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Claire Benjamin

Claire Benjamin

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Office: 1117 IGB
Telephone: 217-244-0941


Claire Benjamin is a communications manager for several multi-million-dollar research projects in the Long Lab that are developing technologies to feed and fuel this century’s growing population despite a changing climate. She began her career as a science writer at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology where she wrote about DNA debunking war elephant myths, horrifying human parasites that burrow through our skin, and animal models paving the way for life-saving medical devices. Her stories have been picked up by the New York Times, CNN, Wired, Smithsonian Magazine, and others. Claire earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a master’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois.

Research Projects

Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE)
Plants Engineered to Replace Oil with Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS)
Mobile Energy-Crop Phenotyping Platform (MEPP)
Water Efficient Sorghum Technologies (WEST)


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 Manager
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2020 – Present)

Communications Coordinator 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015 – 2020)

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

The LongLab is supported by many public and private partnerships, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the UK Government's Department for International Development, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

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