Mathew Wells, Associate Professor


Home Campus:
U of T Scarborough

Australian National University (2001)

Other Degrees:
BSc Australian National University (1996)

Contact Information:

Phone:    (416) 208-4879
Location: (UTSC)
Downtown Office: Room SSH5022 (100 St. George Street)

Personal Website:

Research Interests:

  • Environmental fluid dynamics
  • Turbulence modelling
  • Mixing and dispersion of nutrients and larvae

Call For Students:

Prof. Wells is seeking a Masters student for a project on the physical limnology of Lake Simcoe. The project will investigate the dissolved oxygen dynamics in waters of Lake Simcoe, specifically how physical mixing processes determine the levels of dissolved oxygen that are important for viable fish habitats. As the project will involve significant analysis of new field data, the student should ideally have a strong quantitive background and knowledge of limnology or oceanography.

Selected Publications:

Refereed Articles

  • Barth L., Sprules, G.A., Wells M.G. and Coman M.A. 2014. Seasonal changes in the diel vertical migration of Chaoborus punctipennis larval instars. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0440
  • Cortés, A., Rueda F., and Wells M.G. 2014. Experimental observations of the splitting of a gravity current at a density step in a stratified water body. Journal of Geophysical Research- Oceans 119, doi:10.1002/2013JC009304.
  • Cortés, A., Fleenor, W., Wells M.G., de Vicente I., and Rueda, F. 2014. Pathways of river water to the surface layers of stratified reservoirs. Limnology and Oceanography 59(1), 233-250, doi:10.4319/lo.2014.59.1.0233
  • Pernica, P., Wells, M.G. and Sprules, G.A. 2013. Internal waves and mixing in the epilimnion of a lake affects spatial patterns of zooplankton in a body-size dependent manner. Limnology and -2 Oceanography: Fluids and Environments 3: 279–294 DOI: 10.1215/21573689-2409149
  • Pernica, P., Wells, M.G. and MacIntyre, S.A. 2013. Persistent weak thermal stratification inhibits mixing in the epilimnion of north-temperate Lake Opeongo, Canada. Aquatic Sciences. DOI 10.1007/s00027-013-0328-1
  • Wells, M.G. and Cossu, R. 2013. The possible role of Coriolis forces in structuring large-scale sinuous patterns in submarine channel/levee systems. Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 371 doi:101098/rsta.2012.0366
  • Sun, Y., G. Wells, Bailey, S.A. and Anderson E.J. 2013. Physical dispersion and dilution of ballast water discharge in the St. Clair River: Implications for biological invasions. Water Resources Research I49(5), 2395–2407, doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20201
  • Peakall, Wells, Cossu, Kane, Masson , Keevil, McCaffrey, Corney 2013.Global (latitudinal) variation in submarine channel sinuosity – REPLY. Geology 41(5) e288 doi:10.1130/G34319Y.1
  • Cossu, R. and M.G.Wells 2013. The interaction of large amplitude internal seiches with a shallow sloping lakebed: Observations of benthic turbulence in Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada PLOS ONE 8 (3), e57444
  • Cossu, R. and M.G.Wells 2012. The evolution of submarine channels under the influence of Coriolis forces: experimental observations of flow structures. Terra Nova 25(1) 65–71
  • Pernica, P. and M.G. Wells 2012. Frequency of episodic stratification in the near surface of Lake Opeongo and other small lakes. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada. 47 (3-4), 227-237
  • [25] Coman, M.A. and M.G. Wells (2012) An oscillating bottom boundary layer connects the littoral and pelagic regions of Lake Opeongo, Canada. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada. Vol 47 (3-4) pp 215–226
  • A. Coman and M.G. Wells. 2011. Temperature variability in the littoral zone of Lake Opeongo is driven by wind variability. Can. J. Fish. Aquat Sci. 69:(2) 282-296, doi:10.1139/f2011- 167
  • Cossu, R. and M.G. Wells. 2011. A comparison of the shear stress distribution in the bottom boundary layer of experimental density and turbidity currents. European Journal of Mechanics B/Fluids. 32, 70–79 doi:10.1016/j.euromechflu.2011.09.006 [22] M.G. Wells, S. Bailey and B. Ruddick (2010) The dilution and dispersion of ballast water discharged into Goderich Harbor. Marine Pollution Bulletin doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.03.005
  • M.G. Wells, C. Cenedese and C.P. Caulfield 2010. The relationship between flux coefficient and entrainment ratio in density currents. Phys. Oceanog. 40(12)doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4225.1
