Michael Benedetti

Associated Researcher

Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington NC 28403

  (001) 9109627650

Research Interests

Dr. Benedetti is a physical geographer with interests in geomorphology, Quaternary geology, and Paleolithic geoarchaeology. His research investigates the response of soils, sediments, and landforms to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. His recent projects have focused on late Quaternary sea level and climate change, landscape change in archaeological settings, and the influence of floods on sediment transport in large rivers.

Short Bio

• Ph.D., M.S., University Of Wisconsin (2000).
• A.B., University Of Chicago (1991).

• Professor, Earth & Ocean Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Research Grants, US National Science Foundation
• Inquiry into the origins of modern human distributions. (BCS-1725015, 2017-2020).
• Neanderthal and modern human response to environmental change at the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, Lapa do Picareiro, Portugal. (BCS-1420453, 2014-2017).
• Human responses to Late Pleistocene coastal environmental change in Portuguese Estremadura (BCS-1118183, 2011-2014).

Grants and Awards, UNC Wilmington
• Undergraduate Research Awards: Spring 2016, Summer 2013.
• Research Reassignment Awards: Fall 2016; Spring 2009.
• Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award: 2014.
• Office of International Programs, Faculty Travel Awards: 2006-17.

Advising - Student Research
• 5 graduate thesis, 6 undergraduate honors thesis, and 28 independent study projects advised.
• 10 peer-reviewed publications with student co-authors.
• Over 40 professional presentations with student co-authors.
• 4 Research Experiences for Undergraduates supplement grants, U.S. National Science Foundation.

Professional Service 
• Editorial Boards: The North Carolina Geographer, Explorations - The North Carolina Undergraduate Research Journal.
• Grant Proposal Technical Committees: Water Resources Research Institute of North Carolina (2002); Environmental Protection Agency (2006); National Science Foundation (2012).

Key Publications

• Taylor, A.K., Benedetti, M.M., Haws, J.A. and Lane, C.S. (2017). Mid-Holocene Iberian hydroclimate variability and paleoenvironmental change: molecular and isotopic insights from Praia Rei Cortiço, Portugal. Journal of Quaternary Science, 33(1): 79-92.  Link

• Spencer, J., Jones, K.B., Gamble, D.W., Benedetti, M.M., Taylor, A.K. and Lane, C.L. (2017). S Late-Quaternary records of vegetation and fire in southeastern North Carolina from Jones Lake and Singletary Lake. Quaternary Science Reviews, 174: 33-53.  Link

• Bicho, N., Haws, J., Raja, M., Madime, O., Gonçalves, C., Cascalheira, J., Benedetti, M., Pereira, T. and Aldeias, V. (2016). Middle and Late Stone Age of the Niassa Region, Northern Mozambique: preliminary results. Quaternary International, 404 (Part B): 87-99.  Link

• Minckley, T.A., Haws, J.A., Benedetti, M.M., Brewer, S.C. and Forman, S.L. (2015). Last interglacial vegetation and climate history from the Portuguese coast. Journal of Quaternary Science, 30(1): 59-69. Link

• Pereira, T. and Benedetti, M.M. (2013). A model for raw material management as a response to local and global environmental constraints. Quaternary International, 318: 19-32. Link

• Conyers, L.B., Daniels, J.M., Haws, J.A. and Benedetti, M.M. (2013). An Upper Paleolithic landscape analysis of coastal Portugal using ground penetrating radar. Archaeological Prospection 20(1): 45-51. Link

• Ghoneim, E., Benedetti, M.M. and El-Baz, F. (2012). An integrated remote sensing and GIS analysis of the Kufrah Paleoriver, Eastern Sahara. Geomorphology 139-140: 242-257. Link

• Benedetti, M.M., Beach, T. and Cordova, C. (2011). Soils, sediments, and geoarchaeology: introduction. Catena, 85: 83-86.

• Haws, J.A., Benedetti, M.M., Funk, C.L., Bicho, N.F., Daniels, J.M., Hesp, P.A., Minckley, T.A., Forman, S.L., Jeraj, M., Gibaja, J.F. and Hockett, B.S. (2010). Coastal wetlands and Neanderthal settlement of Portuguese Estremadura. Geoarchaeology, 25: 709-744. Link

• Benedetti, M.M., Haws, J.A., Funk, C.L., Daniels, J.M., Hesp, P.A., Bicho, N.F., Minckley, T.A., Ellwood, B.B. and Forman, S.L. (2009). Late Pleistocene raised beaches of coastal Estremadura, central Portugal. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28(27-28): 3428-3447.  Link

• Rauscher, S.A., Pal, J.S., Diffenbaugh, N.S. and Benedetti, M.M. (2008). Future changes in runoff timing over the western United States. Geophysical Research Letters, 35(16): L16703. Link

• Benedetti, M.M., Daniels, J.M. and Ritchie, J.C. (2007). Predicting vertical accretion rates at an archaeological site on the Mississippi River floodplain: Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa. Catena, 69(2): 134-149.  Link

• Benedetti, M.M., Raber, M.J., Smith, M.S. and Leonard, L.A. (2006). Mineralogical indicators of alluvial sediment sources in the Cape Fear River basin, North Carolina. Physical Geography, 27(3): 258-281.  Link

• Benedetti, M.M. (2003). Controls on overbank deposition in the Upper Mississippi River. Geomorphology, 56(3-4): 271-290.  Link 


Ongoing research projects

• Geoarchaeological investigations and excavation of Lapa do Picareiro cave site, Portugal.
• Stone Age geoarchaeology and paleoenvironmental change in Mozambique.
• Soil geomorphology and paleoenvironmental change in the Cape Fear River valley, North Carolina USA.