The use of benthic foraminifera in paleoenvironmental studies was started as indicators of paleowater depth or water mass. With application of new technology, two different microhabitats of benthic foraminifera have been distinguished: epifauna vs〖KG*2〗infauna, and it was found that even deepwater benthic foraminifera respond to seasonal ephemeral changes caused by surface planktonic bloom for the supply of organic matter to the sea bottom. Benthic foraminifera are now widely used for estimation of surface productivity of the ocean and the oxygen content of the bottom water. This paper reviews the historical development of ecological studies on deepsea benthic foraminifera and their use in paleoceanography, with emphasis on new approaches and new technology. Since China has joined such deepsea research programs as IODP, some new directions in benthic foraminiferal studies are proposed to the Chinese community.