Ian L. Jones

current graduate students



graduates (recent)




Dr. Ian L. Jones, Professor

Department of Biology, Memorial University
St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X9 CANADA
phone: (709) 864-7666
fax: (709) 864-3018
e-mail: ianljones60 'at' gmail.com
MUN's spam filter is marking many outside messages - suggestion: put 'seabird' in the subject line
Undergraduate courses:
Animal Behaviour, Ornithology
On ratemyprofessor.com "this proff is very different than other proffs i had."

Research interests:

My research program is concerned with the ecology and evolutionary biology of seabirds, with an emphasis on demography, conservation issues, mate choice and sexual selection. My field studies have focused on the ecology of the Auks (Alcidae) of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Bering Sea. Currently I am involved in a major long-term field research project concerning behavioural ecology, demography and conservation of Aethia auklets at Buldir and Kiska Islands, Alaska, with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, as well as a number of other smaller related projects.

I am interested in the processes that determine seabird population dynamics, especially related to oil spills, predation by gulls and introduced mammals, mortality related to commercial fishing, habitat destruction by humans, and fluctuation in food availability related to climate change and oceanographic processes. To this end, I have been involved in long-term mark-recapture studies of the following species: Least, Crested and Whiskered Auklets at Buldir Island, Alaska (with the Aleutian Island Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge AMNWR); and Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, and Thick-billed and Common Murres at the Gannet Islands, Labrador (ACWERN). We are measuring seabird survival rates, investigating the causes of variation in adult survival (especially climate change), and asking how these relate to measured changes in population size. Increasingly I am interested in science related to restoration of endangered islands.

I am interested in the function of elaborate ornamental traits of monogamous species (particularly seabirds), and the mechanisms by which these adornments may have evolved. My PhD thesis (with Bob Montgomerie, Queen's University concerned the ornamental traits and plumage variation of Least Auklets. This study and continuing work on Crested Auklets provided evidence for the role of mutual sexual selection involving mutual mating preferences in ornament evolution. Recent experiments have shown a heterospecific mating preference for crest ornaments by the crestless Least Auklet, evidence consistent with sexual selection for sensory exploitation. Continuing behavioural ecological research on Least, Crested and Whiskered Auklets at Buldir addresses topics including: function of Whiskered Auklet ornaments, a comparative study of sperm competition and extra-pair parentage, the relation of ornaments and parental care and the function of Least Auklets' plumage polymorphism.

Some recent publications from our research group:

Buxton, R., Major, H.L. Jones I.L. and J.C. Williams. 2013. IN PRESS Examining patterns in nocturnal seabird activity and recovery across the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska, using automated acoustic recording. Auk. (abstract)

Major, H.L., Bond, A.L., Jones, I.L. and C.J. Eggleston. 2013. IN PRESS Stability of a seabird population in the presence of an introduced predator. Avian Conservation and Ecology (2013 vol. 8) [Least auklets and rats, Kiska, population viability model] (abstract)

Bond, A.L., Konyukhov, N.B. and I.L. Jones. 2013. IN PRESS Variation in primary moult in Least Auklets. Condor. (vol 115, issue 2, May 2013) (abstract)

Bond, A.L., Jones, I.L., Williams, J.C. and G.V. Byrd. 2013. IN PRESS Survival and reproductive success of Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella) in the presence of introduced Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). Marine Ornithology (abstract)

Buxton, R. and I.L. Jones. 2013. An experimental study of social attraction in two species of storm-petrels using acoustic and olfactory cues. Condor 114(4): 1-11. (BUXTON_storm-petrel_attraction.pdf) 467k

Bond, Alexander L., Ian L. Jones, Sampath Seneviratne and Sabir Bin Muzaffar. 2013. Least Auklet (Aethia pusilla), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/069

Jones, I.L. 2013. Evolutionary lag of predator avoidance by island seabirds, and what happens when naturally occurring colonists become 'invasive'. Ibis 155: 1-3. (island_invadersIBIS.pdf) 111k

Seneviratne, S.S., I.L. Jones and S.M. Carr. 2012. Patterns of vocal divergence in a group of non-oscine seabirds. Evolutionary Ecology Research 14: 95-112. (auklet_vocal_divergence_EER.pdf) 221k

Maftei, M., Davis, S., Mallory, M.L. and I.L. Jones. 2012. Evidence of a significant breeding area for Ross’s Gull (Rhodostethia rosea) in the Canadian high Arctic. Arctic 65(3): 283-288.(ROGU_Breeding_Habitat.pdf) 483k

