Meet the team
My research is in benthic ecological pattern and process particularly related to both anthropogenic and natural disturbance. I am assessing disturbance related effects across a range of scales, from megafaunal and meiofaunal communities to individual organism physiology. Most of my research is field based, principally with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Some of my current research is listed in more detail below.
I have studied the megafaunal communities from the seashore to 2000 meters in depth in the Faroe-Shetland Channel and Norwegian Sea. The ecosystems in this area are highly diverse and spatially variable owing to the rapid changes in physical oceanography as warm Atlantic water overlays cold Arctic water. I first started work in the Faroe-Shetland Channel investigating the natural variations in the deep-water communities along the channel axis using a towed camera platform. Through my work with the SERPENT project I have led many ROV studies and been involved in several other investigations of the megafauna around the hydrocarbon fields throughout this area.
I also focused on a number of other areas including the Arctic (east Greenland, Iceland and the Barents Sea), Antarctica (Weddell Sea), west Africa (Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Angola, Nigeria), southern Europe (Portugal) and the tropical Americas (Bonaire, Bahamas and Atlantic Venezuela). This work has used a variety of techniques to assess benthic ecology including ROVs, AUVs, SCUBA diving, camera platforms, satellite imaging and vessel-based sampling.
Disturbance in the Deep Sea
The effects of both natural and anthropogenic disturbance across a range of scales has also been of interest to me. I concentrated on the effects of disturbance from oil and gas drilling activities in the deep-sea, or at least beyond the reach of divers. Through working closely with the key companies working in these areas with SERPENT, we have been able to access many newly disturbed and some recovering sites with highly capable work class ROVs. My initial interest was in describing the broad-scale community-level responses to disturbance but I am now principally using in situ experimental techniques, made possible with the manipulation capacity of the ROVs, to try and understand the responses of key benthic organisms to disturbance. I am also interested in experimentally assessing important ecosystem functions, such as bioturbation, and investigating how these are affected by disturbance. In addition, I have worked on iceberg and sediment related disturbance in the polar regions.
Ecological information that can be gained from seabed imaging, principally through photographs and video has also been of great interest. I developed and evaluated methodologies for image analysis from a variety of platforms to successfully investigate aspects of megafaunal communities throughout the world's oceans. My current work on broad-scale assessment and characterisation of marine communities uses acoustic and conventional imaging (habitat mapping and landscape ecology).
Carbon transfer to the deep-sea
At present I am engaged on a number of projects assessing the role of gelatinous organisms in carbon transfer to the deep sea. I think this represents an important and often ignored source of carbon for deep-water communities.
I am currently a senior researcher in the DEEPSEAS group at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. I have run the SERPENT project since 2006. I have a PhD in deep-water polar community ecology from the University of Southampton, a MSc in marine resource management (with distinction) from Heriot-Watt University and a BSc in marine biology (first class) from the University of Wales, Bangor. I am a trained commercial SCUBA diver.
Peer reviewed papers
35. Pape, E., Bezerra, T. N., Jones, D. O. B., and Vanreusel, A. (accepted) Unravelling the environmental drivers of deep-sea nematode biodiversity and its relation with carbon remineralisation along a longitudinal primary productivity gradient. Biogeosciences.
34. Jones, D. O. B., Alt, C. H. S., Priede, I. G., Reid, W. K., Wigham, B. D., Billett, D. S. M., Gebruk, A., Rogacheva, A. and Gooday, A. J. (accepted) Deep-sea surface-dwelling enteropneusts from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: their ecology, distribution and mode of life. Deep-Sea Research II.
