A university professor with links to Christchurch has appeared in court accused of shooting his ex-wife multiple times and dismembering her body.

Lawrence Jones, 69, has been charged with slaying his former partner Norife 'Janie' Herrera Jones, 29, at his home before dumping her remains in a remote part of California.

US police say the alleged murder happened just one week after the couple's divorce became finalised, ending a tempestuous five-year marriage, the Daily Mail reports.

Professor 'Larry' Jones, a distinguished Monterey Naval Postgraduate School instructor, worked at the University of Canterbury's ACIS department as a visiting scholar in 2003.

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Today, his former colleagues were either deceased or no longer working at the institution, a spokeswoman for the accountancy and information systems department said.

Jones was arrested a week after the woman's remains were found in Aromas, California, and he appeared in court on Wednesday.

He did not enter a plea and was held in custody as investigators continue to probe the case, and are looking into claims Herrera Jones was kidnapped before her murder.