Gwilym Jones

Gwilym JonesProfessor and
Director of Center for Vertebrate Studies

Vertebrate Systematics and Ecology

Marine Science Center
Northeastern University
430 Nahant Road
Nahant, MA 01908
781.581.7370, x346

Academic Education

  • Ph.D., Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana
  • M.S., Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • B.A. Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana


  • Director, Marine Science Center, Northeastern University, Nahant, Massachusetts (2007-2009)
  • Associate Chairman, Department of Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (1987-1988; 1992-2004)
  • Acting Chairman, Department of Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (1988-1992)
  • Faculty, Department of Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (1976-present)
  • University Fellow, Department of Life Sciences, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana (1971-1976)
  • Honorary Staff, Division of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (1970-1971)
  • Head, Mammalogy Division, Medical Ecology Department, U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit #2, Taipei Taiwan (1967-1969)

Other Professional Activities

  • Species Survival Commission, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland (1991-1994)
  • Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife Board (regulatory), Boston, Massachusetts (1986-1999)
  • Chairman, Nongame Advisory Committee, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, Massachusetts (1984-1999)
  • ad hoc Right Whale Advisory Group, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Boston, Massachusetts (1988-1990)
  • Nature Preserves Council, Masschusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Boston, Massachusetts (1990-1993)
  • Spectacle Island Park Advisory Committee, Massachusetts Department of Public Works (1991-1992)
  • Board of Directors, Massachusetts Wildlife Federation (1996-1998)
  • Science Advisory Committee, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, Massachusetts (1990-1994)
  • Biomedical Research Advisory Committee, Massachusetts Society for Medical Research, Waltham, Massachusetts (1992-1994)
  • Board of Trustee, Boston Zoological Society, Boston, Massachusetts (1985-1988)

Research Interests

The umbrella research theme of the Vertebrate Studies lab is the study of historical and contemporary Massachusetts’ mammals. This effort is supported by a data resource of nearly 40,000 documented mammal specimens in the Vertebrate Collection (NUVC), a good portion of which are from Massachusetts. The specimens include skins, skulls, postcranial skeletons, fluid-preserved specimens, os bacula, os clitori, stomachs, and endo- and ectoparasites. These provide a basal source for the study of contemporary biogeography in Massachusetts (with vouchers), and augmentation studies such as food habits (e.g. brown rat, fisher), growth and development (e.g. long-finned pilot whale, Atlantic white-sided dolphin), bone diseases (spondylosis deformans), and systematics (small mammals in New England and the Maritime Provinces). Ectoparasite distribution is indicative of the extent of temporal isolation of insular species. Studies of insect and bird involvement, pollination and seed deposition respectively, in the spread and maintenance of non-native plants elucidate changed and changing ecosystems that impact mammals. NUVC holdings also represent studies conducted in 35 of the American states, seven Canadian provinces, and other countries including Mexico, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Vietnam, as well as donations from South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, Australia, and others. The NUVC also contains research collections of fishes, amphibians, reptiles and birds for comparative use in food habits studies), as vouchers, and other studies of those classes.

Sampling freshwater stream during class field trip

Tooth of Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) prepared for age detrmination

Vertebrae of long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas) exhibiting spondylosis deformans

Teaching Activities

Teaching in the formal sense began as a lecturer in freshman biology courses during my pursuit of the doctorate at Indiana State University where I also functioned as a teaching assistant in laboratories. At Northeastern I have taught at all levels, from freshman to graduate courses, in the following subjects: Vertebrate Zoology, Mammalogy, Ornithology, Wildlife Biology, Evolution, Principles of Systematics, and Field Techniques in (terrestrial) Zoology. I have directed 12 Honors Theses and 35 graduate degrees in subjects ranging from insular insect zoogeography to fish food habits/ecology to nonnative waterfowl ecology to cetacean growth and development to rodent systematics and paleogeography.


  • Cardoza, J. E., G. S. Jones, and T. W. French. 2009. State mammal list. (rev. 20 February). Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division Fisheries and Wildlife, 9pp. (
  • Sweeny, M. M., J. M. Price, G. S. Jones, T. W. French, G. A. Early, and M. J. Moore. 2005. Spondylitic changes in long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) stranded on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, between 1982 and 2000. J. Wildlife Diseases 41: 717-727.
  • Roth, A. J. and G. S. Jones. 2001. Territorial behavior of Common Nighthawks in an urban habitat. Bird Observor 29: 107-114.
  • Ciaranca, M. A., C. C. Allin, and G. S. Jones. 1997. Mute Swan: Cygnus olor. #278: 28pp. In: A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.). The Birds of North America. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philadelphia & American Ornithol. Union, Washington, D.C.
  • Fain, A., E. J. Spicka, G. S. Jones, and J. O. Whitaker, Jr. 1985. The life cycle of two astigmatic mites, Glycyphagus (Zapodacarus) newyorkensis (Fain, 1969) comb.nov. and Glycyphagus (Zapodacarus) zapus sp.n. (Glycyphagidae). Acarologia 26: 155-16.
  • Lewis, R. E. and G. S. Jones. 1985. Some fleas (Siphonaptera) from Sulawesi Selatan, with the description of three new species. J. Med. Entom. 22: 204-211.[Sigmactenus celebensis, Gryphopsylla hetera, Stivalius exoticus spp.n.]
  • Jones, G. S. 1983. Ecological and distributional notes on mammals from Vietnam, including the first record of Nyctalus. Mammalia 47: 339-344.
  • Jones, G. S., J. O. Whitaker, Jr. and C. Maser. 1978. Food habits of jumping mice (Zapus trinotatus and Z. princeps) in western North America. Northwest Sci. 52: 57-60.
  • Jameson, E. W., Jr. and G. S.Jones. 1977. The Soricidae of Taiwan. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 90: 459-482. [Crocidura horsfieldi kurodai ssp.n., Crocidura russula hosletti ssp.n.]
  • Caldwell, R. S. and G. S. Jones. 1973. Winter congregations of Plethodon cinereus in ant mounds, with notes on their food habits. Amer. Midl. Nat. 90: 482-485.