Senior Research Scientist
Coral Biologist, Ecotoxicologist
TEAM 2.3 Leader: Impacts of Sediments and Dredging
PROGRAM 2: Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia
I completed my PhD at James Cook University (1992-1996), and then postdoctoral fellowships at The University of Sydney (ARC fellowship 1996-2000) and at The University of Queensland (ARC-Industry Fellowship 2000-2004). During these periods, I researched the response of the coral-algal symbiosis to altered environmental conditions including heat, light and osmotic stress, and in response to xenobiotics such as herbicides, copper, cyanide & effluent from the offshore oil and gas industry. In 2004 I took up a faculty position at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) where I was Principal Investigator of the government funded Marine Environmental Program. This involved designing and implementing various long-term monitoring programs (water quality, seawater temperature, ecological surveys), as well as ecotoxicological studies and surveys of contaminant concentrations. In 2009, I returned to Australia to take up my present position at AIMS-WA in Perth.
  • 1988: BSC (Joint Honours) Oceanography with Biology, Southampton University, UK
  • 1996: PhD James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Current Research Activities
My major research interest is the biology of the coral-algal symbiosis and understanding and quantifying how the relationship changes during altered environmental conditions (natural and anthropogenic). I am involved in developing ways to examine and quantify the condition of corals in both laboratory-based setting (i.e. for determining water quality criteria for reefal ecosystems) and in the field (i.e. examining dredging or construction-related activity, or point/diffuse source pollution). Much of my work now is associated with the examining the effects of sediments from dredging on corals, seagrass and sponges.
Expert Committees and Boards
Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) Dredging Science Node Leader (Science)
Member of the Dredging Technical Advice Panel (DTAP) for the Chevron Wheatstone Project
GBRMPA Expert Panel on Effects of Dredging
Over 70 technical reports and science papers in international journals. The following are a selection of most recent publications:

Jones R, Bessell-Browne P, Fisher R, Klonowski W, Slivkoff M (2016) Assessing the impacts of sediments from dredging on corals. Marine Pollution Bulletin 102: 9-29

Burns KA, Jones R (2016) Assessment of sediment hydrocarbon contamination from the 2009 Montara oil blow out in the Timor Sea. Environmental Pollution 21:214-225

Jones R, Ricardo G, Negri AP (2015) Effects of sediments on the reproductive cycle of corals. Marine Pollution Bulletin 100:13-33

Jones R, Fisher R, Stark C, Ridd P (2015) Temporal patterns in water quality from dredging in tropical environments. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0137112

Fisher R, Stark C, Ridd P, Jones R (2015) Spatial patterns in water quality changes during dredging in tropical environments. PloS ONE 10(12): e0143309

Ricardo G, Jones R, Clode P, Humanes A, Negri A (2015) Suspended sediments limit coral sperm availability. Scientific Reports 5: 18084

Jones RJ, Johnson, R, Noyes T, Parsons R (2012) Spatial and temporal patterns of coral black band disease in relation to a major sewage outfall (in Bermuda) Marine Ecology Progress Series 462:79-92

Jones RJ, Parsons R, Watkinson E, Kendell D (2011) Sewage contamination of a densely populated coral 'atoll' (Bermuda). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 179:309-324

Jones RJ (2011) Environmental effects of the cruise tourism boom: sediment resuspension from cruise ships and the possible effects of increased turbidity and sediment deposition on corals (Bermuda). Bulletin of Marine Science 87:659-679

Jones RJ (2011) Spatial patterns of chemical contamination (metals, PAHs, PCBs, PCDDs/PCDFS) in sediments of a non-industrialized but densely populated coral atoll/small island state (Bermuda). Marine Pollution Bulletin 62: 1362-1376

Jones R (2011) Environmental effects of the cruise tourism boom: sediment resuspension from cruise ships and the possible effects of increased turbidity and sediment deposition on corals (Bermuda). Bulletin of Marine Science 87:659-679

Jones RJ (2008) Coral bleaching, bleaching-induced mortality, and the adaptive significance of the bleaching response. Marine Biology 154: 65-8

Jones RJ (2005) The ecotoxicological effects of Photosystem II herbicides on corals. Marine Pollution Bulletin 51: 495

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