Brian Howes


Chancellor Professor

SMAST / Estuarine & Ocean Sciences

The Coastal Systems Group Website


1974Rutgers UniversityB.A.
1980Boston UniversityM.A.
1984Boston UniversityPh.D


Research activities

  • $12.5 million Massachusetts Estuaries Project
  • $1 million in related research funding in the fields of wetland restoration
  • Enhancement of natural attenuation and benthic animals


Research awards

  • $ 21,547 awarded by Town of Yarmouth for Yarmouth Water Quality and Wastewater Planning Program
  • $ 71,137 awarded by Sustainable Coastal Solutions, Inc. for St. Lucie and Indian River Lagoon: Technical Support for WQ Analyses to Evaluate Land Based Sources of Pollution
  • $ 12,597 awarded by Town of West Tisbury for Mill Brook West Tisbury Water Quality Analysis and Technical Assistance
  • $ 4,782 awarded by CDM Smith for CDM Sassaquin Water Quality Nutrient Analyses
  • $ 260,947 awarded by Town of Mashpee for Comprehensive Study of Mashpee Wakeby Pond


Research interests

  • Restoration of estuarine nutrient related habitat quality
  • Restoration of salt marshes through tidal enhancement and through Phragmites removal using natural biogeochemical cycles
  • Groundwater nutrient transport & transformation from uplands to coastal waters
  • Relationship between nutrient loading, algal production, oxygen levels and benthic communities in embayments
  • Long-term impact of sea level rise on community structure of wetland ecosystems

Select publications

  • Ramsey, J.S., H.E. Ruthven, S.W. Kelley and B.L. Howes (2007).
    Quantifying the influence of inlet migration on tidal marsh system health
    International Conference on Coastal Engineering, 1-14.
  • Smith, M.P, B.L. Howes and J. Kimball (2007).
    Watershed Planning: Securing our Water Future
    Water: Managing a Finite Resource, 9, 121-133.
  • Hamersley, M.R., and B.L. Howes (2005).
    An evaluation of the N2 flux approach for measuring sediment denitrification
    Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 62, 711-723.