationed at MLML, Scott is co-investigator of the SWFSC leatherback turtle ecology program and coordinates research on leatherbacks in central California and the Western Pacific.

As the lead investigator of the leatherback turtle ecology program and coordinates studies of the distribution, abundance, movement patterns, foraging ecology, and health of endangered western Pacific leatherback turtles along the U.S. West Coast and throughout the Pacific. His research integrates bio-telemetry, aerial surveys, vessel-based sampling, and satellite remote sensing to enhance understanding of how oceanographic processes influence the occurrence and behavior of this species, and to aid U.S. and international conservation and recovery efforts. Since 1986, Scott has been involved in ecological research and conservation of marine vertebrates in the Pacific Ocean, including integrated studies of marine mammals and seabirds along the U.S. West Coast. Stationed at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, his education includes a B.A. from San Diego State University and an M.S. in Marine Science from San Jose State University.


Curriculum Vitae:
Selected Publications
  • Benson, S.R., Tapilatu, R.F., Pilcher, N., Santidrián Tomillo, P., and Sarti Martinez, L. (In press). Leatherback turtle populations in the Pacific. In: Spotila, J. (Ed.), The Leatherback Turtle: Biology and Conservation. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Howell, E.A., Hoover, A., Benson, S.R., Bailey, H., Polovina, J.J., Seminoff, J.A., and Dutton, P.H. 2015. Enhancing the TurtleWatch product for leatherback sea turtles, a dynamic habitat model for ecosystem-based management. Fisheries Oceanography 24(1):57-68.
  • Roe, J. H., Morreale, S.J., Paladino, F.V., Shillinger, G.L., Benson, S.R., Eckert, S.A., Bailey, H., Tomillo, P.S., Bograd, S.J., Eguchi, T., Dutton, P.H., Seminoff, J.A., Block, B.A., and Spotila, J.R. 2014. Predicting bycatch hotspots for endangered leatherback turtles on longlines in the Pacific Ocean. Royal Society Proceedings B 2014 281, 20132559.

NOAA Marine Mammal and Turtle Division