Assistant Professor of Geobiology, Earth & Environmental Science

Academic Director, National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI)


I am a geomicrobiologist and biogeochemist specializing in microbial sulfur cycling and microbe-mineral interactions in cave systems. In addition to my work on caves and karst, I have diverse research interests in the field of geomicrobiology, including microbial processes in mine waste, marine sediments, and wetland ecosystems.

Prior to my position at NMT and NCKRI, I served as the program coordinator for the bioremediation-focused MnDRIVE Environment initiative at the University of Minnesota, and was a research associate in the University of Minnesota BioTechnology Institute. I am also graduate faculty in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota.



Dan's Google Scholar page

Dan's research website

Cave and Karst Studies at NMT

The National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI)

Science communication class activity (



Geomicrobiology (Fall 2019 syllabus)

Earth History (Spring 2020 syllabus)

Special Topics in Cave & Karst Processes (Spring 2020 syllabus)


Select recent publications:

Jones DS, Walker GM, Johnson NJ, Mitchell CPJ, Coleman Wasik JK, Bailey JV (2019). Molecular evidence for novel mercury methylating microorganisms in sulfate-impacted lakes. ISME J 13: 1659-1675 (

Jones DS, Lapakko KA, Wenz ZJ, Olson MC, Roepke EW, Sadowsky MJ, Novak PJ, Bailey JV (2017). Novel microbial assemblages dominate weathered sulfide-bearing rock from copper-nickel deposits in the Duluth Complex, Minnesota, USA. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:e00909-17 (

Galdenzi S and Jones DS, (2017). The Frasassi Caves: A “classical” active hypogenic cave. In Klimchouk A, Palmer A, Waele JD, Auler A, Audra P (ed), Hypogene Karst Regions and Caves of the World. Springer. (

Jones DS, Schaperdoth I, Macalady JL (2016). Biogeography of sulfur-oxidizing Acidithiobacillus populations in extremely acidic cave biofilms. ISME J 10: 2879 (

Jones DS, Flood BE, Bailey JV (2016). Metatranscriptomic insights into polyphosphate metabolism in marine sediments, ISME J 10: 1015 (DOI:

Jones DS and Macalady, JL (2016). The snotty and the stringy: energy for subsurface life in caves. in Advances in Environmental Microbiology: Their World: a Diversity of Microbial Environments, ed. by C.J. Hurst, Springer DE, Heidelberg, Germany, p. 203-224 (

Jones DS, Polerecky L, Dempsey BA, Galdenzi S, Macalady JL (2015). Fate of sulfide in the Frasassi cave system and implications for sulfuric acid speleogenesis, Chem Geol 410: 21 (

Jones DS, Kohl K, Grettenberger C, Larson LL, Burgos WD, Macalady JL (2015). Geochemical niches of iron-oxidizing acidophiles in a coal mine discharge, Appl Environ Microbiol 81: 1242 (

Jones DS, Flood BE, Bailey JV (2015). Metatranscriptomic analysis of diminutive Thiomargarita-like bacteria (Candidatus Thiopilula spp.) from abyssal cold seeps of the Barbados Accretionary Prism, Appl Environ Microbiol 81: 3142 (

Zerkle AL, Jones DS, Farquhar J, Macalady JL (2015). Sulfur isotope values in the sulfidic Frasassi cave system, central Italy: A case study of a chemolithotrophic S-based ecosystem, Geochim Cosmochim Acta 173: 373 (


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