33. Jones, D. O. B., Mrabure, C. and Gates, A. R. (accepted) Changes in deep-water epibenthic megafaunal assemblages in relation to seabed slope on the Nigerian margin. Deep-Sea Research I. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2013.04.005
32. Alt, C. H. S., Rogacheva, A., Boorman, B., Hughes, J. A., Billett, D. S. M., Gooday, A. J., Jones, D. O. B. (available online) Trawled megafaunal invertebrate assemblages from bathyal depth of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (48°-54°N). Deep-Sea Research II. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.02.003
31. Priede, I. G., Bergstad, O. A., Miller, P. I., Vecchione, M., Gebruk, A., Falkenhaug, T., Billett, D. S. M, Craig, J., Dale, A. C., Shields, M. A., Tilstone, G. H., Sutton, T. T., Gooday, A. J., Inall, M. E., Jones, D. O. B., Martinez-Vicente, V., Menezes, G. M., Niedzielski, T., Sigurðsson, Þ., Rothe, N., Rogacheva, A., Alt, C. H. S., Brand, T., Abell, R., Brierley, A. S., Cousins, N. J., Crockard, D., Hoelzel, A. R., Høines, Å., Letessier, T. B., Read, J. F., Shimmield, T., Cox, M. J., Galbraith, J. K., Gordon, J. D. M., Horton, T., Neat, F., Lorance, P. (accepted) Does presence of a Mid Ocean Ridge enhance biomass and biodiversity? PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061550
30. Pape, E., Jones, D. O. B., Manini, E., Bezerra, T. N., Vanreusel, A. (2013) Benthic-pelagic coupling: effects on nematode communities along southern European continental margins. PLoS ONE. 8(4): e59954. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059954
29. Bell, J. B., Jones, D. O. B. and Alt, C. H. S. (available online) Lebensspuren of the Bathyal Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Deep-Sea Research II. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2012.09.004
28. Gates, A. R. and Jones, D. O. B. (2012) Recovery of benthic megafauna from anthropogenic disturbance at a hydrocarbon drilling well (380 m depth in the Norwegian Sea). PLoS ONE. 7(10):e44114. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044114
27. Jones, D. O. B., Gates, A. R. and Lausen, B. (2012) Recovery of deep-water megafaunal assemblages from hydrocarbon drilling disturbance in the Faroe-Shetland Channel. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 461:71-82. DOI: 10.3354/meps09827
26. Moeseneder, M. M., Smith Jr., K. L. , Ruhl, H. A., Jones, D. O. B., Witte, U., Prosser, J. I. (2012) Temporal and depth-related differences in prokaryotic communities in abyssal sediments associated with particulate organic carbon flux. Deep-Sea Research I. 70:26–35. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2012.07.010.
25. Priede, I. G., Osborn, K. J., Gebruk, A. V., Jones, D. O. B., Shale, D., Rogacheva, A., Holland, N. D. (2012) Observations on torquaratorid acorn worms (Hemichordata, Enteropneusta) from the North Atlantic with descriptions of a new genus and three new species. Invertebrate Biology. 131(3):244–257. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7410.2012.00266.x
24. Jones, D. O. B. and Brewer, M. E. (2012) Response of megabenthic assemblages to different scales of habitat heterogeneity on the Mauritanian Slope. Deep-Sea Research Part I. 67:98-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2012.05.006
23. Gooday, A. J., Bett, B. J., Jones, D. O. B. and Kitazato, H. (2012) The influence of productivity on abyssal foraminiferal biodiversity. Marine Biodiversity. 42(4):415-431. DOI: 10.1007/s12526-012-0121
22. Gooday, A. J., Alt, C., Jones, D. O. B., Shale, D., Marsden, K. and Brasier, M. D. (available online) The ecology and biogeography of Discospirina tenuissima (Foraminifera) in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Deep-Sea Research II. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2012.05.001
21. Gates, A. R., Jones, D. O. B., Cartes, J. E. (2012) In situ video observations of benthic megafauna and fishes from the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea off Egypt. African Journal of Marine Science. 34(2):215-222. DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2012.675121
20. Relles, N. J., Jones, D. O. B., Mishra, D. (2012) Creating landscape-scale maps of coral reef cover for marine reserve management from high resolution multispectral remote sensing. GIScience & Remote Sensing. 49(2):251–274. DOI: 10.2747/1548-1603.49.2.251
19. Lebrato, M., Pitt, K. A., Sweetman, A. K., Jones, D. O. B., Cartes, J. E. (2012) Jelly-falls historic and recent observations: a synthesis to drive future research directions. Hydrobiologia. 690(1):227-245. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-012-1046-8
18. Hirai, J. & Jones, D. O. B. (2012) The temporal and spatial distribution of krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica) at the deep seabed of the Faroe-Shetland Channel, UK: a potential mechanism for rapid carbon flux to deep sea communities. Marine Biology Research. 8(1):48-60. DOI: 10.1080/17451000.2011.594891
