Alice Jones

Dr Alice Jones

Senior Lecturer (Resilience Ecology)

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

I am a Senior Lecturer in resilience ecology and a researcher in marine ecology. I am driven to undertake research that has both environmental and social benefits in terms of supporting healthy, diverse ecosystems for people to enjoy in the future, and supporting the sustainable and resilient provision of ecosystem services.

I lead the Future Coasts research lab, which focuses on understanding and reducing the impacts of climate change by looking to nature for solutions. We work on projects that estimate the carbon stored in coastal ecosystems, as well as ways to enhance the carbon storage and the many other benefits that coastal ecosystems provide for people and nature. I have worked with state and federal governments to develop approaches to coastal ecosystem management that lead to enhanced carbon uptake, which helps in the fight against climate change. I am currently leading a large, federally-funded seagrass restoration project in South Australia. I am also involved in research about how the marine aquaculture industry can decrease its carbon footprint and operate in a more ‘climate-friendly’ way.

I approach my work in a collaborative way, having developed many partnerships across government (state and federal), NGOs and industry, as well as with other academics across disciplines in Australia and internationally. In recognition of this, I was awarded the Faculty of Sciences Dean's Award for Research Partnership in 2019. I have also won a Winnovation (Women in Innovation) Award (2020) for my research on blue carbon and had the honour of being named a South Australian Young Tall Poppy in Science (2021). I am currently a Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM (2022 - 2024). I am an Associate Editor for the journal Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, which is published by the Zoological Society of London and is open access. I have been invited to serve on technical reference panels on blue carbon for both the South Australian state government, the Commonwealth government Department for Agriculture Water and Environment and the Australian Clean Energy Regulator.

I previously worked in a joint position between the University of Adelaide (School of Biological Sciences) and the South Australian Department for Environment and Water (Science Partnerships Team). In this role, I developed a strong understanding of state and national policy, governance and management frameworks for biodiversity and conservation.

I undertook my PhD at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton (UK). Prior to that, I completed a Masters in Aquatic Resource Management at Kings College London and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Zoology at Manchester University (UK).

My primary research focus is around coastal or 'blue' carbon ecosystems (mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes). These coastal, vegetated ecosystems play an important role in reducing the impacts of climate change by accumulating and storing large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and the oceans. By protecting and restoring these ecosystems, we can boost their resilience and support their important role in the carbon cycle, which helps mitigate climate change. 

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I am currently Chief Investigator on two, linked Commonwealth government-funded projects on blue carbon. The first project is for the restoration of over 10 hectares of seagrass in waters just north of Adelaide in South Australia. This will involve a staged implementation of the seagrass restoration over two years, as well as monitoring the recovery of the seagrasses and associated changes in carbon storage at the site. The second project looks at the broader suite of benefits that may be gained by restoring seagrass at the site, such as increased marine biodiversity, shoreline stabilisation and reduced coastal erosion, improved water quality and a variety of social and economic benefits (e.g. fisheries). This project will include an application of the UN System for Environmental Economic Accounting and includes a large multidisciplinary team from several research institutes.

I have also been working with Dr Heidi Alleway and others on projects funded by The Nature Conservancy (USA) looking at restorative aquaculture systems and climate change. We published an article on this work in BioScience, which assessed the carbon footprint of different types of marine aquaculture and identified opportunities for emissions reduction and carbon sequestration. A second paper from this collaboration looked at the global and regional opportunities and challenges for climate smart marine aquaculture and we have further papers from this collaboration coming soon. 

A image showing the cover of the journal BioScience from the Feb 2022 issue. The photo on the front shows racks of cultured seaweed drying and the text reads: Climate Friendly Seafood
Our article featured on the cover image of BioScience journal in 2022


I lead the Future Coasts Lab and Honours and PhD projects available on blue carbon topics including assessing the links between changes in seagrass area coverage and carbon storage, as well as using drone imagery to map and monitor changes in mangroves and saltmarshes around Adelaide. I also have projects available to investigate the value of seagrass for marine biodiversity and fisheries. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss doing your Honours or PhD in our lab group.

An animated picture of a future vision of the coast showing a healthy blue ocean surrounded by coastal land that is shared between people and nature


Major Research Grants:

  • Recovering and Restoring Blue Carbon Ecosystems in Port River (Apr 2024 - Jun 2025). Blue Carbon Futures Grant from Green Adelaide. $132.6K. CIs: Jones A.R., Hennekam, M.

  • Navigating the legal regime for blue carbon projects in South Australia (Jun 2023 - Jul 2024). Blue Carbon Futures Grant from Green Adelaide. CIs: Brent, K, Jones, A.R., Wawryk, A., McCormack. P.

  • Blue carbon ecosystem restoration benefits measurement, verification and accounts for the Gulf St Vincent Seagrass Restoration Project (Apr 2023 - Jun 2025). Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. $1M. CI: Jones, A.R. Investigators: Tanner, J., Wheeler, S.

