Mike Bowes is a senior nutrient hydrochemist at CEH, 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 specialises in nutrient interactions with river biota and bed-sediment. This novel research is currently being used to identify 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 biofilm 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 CEH Thames Initiative, a major integrated monitoring programme that brings together water quality and ecological research across the River Thames catchment.
The impact of changing water quality on periphyton and phytoplankton biomass in rivers.
Estimating nutrient loads to rivers from sewage and agriculture, using Load Apportionment Modelling and chemical tracing.
Identifying the factors that control the timing and magnitude of algal blooms.
2008 – present. Senior Hydrochemist, CEH
1998-2008 Nutrient Hydrochemist, CEH Dorset / Institute of Freshwater Ecology
1983-1993 Thermoplastics research. ICI Plastics and Petrochemicals, Wilton, Cleveland
2006 PhD, University of Portsmouth. Phosphorus dynamics within large river catchments: interactions with sediment, biota and river discharge
1997 MSc Environmental Biogeochemistry, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1993-1996 BSc Geography (First class honours), University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne