Professor Bene Willie Abbey was born at Degema, Rivers State of Nigeria to Mr. Israel Willie Bob-Manuel and Mrs. Celia Willie Bob-Manuel, both of whom were teachers. She attended Tombia School, Tombia and AME Zion School, Okporowo-Odiabibi for her primary education.

Thereafter, she attended the renowned and prestigious Secondary School of the then Eastern Nigeria, Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls Secondary School (ACMGS), Elelenwo. She equally attended Nigeria’s foremost university, the University of Ibadan, graduating in 1972 with BSc (Hons.) 2nd Class Upper Division in Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Ibadan, she achieved and enjoyed the status of ‘University Scholar’. By 1976 she had bagged a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

Prof. Bene Willie Abbey joined the University of Port Harcourt in 1980, as Lecturer/and rose to become the DVC(Research and Development) – a position where she has been responsible for the advancement of research and scholarly activities, with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations with academic, governmental, and industrial partners. Prior to joining the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Bene Willie Abbey had had two major research experiences. One was at the University of Nottingham, England (1976-1978), where she had industrial experience during her postdoctoral research fellowship and the other, at the National Institute of Trypanosomiasis (N.I.T.R) in Kaduna and Vom (1978-1980). At the University of Nottingham, she contributed to the realization of leading-edge research on the efficacy of single-cell protein manufactured by Imperial Chemicals Industries (ICI), England as a replacement for fish meal in animal feeds. As Head of Biochemistry Department at the Institute of Trypanosomiasis (N.I.T.R) in Kaduna and Vom, she initiated several research works including a proposal ‘Chemotherapy of Onchoceciasis’ which re-activated the dormant Department. She is a distinguished Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry and Toxicology at the University of Port Harcourt, and the immediate past Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. She led the efforts in making the School of Graduate Studies the largest and most productive research enterprise of the university.

Prof. Abbey’s academic experience also includes the pioneer Head of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Port Harcourt, Director, School of Basic Studies, University of Port Harcourt and the first Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development). In public service, she was one time Rivers State Commissioner for Information & Tourism (1989-1991) where she established the Rivers State Television Channel 22UHF. She was Pioneer Director of Studies of Biochemistry of the old School of Chemical Sciences, Pioneer Member of Board of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Abuja and Pioneer Member of the Steering Committee of the West African Research & Innovation Management Association (WARIMA) among others.

She has conducted research in toxic substances in plant foods, general toxicology, food processing and preservation, biofuel wastes to wealth and environmental pollution.

Prof. Abbey is Professor Emeritus from October, 2021 at the University of Port Harcourt. At present, Prof. Abbey is on Contract Appointment at the Department of Biochemistry, Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State.