Professional summary

Mike Bowes is a  Principal Nutrient Hydrochemist at UKCEH, and leads the River Water Quality & Ecology Group. His main research interest is investigating the sources and fates of the major plant nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen and silicon) within rivers at the catchment scale, and how they impact on aquatic ecosystems. 

Mike specializes in nutrient interactions with river biota and bed-sediment. This novel research has identified threshold phosphorus concentrations that need to be attained in UK rivers before improvements in river ecology are likely to be observed. He also investigates how physical parameters such as light and flow velocity affect algal growth rates in rivers, and uses high frequency chemical and biological monitoring to determine the causes of algal blooms.

Mike developed the Load Apportionment Model, a novel and rapid method for determining relative quantities of P and N entering rivers from sewage treatment works and agriculture. This enables catchment managers and policy makers to determine how nutrient mitigation strategies will affect water quality and river ecology.

Mike leads the UKCEH Thames Initiative, a major integrated monitoring programme that brings together water quality and ecological research across the River Thames catchment. 

Selected publications