Prof Jones was born in Cape Town. As the son of a port engineer he grew up with ports and ships as part of the landscape from an early age.
Educated at Durban High School and the University of Natal, where he joined the School of Economics in 1977, and served as Head of School during the mid-1990s and from 2006-2011 at UKZN.
During his tenure Prof Jones introduced a maritime flavour into the economics curriculum through modules in Maritime Transport Economics and Port Economics, and then later introduced two postgraduate programmes (a Postgraduate Diploma and a Master of Commerce) in Maritime Studies.
He retired formally at the end of 2011, but was re-hired in 2012 to oversee the establishment of a Unit of Maritime Law and Maritime Studies in the College of Law & Management Studies.
This Unit opened formally in October 2012, and serves as the base from which the LLM in Maritime Law and the two Maritime Studies programmes are run. He is still Director of the Unit.
Prof Jones describes himself as also being “fairly active as a consultant, working among others for SAASOA, the National Department of Transport, the Ports Regulator and the eThekweni Municipality”.