Educated Rutlish School (1955-1962), University College London (1962-1965) and University of Queensland (1965-1967). Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. Spends part of each year at Rhodes University in South Africa (at their Knysna Field Laboratory), part at the University of Queensland in Australia (at the Moreton Bay Research Station), and part in Cambridge. Author of 100+ refereed scientific research papers and author/editor of 13 books; one-time Secretary of the Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association and Chairman of the European Union for Coastal Conservation (UK). In 1971 a crab was named after him (Macrophthalmus barnesi).
- Barnes, R.S.K. 2019. Local patchiness of macrobenthic faunal abundance displays homogeneity across the disparate seagrass systems of an estuarine bay. Marine Environmental Research, 148, 99-107.
- Barnes, R.S.K. & Laurie, H. 2018. Seagrass macrofaunal abundance shows both multifractality and scale-invariant patchiness. Marine Environmental Research, 138, 84-95.
- Barnes, R.S.K. 2017. Are seaward pneumatophore fringes transitional between mangrove and lower-shore system compartments? Marine Environmental Research, 125, 99-109.
- Barnes, R.S.K. & Hamylton, S. 2016. On the very edge: faunal and functional responses to the interface between benthic seagrass and unvegetated-sand assemblages. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 553, 33-48
- Barnes, R.S.K. & Barnes, M.K.S. 2014. Biodiversity differentials between the numerically-dominant macrobenthos of seagrass and adjacent unvegetated sand in the absence of sandflat bioturbation. Marine Environmental Research, 99, 34-43