Stuart Jones


Aquatic Microbial and Ecosystem Ecology

Stuart E. Jones

e-mail labpage
Assistant Professor
B.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D., Limnology and Marine Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Postdoctoral Research, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University

Research Interests

Resilience is defined as an ability to recover from or adjust to change. When applied to ecosystems, resilience indicates the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance, undergo change, and still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks. Therefore by definition, resilient ecosystems provide consistent and predictable ecosystem services and are less likely to experience species extinctions, species invasions, or regime shifts.

Because microbes (bacteria, archaea, and protists) underpin all biogeochemical cycles, features of ecosystems and microbial communities that influence the resilience of microbial processes are major regulators of whole system resilience. As a result, my research exists at the interface of microbial and ecosystem ecology. I seek to understand the interplay and feedbacks between ecosystem features, microbial genetic diversity, microbial community structure, and ecosystem resilience. To this end, I combine field observations, experimentation, and mathematical modeling to make inferences about the role of microbial communities in maintaining resilient ecosystem services.

Past and ongoing research topics include:

  • The role of spatial (immigration) and temporal (dormancy) dispersal on aquatic bacteria diversity and community assembly.
  • The influence of large, infrequent disturbances on aquatic microbial community assembly and ecosystem function.
  • Microbial food web interactions and landscape features as regulators of methane evasion from lakes
  • The influence of terrestrial subsidies on the temporal stability of aquatic ecosystem metabolism, microbial interactions, and bacterial community composition.

Selected publications

Jones SE and Lennon JT. 2010. Dormancy contributes to the maintenance of microbial diversity. PNAS, 107: 5881-5886.

Jones SE and Lennon JT. 2009. Evidence for limited microbial transfer of methane in planktonic food webs. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 58: 45-53.

Jones SE and McMahon KD. 2009 Species-sorting may explain an apparent minimal effect of immigration on freshwater bacterial communities. Environmental Microbiology, 11: 905-913.

Jones SE, Chiu CY, Kratz TK, Wu JT, Shade A, McMahon KD. 2008. Typhoons cause predictable change in freshwater bacterial communities. Limnology and Oceanography, 53: 1319-1326.

Shade A, Kent AD, Jones SE, Newton RJ, Triplett EW, McMahon KD. 2007. Interannual dynamics and phenology of bacterial communities in a eutrophic lake. Limnology and Oceanography, 52: 487-494.

Kent AD, Jones SE, Yannarell AC, Graham JM, Lauster GH, Kratz TK, Triplett EW. 2004. Annual patterns in bacterioplankton variability in a humic lake. Microbial Ecology, 48: 550-560.