17. Jones, D. O. B., Cruz-Motta, J. J., Bone, D, Kaariainen, J. I. (2012) Effects of oil drilling activity on the deep-water megabenthos of the Orinoco fan, Venezuela. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK. 92(2): 245–253. DOI: 10.1017/S0025315411001123
16. Lebrato, M., Pahlow, M., Oschlies, A., Pitt, K. A., Jones, D. O. B., Molinero, J-C. and Condon, R. H. (2011) Depth attenuation of organic matter export associated with jelly falls. Limnology & Oceanography. 56:1917-1928. DOI: 10.4319/lo.2011.56.5.1917
15. Hughes, S. J. M., Jones, D. O. B., Hauton, C., Gates, A. R. & Hawkins, L. E. (2010) An assessment of drilling disturbance on Echinus acutus var. norvegicus based on in-situ observations and experiments using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 395(1-2): 37-47
14. Lebrato, M., Iglesias-Rodriguez, D., Feely, R., Greeley, D., Jones, D. O. B., Suarez-Bosche, N., Lampitt, R., Cartes, J., Green, D., Alker, B. (2010) Global contribution of echinoderms to the marine carbon cycle: a re-assessment of the oceanic CaCO3 budget and the benthic compartments. Ecological Monographs. 80(3): 441-467
13. Lebrato, M. & Jones, D. O. B. (2009) Mass deposition event of Pyrosoma atlanticum carcasses off Ivory Coast (West Africa). Limnology and Oceanography. 54(4): 1197–1209
12. Jones, D. O. B. (2009) Using existing industrial remotely operated vehicles for deep-sea science. Zoologica Scripta 38(s1): 41-47
11. Jones, D. O. B., Bett, B. J., Wynn, R. B. and Masson, D. G. (2009) The use of towed camera platforms in deep-water science. International Journal of the Society for Underwater Technology. 28(2): 41-50
10. Dowdeswell, J. A., Evans, J., Mugford, R., Griffiths, G., McPhail, S. D., Millard, N., Stevenson, P., Brandon, M. A., Banks, C., Heywood, K. J., Price, M. R., Dodd, P. A., Jenkins, A., Nicholls, K. W., Hayes, D., Abrahamsen, E. P., Tyler, P. A., Bett, B. J., Jones, D. O. B., Wadhams, P., Wilkinson, J. P., Stansfield, K., Ackley, S. (2008) Instruments and Methods: Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and investigations of the ice-ocean interface: deploying the Autosub AUV in Antarctic and Arctic waters. Journal of Glaciology. 54(187): 661–672
Books and book chapters
Jamieson, A. J., Boorman, B. and Jones, D. O. B. (2013) Deep-Sea Sampling. In: Methods for the Study of Marine Benthos (Eds. A. Eleftheriou) 4th Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN: 978-0-632-05488-6. DOI: 10.1002/9781118542392.ch7
Jones, D. O. B. and Gates, A. R. (2010) Deep-sea life of Scotland and Norway. Ophiura press, UK. ISBN 978-0-9565832-0-8
Jones, D. O. B., Mrabure, C. & Gates, A. R. (2011) Using industrial remotely operated vehicles in stand-by time for deep-water biodiversity assessment: a case study from offshore Nigeria. Proceedings of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA, 30 October–2 November 2011. SPE 146439
Lebrato, M. & Jones, D. O. B. (2011) Expanding the oceanic carbon cycle: Jellyfish biomass in the biological pump. Biochemist. June 2011
Gates, A. R., Jones, D. O. B., Benfield, M., Roterman, C.N., Kröger, K., et al (2011) SERPENT Cruise Reports 2008-2010. National Oceanography Centre Cruise Report No. 02. 509pp
Jones, D. O. B. (2008) Exploring the last uncharted realm. Explorers Journal. Winter 2008.
Jones, D. O. B., McPhail, S. D., Bett, B. J., Flewellen, C. and Conquer, M. (2008) Seabed photography from an autonomous underwater vehicle. In: Collins, K. J. and Griffiths, G.(Eds) Proceedings of the International Workshop on Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Science in Extreme Environments held at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, 11-13 April 2007. London: Society for Underwater Technology. p 35-47
Gates, A. R., Jones, D. O. B., Benfield, M. R., Kaariainen, J., (2008) SERPENT Cruise Reports 2007. National Oceanography Centre, Southampton Cruise Report Series No. 30. 158 pp.
Jones, D. O. B. (2008) Exploration of the Deep Reefs of Bonaire. Explorers Club Flag Report. 44. Available online
Research Group (past and present)
Dr Andrew Gates, Dr Kerstin Kröger
Rob Curry, Lis Maclaren
Completed Ph.D. students: Claudia Alt*, Andrew Guerin, Noelle Relles
Current Ph.D. students: Alistair Brown, Charlie Main, Hanna Schuster*, Katleen Robert, Matteo Ichino
I was the lead supervisor for those marked with *
Completed Masters students: James Bell*, Mike Brewer*, Chris Croxson*, Claire Fletcher*, Chris Fletcher*, Eoin Gunningle*, Junya Hirai*, Marta Januszewska*, Mario Lebrato*, Moira MacLean*, Raeanne Miller, Martyn Papworth, Katie Pullen, Eleanor Richards*, C. Nicolai Roterman*, Clare Ward, S. N. Raedah H. Yakub*
Sabyasachi Sautya - NIO Goa, funded by InterRidge