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





Investigations of a fundamental and/or applied nature representing an original contribution to the scholarly research literature of the field. PhD dissertations are often published in refereed journals or presented at major conferences. A written dissertation must be completed in accordance with the rules of the Graduate School and the College of Engineering. Admission to the course is based on successful completion of the PhD comprehensive examination and submission of a formal proposal endorsed by the student's graduate committee and submitted to the EAS Graduate Program Director.

An advanced treatment of a special topic in specific areas of marine sciences and technology with an emphasis on recent developments. The subject matter varies according to the interests of the instructor and the students.

Seminar discussions and presentations based on research or detailed literature surveys.

Seminar discussions and presentations based on research or detailed literature surveys.

Instruction, demonstration, and exercises in the fundamentals of marine hydrodynamics. Topics include: elements of ship resistance, including displacement & high speed forms, ship propulsion, and the use of models to estimate full scale resistance. The curriculum emphasizes application of these principles through classroom examples, homework content, problem-solving sessions, and computer-based projects.


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 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.

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