John R. Jones, PhD



Curators' Professor Emeritus

School of Natural Resources

J. Michael Dunmire Professor

School of Natural Resources


  • Ph.D., 1974, Iowa State University


  • Limnology

Research Summary

  • The focus of his limnology research program is to quantify factors regulating abundance and distribution of algal biomass in freshwater. He has collaborated with others to determine the relationship between nutrients and algal biomass in temperate lakes (Jones and Bachmann 1976) and Missouri reservoirs (Jones and Knowlton 2005, Jones et al. 2011), and evaluated how data aggregation influences our ability to make inferential statements about the strength of this relation at various temporal scales (Jones et al. 1998). In addition, they addressed nutrient-algal relations in running waters by quantifying processes in Ozark streams and developing a generalized empirical model describing phosphorus-algal chlorophyll relations in temperate streams (Van Nieuwenhuyse and Jones 1996, Lohman and Jones 1999).
  • A long-term study shows the trophic state of Missouri reservoirs reflects the physiography and human alteration of their drainage basins (Jones et al. 2008a). The proportion of cropland cover in the catchment of these artificial lakes (a surrogate for nutrient loss from agriculture) along with metrics of morphology and hydrology account for much of the among-system variation in both phosphorus and nitrogen (Jones et al. 2004, 2008b). Some of these midcontinent water bodies support measureable levels of microcystin, an algal toxin, during summer (Graham et al. 2004, Graham and Jones 2007). Studies of regional limnology in several Asian countries have shown how the summer monsoon influences lake trophic state (Jones et al. 2006).

Selected Publications

  • Jones, J.R., D.V. Obrecht and A.P. Thorpe. 2011.
    Chlorophyll maxima and chlorophyll: Total phosphorus ratios in Missouri reservoirs.. Lake and Reserv. Manage. 27:321-328.
  • Jones, J.R., B.D. Perkins, D.V. Obrecht, M.F. Knowlton, A.P. Thorpe, S. Watanabe, and R.R. Bacon.  2008a.
    Nutrients, seston and transparency of Missouri reservoirs and oxbow lakes: an analysis of regional limnology.  Lake and Reserv. Manage. 24:155-180.
  • Jones, J.R., M.F. Knowlton and D.V. Obrecht. 2008b.
    Role of land cover and hydrology in determining nutrients in mid-continent reservoirs: implications for nutrient criteria and management. Lake and Reserv. Manage. 24:1-9.
  • Graham, J.L. and J.R. Jones. 2007.
    Microcystin distribution in physical size class separations of natural phytoplankton communities. Lake and Reserv. Manage. 23:161-168.
  • Jones, J.R., A. Thompson, C.N. Seong, J.S. Jung & H. Yang. 2006.
    Monsoon influences on the limnology of Juam Lake, South Korea. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 29: 1215-1222.
  • Jones, J.R. and M.F. Knowlton. 2005.
    Chlorophyll response to nutrients and non-algal seston in Missouri reservoirs and oxbow lakes. Lake and Reserv. Manage. 21:361-371.
  • Graham, J.L., J.R. Jones, S.B. Jones, J.A. Downing and T.E. Clevenger. 2004.
    Environmental factors influencing microcystin distribution and concentration in the Midwestern United Sates. Water Research 38:4395-4404.
  • Jones, J.R., M.F. Knowlton, D.V. Obrecht & E.A. Cook. 2004.
    Importance of landscape variables and morphology on nutrients in Missouri reservoirs. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61:1503–1512.
  • Lohman, K. and J.R. Jones. 1999.
    Nutrient-sestonic chlorophyll relationships in northern Ozark streams. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 56:124-130.
  • Jones, J.R., M.F. Knowlton and M.S. Kaiser. 1998.
    Effects of aggregation on chlorophyll-phosphorus relations in Missouri reservoirs. Lake and Reserv. Manage. 14:1-9.
  • Van Nieuwenhuyse, E.E. and J.R. Jones. 1996.
    Phosphorus-chlorophyll relationship in streams and its variation with stream catchment area. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 53:99-105.
  • Jones, J.R. and R.W. Bachmann. 1976.
    Prediction of phosphorus and chlorophyll levels in lakes. J. Water Poll. Cont. Fed. 48:2176-2182