Burton H. Jones

Principal Investigator

Professor, Marine Science​​​​



Prof. Burt Jones leads the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center. As a faculty member of the Red Sea Research Center, he initates and directs several biophysical projects on behalf of the Center. Specific research interests include biological oceanography, physical/biological interactions, ocean optics, ocean observing, nutrient cycles, coastal urban issues, integrated observation and modeling.

Research Interests

Professor Jones’ research interests include bio-optical oceanography, physical-biological interactions, coastal processes, and coastal ocean observing systems. He has been involved in studying the dynamics of physical and biological interactions in a variety of environments throughout the world. Recently, he has focused on the physical and biological processes in marginal seas including research in the Adriatic Sea, Japan/East Sea, the Philippine Seas, and now the Red Sea. While in southern California, he led efforts directed toward understanding the effects of anthropogenic inputs from major urban areas on the biological and chemical processes in the coastal ocean through a combination of ocean observations, remote sensing and numerical modeling. He has also collaborated on the observing and modeling the oceanographic processes contributing to harmful algal blooms. Development of instrument systems and implementation of ocean observing networks has been a major technological thrust of his efforts. At KAUST he is extending these efforts to understand the physical and biogeochemical processes within the Red Sea, the interaction of the open sea with the coastal coral reef systems, and developing a basis for managing future use of the Red Sea. 

Selected Publications

  • Ansari, M. I., M. Harb, B. Jones, and P. Y. Hong (2015), Molecular-based approaches to characterize coastal microbial community and their potential relation to the trophic state of Red Sea, Scientific Reports5, doi:Artn 9001 Doi 10.1038/Srep09001.
  • Brewin, R. J. W., D. E. Raitsos, G. Dall'Olmo, N. Zarokanellos, T. Jackson, M.-F. Racault, E. Boss, S. Sathyendranath, B. H. Jones, and I. Hoteit (2015), Regional ocean-colour chlorophyll algorithms for the Red Sea, Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • Jones, B., E. Teel, B. Seegers, and M. Ragan (2015), Observing, Monitoring and Evaluating the Effects of Discharge Plumes in Coastal Regions, in Intakes and Outfalls for Seawater Reverse-Osmosis Desalination Facilities, edited by T. Missimer, B. Jones and T. Pankrantz, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-13203-7_22.
  • Seegers, B. N., J. M. Birch, R. Marin, C. A. Scholin, D. A. Caron, E. L. Seubert, M. D. A. Howard, G. L. Robertson, and B. H. Jones (2015), Subsurface seeding of surface harmful algal blooms observed through the integration of autonomous gliders, moored environmental sample processors, and satellite remote sensing in southern California, Limnology and Oceanography, n/a-n/a, doi:10.1002/lno.10082.
  • Caron, D. A., et al. (2014), Response of the phytoplankton and bacterial communities during a wastewater effluent diversion into nearshore coastal waters, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
  • Howard, M. D., K. McLaughlin, J. Smith, B. Seegers, D. A. Caron, A. G. Gellene, B. H. Jones, M. Mengel, G. L. Roberston, and E. Seubert (2014a), Widespread assimilation of anthropogenic nitrogen from wastewater effluent evident in particulate organic matter, zooplankton and toxic blooms in coastal Southern California, Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science
  • Howard, M. D. A., M. Sutula, D. Caron, Y. Chao, J. Farrara, H. Frenzel, B. Jones, G. Robertson, K. McLaughlin, and A. Sengupta (2014b), Anthropogenic nutrient sources rival natural sources on small scales in the coastal waters of the Southern California Bight, Limnology and Oceanography59(1), 285-297, doi:10.4319/lo.2014.59.1.0285.
  • Seegers, B., E. Teel, R. M. Kudela, D. A. Caron, and B. H. Jones (2014), Glider and remote sensing perspective of the upper layer response to an extended shallow coastal diversion of municipal wastewater effluent., Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science
  • Kim, S. Y., et al. (2013), Poleward propagating subinertial alongshore surface currents off the US West Coast, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans118(12), 6791-6806, doi:Doi 10.1002/Jgrc.20400.
  • Reifel, K. M., A. A. Corcoran, C. Cash, R. Shipe, and B. H. Jones (2013), Effects of a surfacing effluent plume on a coastal phytoplankton community, Continental Shelf Research60, 38-50, doi:Doi 10.1016/J.Csr.2013.04.012.
  • Schnetzer, A., B. H. Jones, R. A. Schaffner, I. Cetinic, E. Fitzpatrick, P. E. Miller, E. Seubert, and D. Caron (2013), Coastal upwelling linked to toxic Pseudo-nitzschia australis blooms in Los Angeles coastal waters, 2005 - 2007, Journal of Plankton Research, doi:10.1093/plankt/fbt051
  • Seubert, E. L., A. G. Gellene, M. D. A. Howard, P. Connell, M. Ragan, B. H. Jones, J. Runyan, and D. A. Caron (2013), Seasonal and annual dynamics of harmful algae and algal toxins revealed through weekly monitoring at two coastal ocean sites off southern California, USA, Environ Sci Pollut R20(10), 6878-6895, doi:Doi 10.1007/S11356-012-1420-0.
  • Seubert, E. L., S. Trussell, J. Eagleton, A. Schnetzer, I. Cetinić, P. Lauri, B. H. Jones, and D. A. Caron (2012), Algal toxins and reverse osmosis desalination operations: Laboratory bench testing and field monitoring of domoic acid, saxitoxin, brevetoxin and okadaic acid., Water Research46(19), 6563-6573, doi:DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2012.09.042​


  • Ph.D., Duke University.
  • B.Sc., Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.   

Professional Profile

  • 2012-Present: Professor, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia​
  • 1980-2012: Professor, University of Southern California, USA
  • 1992-1993: Visiting fellow, NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, USA​
  • 1977-1980: Post-doctoral fellow Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, USA

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • ​American Geophysical Union
  • Association for the Sciences of Limonology and Oceanography
  • The Oceanography Society

Research Interests Keywords

Biological networks and interactions Environment modeling Marine ecology Scientific visualization Fluid mechanics Networks and wireless communications Sensors