Prof. Burton Jones

Professor of Marine Science
Director of Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center​

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

Rapid downward transport of the neurotoxin domoic acid in coastal waters

E. Sekula-Wood, A. Schnetzer, C. R. Benitez-Nelson, C. Anderson, W. M. Berelson, M.A. Brzezinski, J.M. Burns, D. A. Caron, I. Cetinic, J.L. Ferry, E. Fitzpatrick, B.H. Jones, P.E. Miller, S.L. Morton, R. A. Schaffner, D.A. Siegel, R. Thunell

Nature Geoscience 2, 272-275 (2009)


Tidally driven exchange in an archipelago strait: Biological and optical responses

B.H. Jones, C. M. Lee, G. Toro-Farmer, E. Boss, M. C. Gregg, and C. Villanoy

Oceanography, 24(1), 142-155 (2011)


Mapping the U.S. West Coast surface circulation: A multiyear analysis of high-frequency radar observations

S.Y. Kim, E.J. Terrill, B.D. Cornuelle, B. Jones, L. Washburn, M.A. Moline, J.D. Paduan, N. Garfield, J.L. Largier, G. Crawford, P.M. Kosro

Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 116, doi:Artn C03011, Doi 10.1029/2010jc006669 (2011)


Toward Risk Aware Mission Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

A.A. Pereira, J. Binney, B. H. Jones, M. Ragan and G. S. Sukhatme

2011 Ieee/Rsj International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems: 3147-3153 (2011)


Persistent Ocean Monitoring with Underwater Gliders: Adapting Sampling Resolution

R.N. Smith, M. Schwager, S. L. Smith, B. H. Jones, D. Rus, and G. S. Sukhatme

Journal of Field Robotics, 28(5), 714-741, doi:10.1002/rob.20405 (2011)


Poleward propagating subinertial alongshore surface currents off the US West Coast

S. Y. Kim, B. D. Cornuelle, E. J. Terrill, B. Jones, L. Washburn, M. A. Moline, J. D. Paduan, N. Garfield, J. L. Largier, G. Crawford and P. M. Kosro.

Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans 118(12): 6791-6806, doi: 10.1002/Jgrc.20400 (2013)


Anthropogenic nutrient sources rival natural sources on small scales in the coastal waters of the Southern California Bight

M. D. A. Howard, M. Sutula, D. Caron, Y. Chao, J. Farrara, H. Frenzel, B. Jones, G. Robertson, K. McLaughlin, A. Sengupta

Limnology and Oceanography 59(1):285-297 (2014)


Intakes and Outfalls for Seawater Reverse-Osmosis Desalination Facilities

T. Missimer, B. H. Jones, R. Maliva (Editors)

Springer, 544p (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

B. N. Seegers, J. M. Birch, R. Marin, C. A. Scholin, D. A. Caron, E. L. Seubert, M. D. A. Howard, G. L. Robertson, B. H. Jones

Limnology and Oceanography 60(3): 754-764 (2015)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Duke University.

  • B.Sc., Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.    

Professional Profile

  •  2012-Present: Professor, KAUST, 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 Memberships

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