Professor David Bowers
BSc (Manc) MSc PhD (Wales)

Photograph of Prof David Bowers


First degree in physics at Manchester, graduated 1972. M.Sc. and Ph.D. in physical oceanography at University College of North Wales, 1976-1980. Research assistant, later research fellow at UCNW and unit for Coastal and Estuarine Studies. 1985-1986 Research fellow, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide. Appointed lecturer at Bangor University in 1987, senior lecturer in 1998. Research experience in the physical oceanography of shelf seas and estuaries includes considerable sea-going experience in the southern ocean, Indian Ocean and N.W.European shelf.

Research Interests

Optical oceanography of coastal and estuarine waters, particularly methods of extracting information about water contents from optical measurements. Member of the Marine Optics group at bangor, which is currently active in the following areas: remote sensing of suspended sediments in shelf seas through ocean colour, direct measurements of primary production in shelf seas using fast repetition rate fluorometers, relationships between yellow substance and dissolved organic matter in the sea, remote sensing of salinity using colour and tidal effects on the underwater light field.

Research Groups

Research Themes

Research Grants Awarded

2000-2003. Quantitative studies of the inherent optical properties of marine particle suspensions and their influence on remote sensing reflectance in case 2 waters (with Gay Mitchelson-Jacob and Strathclyde University)source: NERC, amount £155k).

2000-2003. Academic Link with University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique (with Antonio Hoguane)(source:British Council, amount £18k)

2000-2003. Dissolved organic matter in coastal ecosystems:transport, dynamics and enviironmental impact (DOMAINE) (with Peter Williams and David Thomas and 6 European partners)(source: EU FP5, amount (UWB) 269k euros)

1999-2002. Improved assessment of eutrophication effects in coastal waters (with CEFAS Lowestoft and Napier University)(source:MAFF amount £37k)


Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

Roberts, E. M., Bowers, D. G. and Davies, A. J. (2017).
Tidal modulation of seabed light and its implications for benthic algae. Limnol. Oceanogr., doi:10.1002/lno.10616

Howlett, E.R., D.G. Bowers, J. Malarkey and C.F. Jago, 2015.
Stratification in the presence of an axial convergent front: Causes and implications. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 161, 1-10.
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Asmala, E, Bowers, DG, Autio, R, Kaartokallio, H and Thomas, DN. 2014.
Qualitative changes of riverine dissolved organic matter at low salinities due to flocculation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 119, 1919-1933.

Chong, Y-J., E. Khan, P. Scheelbeek, A.P. Butler, D.G. Bowers, P. Vineis (2014)
Climate change and salinity in drinking water as a global problem: using remote sensing methods to monitor surface water salinity. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(4) 1585-1599

Macdonald, R.G., Bowers, D.G., McKee, D., Nimmo-Smith, W.A.M., Graham, G. (2014)
Diurnal vertical migration maintains phytoplankton position in a tidal channel with residual flow, Marine Ecology Progress Series. 509 113-126

Roberts, E.M., Bowers, D.G. and Davies, A.J. (2014).
Springs-neaps cycles in daily total seabed light: Daylength-induced changes. Journal of Marine Systems, 132, 116-129.

Asmala E, DG Bowers, R Autio, H Kaartokallio and DN Thomas. 2014.
Flocculation of riverine humic-rich dissolved organic matter at low salinities. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences,doi: 10.1002/2014JG002722

Bowers, D.G., Macdonald, R.G., McKee, D.G., Nimmo-Smith, W.A.M., Graham, G. (2013)
On the formation of tide-produced seiches and double high waters in coastal seas, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 134, 108 - 116.

Bowers, D.G., Roberts, E.M., White, M. and Moate, B.D. (2013).
Water masses, mixing, and the flow of dissolved organic carbon through the Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 58, 12-20.

Braithwaite, K.M., D.G.Bowers, W.A.M.Nimmo-Smith and G.W.Graham (2012)
Controls on floc growth in an energetic tidal channel. Journal of Geophysical Research, doi 10.1029/2011 JC007094

Graham, G.W., E.J. Davies, W.A.M. Nimmo-Smith, D.G. Bowers and K.M. Braithwaite (2012)
Interpreting LISST-100X measurements of particles with complex shape using digital in-line holography. Journal of Geophysical Research, doi 10.1029/2011JC007613

Hoguane, A. M., Green, C. L., Bowers, D. G., and Nordes, S. I. J. (2012)
A note on using a digital camera to measure suspended sediment load in Maputo Bay, Mozambique. Remote Sensing Letters, 3:3, 259-266.

