Geoffrey Cowles


Geoffrey Cowles

Associate Professor

SMAST / Fisheries Oceanography

Research Website




School for Marine Science & Technology East, New Bedford 218


1994Cornell UniversityB.S. in Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering
2001Princeton UniversityPh.D in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


  • MNE436/MAR599 Ship Hydrodynamics
  • MAR555 Physical Oceanography
  • MNE490/MAR599 Aerodynamics
  • MAR514: Quantitative Methods for Marine Scientists
  • MAR524: Marine Ecosystem Modeling




Research activities

  • Optimization of Tidal Energy Extraction (NSF, DOE, Sea Grant)
  • Geolocation of Demersal Fish (NOAA)
  • Climate Change impacts on Larval Connectivity and Recruitment of Lobster off Southern New England (NOAA)
  • Ontogeny and Swimming Performance in Larval Fish


Research awards

  • $ 1,043,876 awarded by Office of Naval Research for UMassD MUST II: Regional Ocean Turbulence from Long-Duration, Autonomous Observations
  • $ 387,279 awarded by Office of Naval Research for UMassD MUST I: Intermediate and Long-Time Evolution of Turbulent Wakes in the Ocean
  • $ 147,848 awarded by Office of Naval Research for UMassD MUST I: Improving the Prediction Capability of Coastal Ocean Models using Hardware Acceleration


Research interests

  • Marine Renewable Energy
  • Ocean Modeling
  • Shape Optimization and Design
  • High Performance Computing
  • Coupled Marine Bio-Physical Models

Select publications

  • Cowles, G.W., Hakim, A., Churchill, J. (2017).
    A comparison of numerical and analytical predictions of the tidal stream power resource of Massachusetts, USA
    Renewable Energy, 114, 215-228.
  • Liu, C., Cowles, G.W., Zemeckis, D.R., Cadrin, S.X., Dean, M.J. (2017).
    Validation of a hidden Markov model for the geolocation of Atlantic cod
    Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 74, 1862-1877.
  • Cowles, G.W. (2013).
    A block-structured adaptive mesh refinement solver for morphodynamic modeling
    Journal of Coastal Research, 29, 727-735.

Dr. Cowles is a Professor in the Department of Fisheries Oceanography at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is the director of the Computational Modeling Lab (CMLAB) at the School for Marine Science and Technology. His research is focused on applied computing at a wide range of scales which include problems in coastal ocean and wave modeling, ship hydrodynamics, and free surface flows. Dr. Cowles is currently working with students and colleagues on several projects including the development of improved techniques for the geolocation of demersal fish, evaluations of the contribution of wastewater to coastal acidification, multiscale modeling for tidal energy optimization, and biophysical modeling studies of the impacts of climate change on lobster recruitment in local waters.

His research is supported by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Department of Energy (DOE), MIT Sea Grant, and Woods Hole Sea Grant.