Malcolm Bowman is Professor of Physical Oceanography and a Distinguished Service Professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), State University of New York at Stony Brook. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. (honors) degrees in physics and mathematics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and his Ph.D. in Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

He joined MSRC in 1971 and rose through the ranks to serve a term as Acting Dean and Director during 1987-88. He is the coordinator of the Stony Brook Storm Surge Group, whose current research interests are prediction and modeling of storm surges that threaten the New York Metropolitan area. The group studies ways the City can protect itself from flooding from extreme weather events in an era of possible global warming and sea level rise. He also is the coordinator of an international group of oceanographers and modelers who are studying the Black Sea in Europe.

Between 1996 and 1999, Dr Bowman took leave from Stony Brook University to accept an invitation to return to his native New Zealand as Founding Head of the School of Environmental and Marine Sciences at Auckland University. There he developed a keen awareness and interest in the role marine reserves and wilderness areas can play in marine conservation and fisheries rehabilitation. He is a Director of the Environmental Defence Society (NZ), an honorary Professor of Physics at Auckland University, the Stony Brook Faculty Director of Study Abroad in Australia and New Zealand and a Distinguished Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.