Associate Professor, Department Chair
Dr. Jonas is a microbial ecologist and ecotoxicologist. His research focuses mainly on estuarine and oceanic systems. Currently he has research projects investigating the interactions of nutrient enrichment, phytoplankton production and bacterioplankton proliferation in the Chesapeake Bay and adjacent tributaries. He is also working on microbiological aspects of diseases of reef building corals. This work includes sampling diseased and healthy control corals from tropical waters of The Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. Experimentally, these projects use culture-dependent and molecular techniques to investigate bacterial diversity in these stressed communities. He teaches courses in environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, environmental toxicology and general environmental science and policy at the graduate level, and microbiology and studies of the environment at the undergraduate level. Along with Dr. Esther Peters, he teaches an off-campus course through Mote Marine Laboratory on diseases of corals.