Doran I.G. Bennett

Assistant Professor


Office: 253 Heroy Science
Phone: 214-768-2957
Email: doranb[@]
Professional website:

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2013; B.S./M.S., University of Chicago, 2007


  • Assistant Professor, Southern Methodist University, 2019
  • Postdoc, Harvard University, 2015-2019
  • Senior Chemist, Dow Chemical Company, 2013-2015

Research Interests

Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Photophysics, Systems Biology

The Bennett Lab develops mechanistic descriptions of complex, condensed phase processes, from light harvesting to cellular metabolism. Using multiscale models and systematic coarse-graining, the lab distills broad arrays of experimental data into the underlying principles. We select problems from across scientific disciplines, though two particular areas of emphasis are the photophysics of materials and the membrane-bound electron transport process that drives both photosynthesis (plants creating oxygen) and respiration (cells using oxygen). Our toolsets blend quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and more specialized model building approaches tailored to specific questions. Visit our research page to learn more.

Selected Publications

  1. D.I.G. Bennett, G. R. Fleming, K. Amarnath "Energy-dependent quenching adjusts the excitation diffusion length to regulate photosynthetic light harvesting" PNAS, 115 E9523 (2018).

  2. S. Blau, D.I.G. Bennett, C. Kreisbeck, G. Scholes, A. Aspuru-Guzik "Local protein solvation drives direct down-conversion in phycobiliprotein PC645 via incoherent vibronic transport" PNAS, 115 E3342 (2018).

  3. D.I.G. Bennett, P. Maly, C. Kreisbeck, R. van Grondelle, A. Aspuru-Guzik "Mechanistic regimes of vibronic transport in a heterodimer and the design principle of incoherent vibronic transport in phycobiliproteins" J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 10 2665 (2018).

  4. K. Amarnath, D.I.G. Bennett, A. Schneider, G. R. Fleming "Multiscale Model of Light Harvesting by Photosystem II in Plants" PNAS, 113 1156 (2016).

  5. D.I.G. Bennett, K. Amarnath, G. R. Fleming "A structure based model of energy transfer reveals the principles of light harvesting in photosystem II supercomplex" JACS 135, 9164 (2013).


  • CIFAR postdoctoral fellowship
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Goldwater Scholar
  • Beckman Scholar