Moate, BD, Bowers, DG and Thomas, DN. 2012.
Measurements of mineral particle absorption properties in turbid estuaries: intercomparison of methods and implications for optical inversions. Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science, 99 95-107
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Bowers, D.G. and K.M. Braithwaite (2011)
Evidence that satellites sense cross sectional area of particles in suspension better than their mass. Geo-Marine Letters, DOI: 10.1007/s00367-011-0259-6

Bowers, D.G., I. MD-Suffian and E.G. Mitchelson Jacob (2011)
Bio-optical properties of East Coast Malaysia water in relation to remote sensing of chlorophyll. International Journal of Remote Sensing, DOI:10.1080/01431161.2011.584917

Bowers, D.G., K.M.Braithwaite, W.A.M.Nimmo-Smith and G.W.Graham (2011)
Optical efficiency of flocs in shelf seas and estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 91, 341-350

Bowers, D.G. and J.M.Brubaker (2010)
Tidal amplification of seabed light. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, c09008 doi: 10.1029/2009JC005785

Braithwaite, K.M., D.G.Bowers, W.A.M. Nimmo-Smith, G.W.Graham, Y.C.Agrawal and O.A.Mikkelsen (2010)
Observations of particle density and scattering in the Tamar estuary. Marine Geology, 277, 1-10

Bowers, D.G., K.M.Braithwaite, W.A.M.Nimmo-Smith and G.W.Graham (2009)
Light scattered by particles suspended in the sea: the role of particle size and density. Continental Shelf Research, 29, 1748-1755

Goddijn, L.M., D.Dailloux, M.White and D.G.Bowers (2009)
Fundamentals of in situ digital camera methodology for water quality monitoring in coast and ocean. Sensors, 9, 5825-5843, doi 10.3390/S90705825

Hulatt, C, DN Thomas, DG Bowers, L Norman and C Zheng. 2009.
Exudation and decomposition of coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) from some macroalgae. Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science. 84, 147-153

E van der Lee, DG Bowers and E Kyte (2009).
Remote sensing of temporal and spatial patterns of suspended particle size in the Irish Sea in relation to the Kolmogorov microscale. Continental Shelf Research, 29, 1213-1225.

Ellis, KM; Binding, CE; Bowers, DG, JH Simpson (2008).
A model of turbidity maximum maintenance in the Irish Sea Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science Volume: 76 Pages: 765-774

Bowers, D.G and Brett, H.L. (2008)
The relationship between CDOM and salinity in estuaries: an analytical and graphical solution. Journal of Marine Systems, 73, 1-2, Pages 1 -7
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Bowers, D.G, Binding, C.E. and Ellis, K.M. (2007)
Satellite remote sensing of the geographical distribution of suspended particle size in an energetic shelf sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sciences, 73, 457-466

Bowers, D.G. and Binding, C.E. (2006)
Optical properties of mineral suspended particles in the sea: a review and synthesis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 67, 219-230.

Brockway, R., Bowers, D., Hoguane, A., Dove, V. and Vassele, V. (2006)
A note on salt intrusion in funnel shaped estuaries: applications to the Incomati Estuary, Mozambique. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 66, 1-5.

Binding, C.E., Bowers, D.G. and Mitchelson-Jacob, E.G. (2005)
Estimating suspended sediment concentrations from ocean colour measurements in moderately turbid waters; the impact of variable particle scattering properties. Remote Sensing of Environment, 94(3), 373-383.

Bowers, D.G., Ellis, K.M. and Jones, S.E. (2005)
Isolated turbidity maxima in Shelf Seas. Continental Shelf Research, 25, 1071-1080.

Hakansson, B. and Bowers, D.G. (2005)
Baltic Sea remote sensing and bio-optical modelling – guest editor’s preface. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 231.

White, M., Feighery, L., Bowers, D., O’Riain, G. and Bowyer, P. (2005)
Using a digital camera for water quality and river plume measurements in the coastal zone. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 4405-4419.

Bowers, D.G. and Brubaker, J.M. (2004)
Underwater sunlight maxima in the Menai Strait. Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics, 6, 684n689.

Bowers, D.G., Evans, D., Thomas, D.N., Ellis, K. and Williams, P.J.leB. 2004
Interpreting the colour of an estuary. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 59, 13-20.
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Ellis, K.M., Bowers, D.G. and Jones, S.E. (2004)
A study of the temporal variability in particle size in a high energy regime. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 61, 311-315.

Binding, C.E. and Bowers, D.G (2003)
Measuring the salinity of the Clyde Sea from remotely sensed ocean colour. Estuarine,Coastal and Shelf Science, 57, 605-611.