  • Gulf St Vincent Seagrass Restoration Project (Apr 2023 - Apr 2025). Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration Grant from the Commonwealth Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. $2.1M. CI: Tanner, J. & Jones A.R

  • Carbon abatement and biodiversity enhancements through controlling feral ungulate disturbance in wetlands (Jan 2023 - Dec 2025). Grant from the Commonwealth Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, National Environmental Science Program (NESP2). Grant led by The University of Queensland, with $27K coming to Adelaide. Jones A.R. is the sole investigator at the University of Adelaide.

  • Green Adelaide's blue carbon C-scape (April 2022 - June 2023). Grant from Green Adelaide Landscape Board: $83,575. CI: Jones, A.R. Investigators: Mosley L., Reis- Santos, P., Gillanders, B.M., Russell, S. With in-kind support from DEW and EPA Marine Science teams. 

  • Accelerating Adoption and Implementation of Blue Carbon in Australia (Nov 2021 - Jan 2024). Grant from CSIRO: $130 K. CI: Jones, A.R.

  • The role of law in advancing carbon abatement technologies and markets to support Australia’s transition to net-zero emissions (Jan 2022 - June 2023). Grant from the University of Adelaide FAME Digi+ grant scheme: $14,702. CIs: Brent, K, Jones, A.R. Investigators: McCormack, P., Wawryk, A.

  • Industry Fellowship (June 2020 - July 2022). Grant from the SA Department for Environment and Water to set up a joint position: $154 K. CI: Jones, A.R.

  • Advancing the mapping of Green Adelaide’s blue carbon (May 2020 - June 2021). Grant from Green Adelaide Landscape Board: $35,000. CI: Jones, A.R. Investigators: Gillanders, B.M., Raja-Segaran, R., Mosley L., Russell, S., Dittmann, S.

  • Mapping coastal wetland blue carbon potential in the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management region (Feb - June 2020). Grant from Natural Resources Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges Blue Carbon Futures Fund: $77,950 (with additional cofunding of $10 K from DEW and $ 25 K from UoA). CI: Jones, A.R., Investigators: Gillanders, B.M., Mosley, L., Dittmann, S., Beaumont, K.

  • Potential for Zostera seagrass recovery and rehabilitation to enhance blue carbon in SA (Feb - June 2020). Grant from Natural Resources Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges Blue Carbon Futures Fund: $64.5 K (with additional co-funding of $10 K from UoA, $5 K from EPA and $25 K from SA Water). CIs: Tanner, J., Jones, A. R. Investigators: Raja Segaran R., Fernandes M., Clarke K., Gaylard S., Turner A., van der Linden L.

  • A blue carbon future through introducing tidal flow to salt ponds and stranded saltmarsh for Dry Creek and the Samphire Coast (Mar - June 2020). Grant from Natural Resources Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges Blue Carbon Futures Fund: $99.5 K (with additional co-funding of $20 K from Flinders University and $10 K from DEW). CI: Ditmman, S. Investigators: Clarke, B., Mosley, L., Jones, A. R., Beaumont, K., Raja Segaran, R.

  • A muddy time capsule: Using environmental DNA and geochronology from sediment cores to reconstruct past coastal vegetation dynamics and inform future ecosystem management (July 2018 - July 2021)Grant from the Hermon Slade Foundation: $89 K. CIs: Jones, A.R., Young, J., Waycott M., Foster, N., Gillanders, B.M.

  • Assessing the feasibility of using drone technology to monitor seagrass (Dec 2018 - Dec 2019). $82 K (including cash contributions of $35 K from SA Water and $25 K from The University of Adelaide and Environment Institute). A collaborative pilot study between the University and SA Water. CI: Jones, A.R., Raja Segaran, R. Investigators: Clarke, K., Fernandes, M., Gillanders, B.M.

  • Coastal Carbon Opportunities: demonstrating additionality and potential for future offsets in South Australia (April 2017 - April 2019). Grant from the Goyder Institute for Water Research's 'Climate Impact' research funding: $400 K from Goyder + $165 K partner cash and $1.3M in-kind support from partner organisations. I am a Chief Investigator on the grant, which will fund my salary for 2 years.  I wrote the first full draft of the grant proposal (including a pitch presentation to potential research partners) and the initial research questions and experimental design. CIs: Gillanders, B.M., Jones, A.R. Waycott M., Lavery, P. Investigators: Baldock, J., Koh, LP., Cavagnaro, T., Masque, P., Fernandes, M., Gaylard, S., Serrano, O., Clarke, K., Raja-Segaran, R., Kilpatrick, A., Asanopolous, C.  

Other Grants:

  • Assessment of blue carbon stocks in coastal ecosystems at sites on Eyre Peninsula (Feb 2023 - Dec 2023). Grant from the South Australian Department for Environment and Water. 

  • Identifying and overcoming barriers to coastal and marine habitat restoration and Nature-based solutions in Australia (Jan 2023 - Dec 2023). Grant from the Commonwealth Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, National Environmental Science Program (NESP2). Grant led by The University of Tasmania, with $84K coming to Adelaide. Investigators in Adelaide: Connell, S., Jones, A. R., McCormack, P., Wawryk, A., McAfee, D., Drew, G.

