Colleen B. Mouw

  • Associate Professor of Oceanography; Associate Dean for Diversity and Academic Affairs, Graduate School
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Phone: 401.874.6506
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 336 Coastal Institute
  • Website
  • Accepting Students: Ph.D.


Dr. Colleen Mouw is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography, the Associate Dean for Diversity and Academic Affairs in the Graduate School, and mentoring, professional development, and personal growth enthusiast. Her academic research focuses on utilizing optical tools to investigate phytoplankton community structure, carbon cycling, and the physical drivers of these in marine and freshwater systems. Her personal and professional interests lie are in mentoring, coaching, and inspiring others to discover and achieve inner excellence to thrive in their professional lives. She believes that professional skills in communication and leadership are just as important, if not more important, as technical skills and knowledge in career success, impact, and satisfaction. She has taught graduate courses on ocean color remote sensing and optics and scholarly writing, and co-leads a national program aimed at retaining women in science (MPOWIR, Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention).


  • Aquatic color remote sensing of ocean and lakes
  • Phytoplankton ecology
  • Optics
  • Phytoplankton imaging
  • Primary production
  • Carbon cycling
  • Physical drivers of phytoplankton variability
  • Mentoring
  • Professional communication


  • Ph.D. Oceanography, University of Rhode Island
  • M.S. Oceanography, University of Rhode Island
  • B.S. Biology, Western Michigan University

Selected Publications