Cynthia C. Bennington

Professor of Biology

Cindy Bennington has conducted ecological research in Alaska, West Virginia, New Jersey and Florida. At Stetson, she teaches ecological and botanical courses and actively engages students in research on the ecology of arctic and temperate plant species. She also involves Stetson students in environmental service-learning projects both on and off campus. Currently, she and Dr. Karen Cole, the director of the Gillespie Museum, are leading an effort to plant trees and shrubs in an area adjacent to the museum, with the goal of establishing a "Teaching Landscape" that recreates a small portion of the longleaf pine ecosystem that historically dominated the sandhills of central Florida. 


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Princeton University, 1994-1996
  • Ph.D., West Virginia University, 1994
  • M.S., West Virginia University, 1990
  • B.S., West Virginia University, 1984

Course Topics

  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Flora of Florida
  • Plant Ecology
  • Environmental Biology

Research Interests

  • Gender expression in passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
  • Ant-plant mutualisms in passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) 
  • Implications of ecotypic variation for the response of tundra plants to climate change. 


  • Chandler, J. L., J. B. McGraw, C. C. Bennington, G. R. Shaver, M. C. Vavrek, and N. Fetcher. 2014. "Tiller population dynamics of reciprocally-transplanted Eriophorum vaginatum L. ecotypes in a changing climate." Population Ecology (published online here.)
  • Matthews, C., T. *Marchbanks, and C. C. Bennington. 2014. "Inducibility and tradeoffs in defense traits of a common perennial vine (Passiflora incarnata)." Florida Scientist 77(2): 98-108.
  • Bennington, C. C., *R. Burnett, and J. Jett. 2012. "Predator sense and prey defense: a lab exercise in evolutionary hypothesis formulation and experimentation." Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching (available here.)
  • Bennington, C. C. and T. M. Farrell. 2012. "Common Ground for Three Cultures: Concordance Among Students, Non-Science Faculty, and Science Faculty on Perceptions of Science Course Goals." MountainRise: The International Journal for Teaching and Learning.
  • Peterson, C. A., N. Fetcher, J. B. McGraw, and C. C. Bennington. 2012. "Clinal variation in stomatal characteristics of an Arctic sedge, Eriophorum vaginatum L. (Cyperaceae)." American Journal of Botany 99:1-10.
  • Bennington, C. C., N. Fetcher, M. C. Vavrek, G. R. Shaver, K. Cummings and J. B. McGraw. 2012. "Home site advantage in two long-lived arctic plant species: Results from two thirty-year reciprocal transplant studies." Journal of Ecology 100: 841-851.
  • Mondo, P., *K. D. Marshall Mattson, and C. C. Bennington. 2010. "The effect of shrubs on the establishment of an endangered perennial (Asclepias curtissii) endemic to Florida scrub." Southeastern Naturalist 9(2): 259-274.
  • Konstantinidis, N., J. Duffy, and C. C. Bennington. 2010. "Biological defense in Passiflora incarnata: Evidence for a chemical defense against ant defenders." Florida Scientist. 73:1-9.
  • Bennington, C. C. 1996. "Environment-dependence of quantitative genetic parameters in Impatiens pallida." Evolution 50:1083-1097.
  • Bennington, C. C. and J. B. McGraw. 1995. "Natural selection and ecotypic differentiation in Impatiens pallida." Ecological Monographs 65(3):303-323.

Cynthia Bennington

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