Contributions in Natural History: A Memorial Volume in Honor of Clyde Jones


This volume, published in 2016 by the Museum of Texas Tech University, commemorates the life and career of eminent biologist Clyde Jones, PhD.

In the 1960s, while Dr. Jones served as a young biological sciences professor at Tulane University, he received an invitation to conduct field research in Rio Muni, present-day Equatorial Guinea, Africa. Jones was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the National Geographic Society. He received special instructions from Louis Leakey, who also sent Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey to Africa at the same time. The three young researchers knew each other, interacted, and sometimes compared notes. While Goodall studied chimpanzees and Fossey focused on highland gorillas, Jones tracked lowland gorillas and chimps. He and Goodall separately published the first evidence of chimpanzee use of tools. Jones came away from twenty months in Africa with twenty academic publications. This launched his international career as a mammologist and he soon became director of the division of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Here, he gained opportunities to conduct field research on seven continents and solidified his standing as a world-expert on mammals. In 1980, Texas Tech University was able to entice Jones to Lubbock as a full professor in biological sciences and director of the Museum.

During his career, he tempered his academic successes and international reputation with a low-keyed, unassuming personality that endeared him to those who knew him. By the time of his death in 2015, he had published two hundred scholarly works and arranged for the preservation of his entire publication, manuscript, and photographic collection at Texas Tech’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. Clyde Jones was a dear friend. It was an honor to contribute to this memorial volume, which is accessible at:

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