Robinson, J.L. and I.L. Jones. 2012. Effects of tarsus mounted geolocators on adult breeding Crested Auklets Aethia cristatella. lecture presentation, 39th meeting of the Pacific Seabird Group, Turtle Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i, 7-10 February 2012. (PSG_2012_geolocator-effects.pdf) 4.8MB

Muzaffar, S.B., Smith, Jr., R.P., Jones, I.L., Lavers, J.L., Lacombe, E.H., Cahill, B. K., Lubelczyk, C.B., and P.W. Rand.  2012. The trans-Atlantic movement of the spirochete Borrelia garinii: the role of ticks and their seabird hosts. Pp. 23-30 in E. Paul (editor) Emerging Avian Disease.  Studies in Avian Biology (vol. 4), University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA. (trans-Atlantic_Borrelia.pdf) 1.58 MB

Bond, A.L., Evans, W.C. and I.L. Jones. 2012. Avian mortality associated with a volcanic gas seep at Kiska Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124: 146-151. (Bond_Kiska-gas-seep.pdf) 279k

Buxton, R. and I.L. Jones. 2012. Measuring nocturnal seabird activity and status using acoustic recording devices: applications for island restoration. Journal of Field Ornithology 83(1):47–60. (Buxton&Jones_JFO_2012.pdf) 737k

for other papers (some downloadable) go to the more complete list of publications

go to Ian's Buldir birds page http://www.mun.ca/serg/Buldir/buldirbirds.html

Current graduate students at a glance

Name and e-mail

Programme and degree

Thesis project details

Miguel Mejias

mmejias 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc. Conservation, behaviour, movement, migration and winter ecology of Bermudan-origin White-tailed Tropicbirds

Katherine Robbins

kfr056 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc. Movement, migration and winter ecology of Aleutian auklets (Aethia spp.)

Carley Schacter

crs634 'at' mun.ca

Biology, Ph.D. Movement, migration and winter ecology of Aleutian auklets (Aethia spp.)

Jill Robinson

jill.louiserobinson 'at' gmail.com

Biology, M.Sc. Movement and behaviour of Aleutian Crested Auklets during the non-breeding season

Shanti Davis

shanti.davis 'at' gmail.com

Biology, M.Sc. Behavioural ecology of migratory routes of Canadian high arctic breeding Sabine's Gulls


Name and e-mail

degree and project

present occupation

Hannah Munro

hannah.munro 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc., January 2012, Aethia auklets and their ectoparasites PhD with Andrew Lang, Memorial University, and Hugh Whitney, NL DNR - concerning seabird ticks&Borrelia

Alex Bond

abond 'at' mun.ca

web page

Biology, Ph.D., Aug. 2011, Ecology of auklets at Kiska and beyond PostDoc at University of Saskatchewan with Keith Hobson

Cari Eggleston

carie 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc., December 2010, Behaviour and ecology of rats at Kiska Biologist, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Rachel Buxton

r.buxton 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc., August 2010, Aleutian seabird recovery after anthropogenic extirpations PhD candidate at University of Dunedin, New Zealand, seabird conservation issues

Sampath Seneviratne

sam 'at' sci.cmb.ac.lk

 Biology, Ph.D., December 2008, Evolution of auklet acoustic and optical signals and ornaments

Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Department of Zoology, University of Colombo , Sri Lanka

Michelle Wille

michelle.wille 'at' lnu.se

Biology, B.Sc., May 2008 - Analysis of an avian cholera outbreak in Newfoundland

PhD candidate at Linneaus University, Kalmar, Sweden, working on wildlife pathogens

Rosana Paredes (ACWERN)

rparedes.insley 'at' gmail.com


 Biology, Ph.D. Jan 2008 - Foraging (especially diving) behaviour and parental care of female and male auks at the Gannet Islands, Labrador

Post-doc running a major seabird research program in the Pribilof Islands - supervisors Dan Roby and David Irons

Sabir Bin Muzaffar (ACWERN)

s_muzaffar 'at' uaeu.ac.ae


Biology Ph.D. Oct 2007 - Diseases and parasites of birds: ecology and epidemiology in a changing world

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Stephanie Royston (ACWERN)

sroyston 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc. Oct 2007 - Conservation genetics of rare arctic gull species, Ivory and Ross' Gull

Completing degree in veterinary medicine at St. George's University, Grenada

Greg McClelland

mgreg 'at' sun.ac.za NEW

Biology M.Sc. May 2007 - Conservation of Tristram's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma tristrami) at Laysan and Tern Islands, NW Hawaiian Islands

PhD candidate, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, supervisor Dr. Steven Chown (project: restoration of Marion Island)

Jennifer Lavers (ACWERN)

Jennifer.Lavers 'at' csiro.au (web page)

Biology Ph.D. May 2007 - Demography of the Razorbill (Alca torda) in Atlantic Canada

Research scientist - Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tasmania.

