man in blue shirt at lab bench with coral

Dr Ross Jones

Senior Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader
Tropical Ecotoxicology
(08) 6369 4015
+61-8-6369 4015


I completed my PhD at James Cook University (1992-1996) and then completed two ARC postdoctoral fellowships at The University of Sydney (1996-2000) and The University of Queensland (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' Western Australia office in Perth.


1988 BSC (Joint Honours) Oceanography with Biology, Southampton University, UK
1996 PhD James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Employment History

Senior Principal Research Scientist, AIMS (2009-current)

Research Scientist, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (Bermuda, 2004-2009)

ARC Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry), University of Queensland (Australia, 2000-2004)

ARC Postdoctoral Fellow (Research) University of Sydney (Australia, 1999-2000)

Postdoctoral position, The University of Sydney (Australia, 1996-2000)


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.

Other Activities


Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) Dredging Science Node Leader (Science) (2012-2019)

Member of the Dredging Technical Advice Panel (DTAP) for the Chevron Wheatstone Project and Independent Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) for the Port of Townsville Chanel Upgrade project

Adjunct Associate Professor University of Western Australia

Since 2015 - Research Team Leader (AIMS) for Tropical ecotoxicology and risk assessment in Program 2 (Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia)


Visit Dr Ross Jones Google Scholar profile here 

Jones R, Pineda M-C, Luter HM, Fisher R, Francis D, Klonowski W, Slivokoff M (2021) Underwater light characteristics of turbid coral reefs of the inner central Great Barrier Reef. Frontiers in Marine Science 8:727206. https://doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.727206

Jones R, Wakeford M, Currey-Randal, L, Miller K, Tonin H (2021). Drill cuttings & drilling fluids transport, fate and effects in a coral reef mesophotic zone. Marine Pollution Bulletin 172, 112717.

Jones RJ, Giofre N, Luter HM, Neoh TL, Fisher R, Duckworth A (2020) Responses of corals to chronic turbidity. Scientific Reports.

Jones RJ, Fisher R, Bessell-Browne P (2019) Sediment deposition and coral smothering. PLoS ONE

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

Jones RJ, Ricardo G, AP N (2015a) Effects of sediments on the reproductive cycle of corals. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

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

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. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

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.

Jones RJ (2010) Environmental contamination associated with a marine landfill ('seafill') beside a coral reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

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

Jones RJ (2007) Chemical contamination of a coral reef by the grounding of a cruise ship in Bermuda. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Jones RJ, Bowyer J, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Blackall LL (2004) Dynamics of a temperature-related coral disease outbreak. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Jones RJ, Kerswell AP (2003) Phytotoxicity of Photosystem II(PSII) herbicides to coral. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Jones RJ, Heyward AJ (2003) The effects of Produced Formation Water (PFW) on coral and isolated symbiotic dinoflagellates of coral. Marine and Freshwater Research.

Jones RJ, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2001) Diurnal changes in the photochemical efficiency of the symbiotic dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae) of corals: photoprotection, photoinactivation and the relationship to coral bleaching. Plant, Cell & Environment.

Jones RJ, Kildea T, Hoegh-Guldberg O (1999) PAM chlorophyll fluorometry: a new in situ technique for stress assessment in scleractinian corals, used to examine the effects of cyanide from cyanide fishing. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Jones RJ, Hoegh‐Guldberg O, Larkum A, Schreiber U (1998) Temperature‐induced bleaching of corals begins with impairment of the CO2 fixation mechanism in zooxanthellae. Plant, Cell & Environment.

Jones RJ, Yellowlees D (1997) Regulation and control of intracellular algae (= zooxanthellae) in hard corals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Jones RJ (1997) Zooxanthellae loss as a bioassay for assessing stress in corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series.