Binding, C.E., Bowers, D.G. and Mitchelson-Jacob, E.G. (2003)
An algorithm for the retrieval of suspended sediment concentrations in the Irish Sea from SeaWiFS ocean colour satellite imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing 24(19), 3791-3806.

Bowers, D.G (2003)
A simple turbulent energy-based model of fine suspended sediments in the Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 23, 1495-1505

Kratzer,S., Buchan,S. and Bowers, D.G. (2003)
Testing long term trends in turbidity in the Menai Strait, North Wales. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 56, 221-226

Bowers,D.G., Gaffney,S. , White,M. and Bowyer,P. (2002)
Turbidity in the southern Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 22, 2115-2126

Bowers, D.G., Kratzer, S., Morrison, J.R., Smith, P.S.D., Tett, P.B., Walne, A.W. and Wild-Allen, K. (2001)
On the calibration and use of in situ Ocean Colour measurements for monitoring algal blooms. International Journal of Remote Sensing, Special Issue on Algal Blooms, 22, 359–368.

Siddorn, J.R., Bowers, D.G. and Hoguane, A.M. (2001)
Detecting the Zambezi River Plume using Observed Optical Properties. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 42, 942–950.

Bowers, D.G., Harker, G.E.L., Smith, P.S.D. and Tett, P. (2000)
Optical properties of a region of freshwater influence (the Clyde Sea). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 50, 717–726.

Kratzer, S., Bowers, D.G. and Tett, P.B. (2000)
The annual cycle of water colour and its interpretation in optical case–2 waters. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 21, 2225–2246.

Hoguane, A.M., Hill, A.E., Simpson, J.H. and Bowers, D.G. (1999)
Diurnal and tidal variation of temperature and salinity in the Ponta Rasa Mangrove Swamp, Mozambique. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 49, 251–264.

Williams, P. J. Le B. and Bowers, D. G. (1999)
Regional Carbon Imbalances in the Oceans. Science 284 173-174

Bowers,D.G., Boudjelas, S. and Harker, G.E.L. (1998)
The distribution of fine suspended sediments in the surface waters of the Irish Sea and its relationship to tidal stirring. International Journal of Remote Sensing,19, 2789-2805

Bowers,D.G. and Al-Barakati, A.(1997)
Tidal rectification over drying estuarine sandbanks. Estuaries, 20, 559-568

Bowers,D.G., Tett, P. and Walne, A.W. (1997)
A note on sea bed illumination in shallow tidal seas. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 77, 921-928.

Wild, K., Tett, P. and D.Bowers (1997)
Observations of diffuse upwelling irradiance and chlorophyll in case 1 waters near the Canary Islands (Spain). Optics and Laser Technology, 29, 3-8.

Bowers D. G. and E. G. Mitchelson-Jacob (1996).
Inherent optical properties of the Irish Sea determined from underwater irradiance measurements. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 43, 433-447.

Bowers, D.G., Harker, G.E.L. and B.Stephan (1996)
Absorption spectra of inorganic particles in the Irish sea and their relevance to remote sensing of chlorophyll. International Journal of Remote Sensing,17, 2449-2460

Smith P. S. D., D. G. Bowers and E. G. Mitchelson-Jacob, (1996)
Optical determination of phytoplankton floristic composition. SPIE 2963, Ocean Optics XIII, 532-537.

Elliott, A.J., Bowers, D.G. and Jones, B. (1995)
Tidal currents near Bardsey Sound. The Hydrographic Journal, 78,13-18

Bowers, D.G. and Lwiza, K.M.M. (1994)
The temperature minimum at tidal fronts. Annales Geophysicae,12, 683-687

Hill, A.E., James, I.D., Linden, P.F., Matthews, J.P., Prandle, D., Simpson, J.H., Gmitrowicz, E.M., Smeed, D.A., Lwiza, K.M.M., Durazo, R., Fox, A.D. and Bowers, D.G. (1993)
Dynamics of tidal mixing fronts in the North Sea. Phil.Trans.R.Soc.Lond., A,343,431-446

Weeks, A.R., Simpson, J.H. and Bowers, D.(1993)
The relationship between concentrations of suspended particulate material and tidal processes in the Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 13,1325-1334

Bowers, D.G.,T.P.Rippeth and J.H.Simpson (1991)
Tidal friction in a sea with two equal semi-diurnal tidal constituents. Continental Shelf Research, 11,203-209

Lwiza,K.M.M.,Bowers, D.G and J.H.Simpson (1991)
Residual and tidal flow at a tidal mixing front in the North Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 11, 1379-1395.

