After graduating from Durham University with a BSc (1967), and from Aberdeen University with a PhD in Soil Science (1971), Dr Bob Jones worked at Rothamsted Experimental Station for the National Soil Survey of England & Wales, undertaking research in field soil physics and soil interactions with agroclimate. He was a founder team member that developed the Land Information System (LandIS), which provides georeferenced soil and related data for the whole of England and Wales (1981-present). From 1998-2004, Dr Jones held posts posts as Visiting Scientist and Detached National Expert at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Ispra (Italy), developing the European Soil Information System. He has also worked as an information systems specialist in Ethiopia (1988) for FAO-UNDP, Jordan (1989-93) for the European Commission, Venezuela (1990-91) for Parmaven S.A., Tanzania (1993-96) for the World Bank and Pakistan (1996-98) for The Netherlands' Ministry of Overseas Development.
Working in the Environment and Agrifood theme, specifically the Cranfield Environment Centre, Dr Jones is a key worker on the ‘World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue’ (WOSSAC, www.wossac.com) system, and a member of the advisory team who successfully applied for and secured the Queens Anniversary Award in Soil Science at Cranfield. Current activities include active participation in the continued development of Cranfield’s important store of legacy soils data, utilising expert knowledge of soil survey, land evaluation and sustainable land use planning in the developed and developing world. As one of the original soil survey team at national level, Dr Jones uses his knowledge and expertise of legacy soil data relating to the ‘Land Information System’ LandIS, supported by Defra, to maximum effect.