Office: 1117 IGB
Telephone: 217-244-0941
Email: claire at

About Claire

Claire Benjamin earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree in advertising while working for the RIPE, TERRA-MEPP, and WEST projects. She began her career as a science writer at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Her stories have been picked up by CNNYahoo News, Wired, Smithsonian Magazine, Motherboard, and other publications. Her work has been recognized with several communications awards, including the Marian and Barney Brody Creative Feature Article Writing Award and the University of Illinois’ Award for Communications and Marketing Excellence (ACME) in Social Media. As the communications coordinator, she works to increase the visibility of several research projects affiliated with the Long Lab.


Master of Advertising
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013-2017)

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010-2013)

Professional Experience

Communications Coordinator, RIPE | PETROSS | TERRA-MEPP | WEST
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(2015 – Present)

Media Communications Specialist, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomics Biology
University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (2013 – 2015)