Bowers,D.G. and G.W.Lennon (1990)
Tidal progression in a near-resonant system - a case study from South Australia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 30, 17-34.

Bowers,D.G. and J.H.Simpson (1990)
Geographical variations in the seasonal heat cycle in N.W.European shelf seas. Continental Shelf Research, 10,185-199

Nunes Vaz, R.A.,G.W.Lennon and Bowers, D.G (1990)
Physical behaviour of a large, negative or inverse estuary. Continental Shelf Research, 10,277-304

Bowers, D.G. and G.W.Lennon (1987)
Observations of stratified flow over a bottom gradient in a coastal sea. Continental Shelf Research, 7, 1105-1126

Bowers, D.G. and J.H.Simpson (1987)
The mean position of tidal fronts in European-shelf seas. Continental Shelf research,7,35-44

Lennon,G.W., Bowers, D.G, R.A.Nunes, B.D.Scott, M.Ali, J.Boyle, Cai Wenju, M.Herzfeld, G.Johansson, S.Nield, P.Petrusevics, P.Stephenson, A.A.Suskin and S.E.A.Wijffels (1987)
Gravity currents and the release of salt from an inverse estuary, Nature, 327, 695-697

Simpson, J.H. and Bowers, D.G (1984)
The role of tidal stirring in controlling the seasonal heat cycle in shelf seas. Annales Geophysicae, 2, 411-416

Simpson, J.H. and Bowers, D.G (1981)
Models of stratification and frontal movement in shelf seas. Deep Sea Research, 28A, 727-738

Simpson, J.H. and Bowers, D.G (1979)
Shelf sea fronts' adjustments revealed by satellite IR imagery. Nature, 280, 648-651


DN Thomas and DG Bowers. 2012. Introducing Oceanography. 151 pages. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd. ISBN 9781780460017.
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Book Chapters

Bowers, D.G. (2013)
Optical techniques in studying suspended sediments, turbulence and mixing. Chapter 18 in Subsea Optics, edited by J.Watson and O. Zielinski, Woodhead publishers.

Bowers, D.G. (1990)
Models of density current outflows from inverse estuaries, with application to Spencer Gulf, South Australia. in: Focus on modelling marine systems, volume 2, CRC State-of-the art series on numerical modelling in marine systems. A.M.Davies, editor.

Simpson,J.H. and Bowers, D.G (1990)
Databank oceanography: testing models of the seasonal heat cycle in shelf seas. in: Physics of shallow seas; Wang Huatong, Wang Jingyong and Dai Hua, editors. China Ocean Press, Beijing.

Additional Publications

Green, J. A. M., Davies, A.G. , Bowers, D.G. , Zhu, F. , Ward, S.L. and Porter, K. 2013
Briefing: Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference 2012. Maritime Engineering, DOI: 10.1680/maen.2012.28.

DG Bowers, E Kyte and EG Mitchelson-Jacob (2007)
Spectral fitting techniques in turbid water. IEEE conference proceedings Oceans 07 Aberdeen isbn 1-4244-0635-8 IEEE catalogue number 07EX1527C library of congress 2006932314

White, M., Bowers, D., Gaffney, S., and Bowyer, P. (2003)
Interannual variability in Irish Sea turbidity and relation to wind strength. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 103B, 83-90

Bowers,D.G. and S.Boudjelas (1992)
Periodic variations in the reflectance of the Irish sea. European Geophysical Society, Newsletter 42 (abstract only).

Wegener,M.,G.Lennon, D.Bowers, J.Brandwyk,G.Wilkins, P.Petrusevics, D.Clift and A.Tickner (1987)
Non-tracking antennae systems for the aquisition of NOAA HRPT data. 3rd Space Engineering symposium, Canberra, Australia.

Petrusevics, P., Bowers, D.G and G.W.Lennon (1986)
Temperature measurements in the upper sea. Proceedings of the first Australian AVHRR conference, Perth.

Bowers, D.G., P.J.E.Crook and J.H.Simpson (1982)
An evaluation of sea surface temperature estimates from the AVHRR. in Remote Sensing and the atmosphere. Proceedings of the annual technical conference of the Remote Sensing Society.

Simpson, J.H. and Bowers, D.G (1982)
On the use of infra-red imagery to study the surface temperature of the shelf seas. in Proceedings in Marine Remote Sensing, F.John Vernberg and F.P.Diemer, editors, University of South Carolina Press

PDF copies of some of these publications are available (as indicated by hyperlinks in the list) for non-commercial research and educational purposes only. You may not use the material for commercial purposes or make multiple copies without requesting permission from the copyright holder (usually the book or journal publisher).