  • Cossu, R., and M.G. Wells 2010. Coriolis forces influence the secondary circulation of gravity currents flowing in large-scale sinuous submarine channel systems. Geophys Res. Letts.(in press) doi:10.1029/2010GL044296
  • Cossu, , M.G. Wells. and A.K. Wahlin 2010. Influence of the Coriolis force on the velocity structure of gravity currents in straight submarine channel systems. J. Geophys. Res. (in press) doi:10.1029/2010JC006208
  • L.A. Wyngaarden, K.M. Vogeli, B. Ciruna, T.P. Yamaguchi, D.Y. Stainier, G.R. Martin, M.G. Wells, A-K Hadjantonakis and S. Hopyan 2010. Oriented cell motility and division underlie early limb bud morphogenesis. Development 137:15 2551-2558 doi:10.1242/dev.046987
  • M.G. Wells and S. Parker. 2010. The thermal variability of the waters of Fathom Five National Marine Park, Lake Huron. Great Lakes Res. 36, 570-576 doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2010.04.009
  • M.G. Wells. 2009. How Coriolis forces can limit the spatial extent of sediment deposition of a large-scale turbidity current. Sedimentary Geology, 218, 1-5 doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2009.04.011-2
  • M.G. Wells and Nadarajah. 2009. The intrusion depth of density currents flowing into stratified water bodies. J. Phys. Oceanog. 39, 1935–1947.
  • M.G. Wells and L, Sealock, 2009. Summer water circulation in Frenchman’s Bay, a shallow coastal embayment connected to Lake Ontario, Great Lakes Res., 35(4) 548-559 doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2009.08.009
  • M.G. Wells and J. S. Wettlaufer 2008. The circulation in Lake Vostok: A laboratory analogue study. Geophysical Research Letters. 35, L0350, doi:10.1029/2007GL032162
  • M.G. Wells and J. S. Wettlaufer 2007. The long-term circulation driven by density currents in a two-layer stratified basin. Fluid Mech. 572, 37 – 58
  •  M.G. Wells, H.J.H. Clercx, and G.J.F. van Heijst 2007. Vortices in oscillating spin-up. Fluid Mech. 573, 339 – 369
  • M.G. Wells and J. S. Wettlaufer 2005. Two dimensional density currents in a confined basin. Astro. Fluid Dyn. 99 , 199-218
  • H.J.H Clercx, G.J.F. van Heijst, D. Molenaar and M.G. Wells 2005. No slip walls as a vorticity source in two-dimensional bounded turbulence. Atmos. Oceans 40 3-21
  • S.E. Bryan, A. Cook, J. Evans, P. Colls, M.G. Wells, M. Lawrence, J. Jell, A. Greig and R. Leslie 2004. Pumice rafting and faunal dispersion during 2001-2002 in the Sothwest Pacific: record of a dacitic submarine explosive eruption from Tonga. Earth Planet. Sci. Letts. 227 135-154
  • M.G.Wells and G.J.F. van Heijst 2003. A model of tidal flushing of an estuary by dipole formation. Atmos. Oceans. 37: 223-244
  • M.G.Wells and R.W Griffiths 2003. The interaction of salt finger convection with intermittent turbulence. Geophys. Res. 108 (C3) 10.1029/2002JC001427
  • M.G.Wells and R.W Griffiths 2002. Localized stirring in a field of salt fingers. Atmos. Oceans. 35(4): 327-350
  • M.G. Wells and B. Sherman 2001. Stratification produced by surface cooling in lakes with significant shallow regions. Ocean. 46, 1747-1759
  • M.G. Wells, R. W. Griffiths and J. S. Turner 2001. Generation of density fine structure by salt fingers in a spatially periodic shear. Geophys. Res. 106, 7027 – 7037.
  • M.G. Wells, R.W. Griffiths and J.S. Turner 1999. Competition between distributed and localised buoyancy fluxes in a confined volume. Fluid Mech. 391, 319 – 336.
  • A.M. Leitch, G.F. Davies and M.G. Wells 1998. A plume head melting under a rifting margin. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 161, 161-177.

 Book Chapters

  • G. Wells, H.J.H Clercx and G.J.F. van Heijst 2008. Mixing and dispersion in laboratory experiments of forced 2D turbulence. in “Transport in Geophysical Flows“. Lecture Notes in Physics, Vol. 744 Weiss, J.B. and Provenzale, A. (Eds.) pp 115-132
  • G. Wells 2007 . Influence of Coriolis forces on turbidity currents and their sediment patterns. In Particle-laden flow: from geophysical to Kolmogorov scales. ERCOFTAC Series”, 11, B.J. Geurts, H. Clercx, and W. Uijttewaal (Eds.) pp. 331 –344.
  • G. Wells and G.J.F. van Heijst 2004. Dipole formation by tidal flow in a channel in “Shallows Flows”. Jirka, G.H. and Uijttewaal, W. (Eds.), Balkema, Rotterdam. pp. 63-70

Research Clusters:
Biogeochemistry and Contaminants, Earth-Surface Processes and Hydrology