Benjamin J. Greenstein

Benjamin J. Greenstein, Ph.D.Dean of the School of Social and Natural Sciences

Contact Information


Ph.D. and M.S. in Geology, University of Cincinnati
B.A. in Geology and Film Studies, University of Rochester

Ben Greenstein is an invertebrate paleontologist and has spent his career teaching and conducting research with undergraduate students in modern tropical coral reef environments. Prior to coming to RWU, Greenstein spent 20 years as a member of the geology faculty at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He has taught a marine geology class annually in the Bahamas and conducted research with undergraduates in the Bahamas, Florida Keys, Bonaire, Curacao, the Great Barrier Reef and in Western Australia. Greenstein’s work in the mid-1990’s involved two, 10-day, saturation dives using NOAA’s Aquarius Underwater Laboratory offshore from Key Largo, Florida. He has published numerous papers related to how coral reefs are preserved as fossils and using the fossil record of coral reefs to observe how reefs responded to climate change in the past. The results then may be used to predict the response of the modern coral reef system to climate change and inform marine management policy.

Greenstein has served as Associate Dean and member of the President’s Council at Cornell College, where he was also the Director for the Cornell Summer Research Institute and designed a summer academic program for high school students. Greenstein serves as a reviewer for publications such as National Geographic Society, Journal of Paleontology, National Science Foundation, and many more. He is also a recipient of the Smith College Faculty Teaching Award.

Recent Publications

Escaping the Heat: Range Shifts of Reef Coral Taxa in Coastal Western Australia

Taphonomy of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish: Implications for Recognizing Ancient Population Outbreaks

Shifting Ecological Baselines and the Demise of Acropora cervicornis in the Western North Atlantic and Caribbean Province: A Pleistocene Perspective

Taphonomic Alteration of Reef Corals: Effects of Reef Environment and Coral Growth Form II: The Florida Keys

The Palaeoceanography of the Leeuwin Current: Implications for a Future World