  • Optimising reef restorations to enhance blue carbon habitats (March 2022 - May 2023). Grant from the Green Adelaide Blue Carbon Futures Fund: $13,773. CI: McAffee, D., Connell, S. Investigators: Jones, A.R., Tanner, J.

  • Assessment of blue carbon stocks in coastal ecosystems at two sites on western Eyre Peninsula (Oct 2021 - May 2022). Grant from the SA Coast Protection Board: $10,000. CI: Jones, A.R.

  • Carbon fingerprinting pilot study (2021). Grant from the University of Adelaide Environment Institute small grants fund: $1,500. CI: Jones, A.R.

  • Emissions Reduction Fund blue carbon abatement model development (May - June 2021). Grant from the Commonwealth Government Clean Energy Regulator: $27,272. CIs: Jones, A.R., Mosley, L.

  • Seagrass drone monitoring (June 2021 - July 2022). Grant from SA Water: $40 K. CIs: Raja Segaran, R., Jones, A.R. Clarke, K.

  • Western Eyre Peninsula blue carbon assessment (April 2021 - Dec 2021). Grant from the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board: $10,540. CI: Jones, A.R.

  • Measuring and monitoring saltmarsh blue carbon along eastern Eyre Peninsula (2020). Grant from the South Australian Government Department for Environment and Water (Climate Change Branch): $26,180 (funding associated with the South Australian Blue Carbon Strategy and Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery Project). CI: Jones A.R. 

  • Blue Carbon research synthesis and research agenda (April 2019 - June 2019). Grant from the Goyder Institute for Water Research, Climate Action Fund: $31 K. CIs: Jones, A.R., Dittmann, S., Gillanders, B. M., Mosley, L.

  • Aquaculture, Ecosystem Services and Shellfish Reef Restoration’ (March – Dec 2019).Grant from The Nature Conservancy $40 USD (approx. $56 K AUD). CIs: Alleyway H., Jones, A.R., Gillanders, B.

  • Seagrass, macroalgae, sediment and micro-plastic sampling from Pearson Isles Sanctuary Zone and South West Commonwealth Marine Reserve for genetic connectivity and contamination studies (May 2018). $5.3 K grant from the Department of Environment and Water SA. CI: Jones A,R.

  • Assessing connectivity in South Australia’s marine parks network (May 2017 - October 2017).  $30 K grant from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR): CIs: Jones, A.R., Waycott, M., Gillanders, B.M.

  • Pearson Island expedition feasibility study (June 2016 - July 2016). $15 K grant from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR). CIs: Jones, A.R., Gillanders B.M.

I have been in an academic (teaching and research) position since mid-2022. My current teaching is listed below:

  • Course coordinator: Ecological Issues. First-year undergraduate course of ~200 students. 
  • Course coordinator: Marine Biology Winter School - overseas study tour to Timor Leste. Second and third year undergraduate course of ~ 15 students (2 weeks in Timor Leste).
  • Lecturer: Organisms. First-year undergraduate course of ~ 500+ students.

Before being appointed to an academic position:

  • I lectured on the 3rd year course Frontiers in Marine Biology (coordinated by Prof. Bronwyn Gillanders and Dr Patrick Reis-Santos) for 6 years, giving lectures titled 'Marine Monitoring in the 21st Century' and 'Blue Carbon, what is it and why should we care?'
  • I lectured on the 3rd year course Earth Observation in 2019 and 2020 (coordinated by Dr Ken Clarke). I presented a lecture titled 'Remote Sensing for Marine Science'
  • I delivered tutorials on 'Presentation Skills' to 3rd year undergraduates (2016 - 2020)
  • I contributed to the Research Methods in Ecology 3rd year undergraduate course. For this course, I prepared and ran a 4-hr computer lab practical session on species distribution modelling.  This involved giving a lecture of ~45 mins and then leading the class through a computer-based practical session using R (which I had prepared the scripts and data for)
  • In 2019 and 2020 I was a trainer onboard the Australian national research vessel, RV Investigator, for 2-week long postgraduate at-sea training cruises. These are part of the Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network (CAPSTAN). I was selected for this role through a competitive process and the work involved:
    • Delivering lectures on ‘Population Connectivity in Marine Systems’ and ‘Ecological Monitoring in the 21st Century’
    • Taking part in panel discussions on post-university work options and dealing with large datasets
    • Coordinating the student’s plankton sampling whilst at sample sites
    • Running the wet-clean lab onboard the ship and teaching plankton analysis methods and identification
    • Coordinating and running the seabird and marine mammal observations from the ship.
    • Coordinating and supporting the students in preparing a cruise report.
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor Effect of seagrass restoration on fish populations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Upeksha Swarnamalie Maddumage
    2022 Principal Supervisor Blue Carbon in South Australian Coastal Ecosystems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sophie Kate Russell
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Evaluation of Common Assumptions in Marine Cumulative Impact Assessment Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jackson Stockbridge
    2017 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Changing community composition of coastal and marine vascular plants–towards an independent evidence base on coastal environmental change through time Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Nicole Rianne Foster
  • Position: Senior Lecturer (Resilience Ecology)
  • Phone: 83131475
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Darling, floor First Floor
  • Room: 103
  • Org Unit: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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