Assistant Professor

Education · Research Interests · Current Projects · Selected Publications


  • Ph.D., 2011, Marine Science
    University of Georgia
  • M.E.M., 2005, Water and Air Resources
    Duke University
  • B.S., 2003, Integrated Science and Technology
    James Madison University


  • Biogeochemistry
  • Microbial ecology
  • Geomicrobiology
  • Molecular microbiology
  • Marine deep subsurface biosphere


  • Quantifying marine biomass through geologic time
  • Processes related to microbial methane emission in coastal areas
  • Modeling the methane hydrate inventory along continental shelves
  • Processes and factors limiting marine microorganisms
  • Evaluation of the metabolic capacity of deep subsurface fungal communities
  • Defining the influence of nutrient regime changes on microbial communities


  • Bowles, M.W., Hunter, K.S., Samarkin, V.A., Joye, S.B. (2016) Variations in geochemical signatures and microbial activity within and between diverse cold seep habitats along the lower continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico. Deep Sea Research II. Topical Studies in Oceanography 129, 31-40.
  • Inagaki, F., Hinrichs, K.-U., Kubo, Y., Bowles, M.W., et al. (2015) Exploring deep microbial life in coal-bearing sediment down to ~2.5 km below the ocean floor. Science 349 (6246): 420-424, doi: 10.1126/science.aaa6882
  • Bowles, M.W., Mogollón, J.M., Kasten, S., Zabel, M., Hinrichs, K.-U. (2014) Global rates of marine sulfate reduction rates and implications for subseafloor metabolic activities. Science 344(6186): 889-891, doi: 10.1126/science.1249213
  • Bowles, M.W., Nigro, L.M., Teske, A.P., and Joye, S.B. (2012) Denitrification and environmental factors influencing nitrate removal in Guaymas Basin hydrothermally-altered sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology. 3:377, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00377.
  • Bowles, M.W., Samarkin, V.A., Joye, S.B. (2011) Improved measurement of microbial activity in deep-sea sediments at in situ pressure and gas concentration. Limnology and Oceanography Methods. 9: 499-506.
  • Bowles, M.W., Samarkin, V.A., Loftis, K.M., and Joye, S.B. (2011) Weak coupling between sulfate reduction and the anaerobic oxidation of methane in methane-rich seafloor sediments in ex situ incubations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 75: 500-519, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.09.043.
  • Bowles, M.W., and Joye, S.B. (2010) High rates of denitrification and nitrate removal in cold seep sediments. ISME Journal 5(3): 565-567, doi:10.1038/ismej.2010.134
  • Samarkin, V.A., Madigan, M.M., Bowles, M.W., Casciotti, K.L., McKay, C.P., Joye, S.B. (2010) Abiotic nitrous oxide emission from the hypersaline Don Juan Pond in Antarctica. Nature Geoscience, 3: 341-344, doi:10.1038/ngeo847BJ