Grant Humphries

a25grwh 'at' mun.ca

Biology, B.Sc., May 2007- Leach's Storm-Petrel vocalizations - Atlantic and Pacific compared

PhD University of Dunedin, New Zealand - seabird and island conservation biology

Martin Renner

rennerm 'at' u.washington.edu

Biology, Ph.D., September 2005 - Evolution of Variation in Plumage and Ornamentation in Least Auklets Aethia pusilla

postdoctoral researcher, University of Washington in collaboration with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Paul Regular

b23pmr 'at' mun.ca

Biology, B.Sc., May 2006 - Factors affecting auklet colony attendance behaviour at Buldir Island

PhD project at MUN with Bill Montevecchi on seabird behaviour at sea

Christina Bourne

christina.bourne 'at' gmail.com

Biology, B.Sc., May 2005 - Factors affecting auklet colony attendance behaviour at Buldir Island

Biologist, Department of Fisheries and Oceans - in St. John's

Ian Goudie (ACWERN)

e-mail: Ian Goudie

Biology, Ph.D., October 2004 - Behaviour and demography of Eastern Harlequin Ducks (Histronicus histronicus) in relation to aircraft noise

Environmental consultant (LGL limited), researcher and guru based in St. John's

Heather Major

e-mail: heather.major3 'at' gmail.com

web page

Biology, M.Sc. October 2004 - Impact of introduced Norway Rats on auklets at Kiska Island, Alaska

Assistant Professor of Biology, University of New Brunswick Saint John.

Travis Clarke

p9f45 'at' unb.ca

Biology, B.Sc., April 2004 - Glaucous-winged Gull diet at Buldir Island Alaska 1973-2003 reflects regime shifts, climate change and faunal collapse

MSc student at UNB with Tony Diamond, Razorbill movement and behaviour at sea

Joshua Pennell (ACWERN)

Biology, B.Sc. May 2003 - philopatry of Razorbills banded as chicks at the Gannet Islands

Journalist, St. John's, Newfoundland

Allison Veit

acveit 'at' ucscalumni.com

Biology, M.Sc., May 2003 - Sexual selection and the tail ornament of the Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) at French Frigate Shoals

Private practise in in veterinary medicine, Oakland, California

Sabir Bin Muzaffar


e-mail: v35sbm 'at' mun.ca

Biology, M.Sc., June 2000 - Auk ectoparasites ecology and diversity

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Shauna Baillie (ACWERN)

s.m.baillie 'at' gmail.com

Biology, M.Sc.,Oct 2001 -Feeding ecology of Atlantic Puffins - Gannet Islands/Gull Island, Newfoundland

PhD project, Australia

Melanie Massaro (ACWERN)

melanie.massaro 'at' canterbury.ac.nz

web page

 Biology, M.Sc. June 2000, co-supervised with John Chardine - Impacts of predation by Great Black-backed Gulls on Black-legged Kittiwakes

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; Evolutionary changes in life history traits of New Zealand birds since the introduction of predatory mammals

Gail Fraser

gsfraser 'at' yorku.ca

Biopsychology, Ph.D. October 1999 - Behavioural ecology of Crested Auklet parental care at Buldir Island, Alaska

Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Rachel Bryant (ACWERN)

rachel.bryant 'at' utoronto.ca

Biopsychology, M.Sc. October 1998 - Foraging beaviour and breeding success of Common and Thick-billed Murres at the Gannet Islands, Labrador

Researcher, broadcaster, and co-founder of Alder Institute, a non-profit environmental collective based in St. John's Newfoundland, currently doing a PhD in Philosophy at UofT on the subject of environmental ethics

Ed Hearne (ACWERN)

hearne 'at' c2i2.com

Biology, M.Sc. May 1999 - tour boat disturbance impacts on seabirds at Gull Island, Newfoundland

High School Teacher, Buena High School, Sierra Vista, Arizona

Sherrylynn Rowe (ACWERN)

Sherrylynn.Rowe 'at' Dal.Ca

Biology, B.Sc. May 1998 - Razorbill nest site selection at the Gannet Islands, Labrador

Research Scientist, Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, cross-appointed to Biology Department

Peter Adams (ACWERN)

Biology, B.Sc. May 1999 - Moulting Harlequin Duck behaviour at the Gannet Islands, Labrador

gone into medicine