Benjamin Jones

Benjamin Jones


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Works at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Telephone 08-16 36 71
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A
Room N 395
Postal address Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

About me


Seagrass Ecosystem Research

My research is primarily focused on seagrass ecosystems and small-scale fisheries. My PhD project investigates the linkages between biota, biodiversity and food security using seagrass meadows as a model socio-ecological system. I'm interested in these linkages more broadly to provide evidence for policy change across the Indo-Pacific that gives priority to seagrass meadows for the services they provide to people (e.g. livelihoods & food security). 

I'm also interested in the conservation concerns of small-scale seagrass fisheries. More specifically this included the by-catch (in terms of fish) implications of some fishing strategies and issues associated to destructive gears (e.g. mosquito net fisheries).

My PhD is supervised by Associate Professor Johan Eklöf and co-supervised by Lina Mtwana Nordlund, where I am also a coordinating member of the newly formed Indo-Pacific Seagrass Network (IPSN).


Citizen Science

I co-developed SeagrassSpotter, an entry-level citizen science project. Established in 2016 in the UK, the project uses a smartphone app and website database as its platform and facilitates a participants’ ability to spot something interesting and upload geo-tagged photographs. Expanding across Europe in late 2016, and Globally in 2018, the project has accumulated nearly 1400 sightings from 60 countries and engaged nearly 1000 users.



I obtained a B.Sc. in Marine Biology at Swansea University where I went on to obtain an M.Res. in Aquatic Ecology and Conservation. My master's thesis focused on the role of seagrasses as indicators of change in the British Isles where multiple characteristics were used to assess how seagrasses responded to varying degrees of anthropogenic stress.

During my masters, I co-founded the marine conservation charity Project Seagrass. Project Seagrass aims to conserve seagrass ecosystems through education, influence, research, and action. As a director, I focus on working to enhance understanding of the importance of seagrass using creative design to communicated scientific research to the wider public, as well as communicating this directly through workshops and events.

My previous work has focused on examining the factors that affect seagrass growth and I was involved with an international project with the Zostera Experimental Network (ZEN) to examine these factors on a global scale. Other experience lies within the use of Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) to assess fish abundance and diversity across multiple habitats in the Indian Ocean.

More recently I have been involved as a technical expert in development of The Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit (developed in collaboration by Total, Total Abu Al Bukhoosh, the Environment – Agency Abu Dhabi and the Convention on Migratory Species Dugong MOU; and as a scientific advisor in the development of BBC’s landmark series Blue Planet 2.


Academic positions

  • 2013-present: Founding Director, Project Seagrass, UK.
  • 2018: Research Associate, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2015-17: Research Assistant, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2014-15: Marine Technician, SEACAMS, Swansea University, UK.
  • 2013: Hourly Paid Lecturer in Tropical Marine Ecology, University of South Wales, UK


Committees and reviewing

World Seagrass Association

Student Representative, 2018 - present
Steering Committee Member, 2017 - present

International Seagrass Biology Workshop

Scientific Steering Group Member and Local Organiser, 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop, 2016
Sub-Committee Member, 2018



Jones, B. L., Cullen-Unsworth, L. C., Howard, R., & Unsworth, R. K. (2018). Complex yet fauna-deficient seagrass ecosystems at risk in southern Myanmar. Botanica Marina, 61(3), 193-203.

Unsworth, R.K.F, Ambo-Rappe, R., Jones, B.L., La Nafie, Y.A., Irawan, A., Hernawan, U.E., Moore, A.M. and Cullen-Unsworth, L.C. 2018. Indonesia's globally significant seagrass meadows are under widespread threat. Science of the Total Environment 634, pp. 279-286. 

Jones, al. 2018. Conservation concerns of small-scale fisheries: By-catch impacts of a shrimp and finfish fishery in a Sri Lankan lagoon. Frontiers in Marine Science 5, article number: 52. 

Jones, B.L, Cullen-Unsworth, L.C and Unsworth, R.K.F. 2018. Tracking nitrogen source using δ15N reveals human and agricultural drivers of seagrass degradation across the British Isles. Frontiers in Plant Science 9, article number: 133.

Cullen-Unsworth, L.C., Jones, B.L., Lilley, R. and Unsworth, R.K.F. 2018. Secret gardens under the sea: What are seagrass meadows and why are they important? Frontiers for Young Minds 6(2)

Jones, al. 2017. Crowdsourcing conservation: The role of citizen science in securing a future for seagrass. Marine Pollution Bulletin

Cullen-Unsworth, L.C., Jones, B.L., Seary, R., Newman, R. and Unsworth, R.K.F. 2017. Reasons for seagrass optimism: local ecological knowledge confirms presence of dugongs. Marine Pollution Bulletin

Hind-Ozan, E.J. and Jones, B.L.2017. Seagrass science is growing: a report on the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop. Marine Pollution Bulletin

Unsworth, R.K.F., Williams, B., Jones, B.L.and Cullen-Unsworth, L.C 2017. Rocking the boat: damage to eelgrass by swinging boat moorings. Frontiers in Plant Science 8, article number: 1309.

Unsworth, R.K.F, Jones, B.L.and Cullen-Unsworth, L.C 2016. Seagrass meadows are threatened by expected loss of peatlands in Indonesia. Global Change Biology 22(9), pp. 2957-2958.

Jones, B.L.and Unsworth, R.K.F. 2016. The perilous state of seagrass in the British Isles. Royal Society Open Science 3, article number: 150596.

Last updated: October 15, 2018

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