College of Science

R. Christian Jones, PhD

Professor and Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center

Faculty Directory

Research Focus

My work has focused on the Potomac River and its watershed. My most extensive project is the long term study documenting the recovery of the tidal Potomac River from nutrient over enrichment and subsequent eutrophication. My major finding has been that the stringent nutrient controls on sewage discharges that went into place in the early 1980’s have resulted in greatly improved water clarity and a major restoration of aquatic plant communities and animal habitat in the tidal Potomac River.

I have also studied the impacts of watershed suburbanization on streams and the ecology of stormwater management ponds which now dot our landscape.

Current Projects

■ An Ecological Study of Gunston Cove (continuous since 1984)

■ An Ecological Study of Hunting Creek (continuous since 2013)

■ Ecology of Benthic Cyanobacteria in the Tidal Occoquan River

Select Publications

■ Jones, R.C. (2020). Recovery of a tidal freshwater embayment from eutrophication: a multidecadal study. Estuaries and Coasts 43, 1318-1334.