Dr. Austin Gallagher


Dr. Austin Gallagher is a globally-activated marine biologist, explorer, social entrepreneur, known for his ability to produce innovative, exciting, and impactful research and media on sharks and the ocean environment. He is the founder and CEO of Beneath The Waves, a next-generation NGO research institute engaged in marine projects worldwide.

Austin has served as the lead scientist on over 50 scientific expeditions across 6 continents, and he has obtained broad expertise in large animal tracking, behavioral ecology, animal physiology, genetics, plant biology, and even socioeconomics. Over the last 5 years, Gallagher has activated research projects in 18 countries around the world.

In terms of contributing knowledge in the sciences and demonstrating thought leadership, Gallagher is one of the most prolific marine scientists of his generation. He has published over 125 peer-reviewed scientific articles in leading scientific journals, has published two books, and his work is consistently utilized and applied to policies which have protected threatened species and created marine protected areas. Dr. Gallagher is regularly consulted by governments and works with Heads of State to prompt and develop legislation and policies to protect threatened ocean habitat, species, and the communities that depend on them.

As a wildlife presenter and host, Dr. Gallagher regularly appears on media productions spanning network TV, streaming, and online, and is a mainstay talent and producer for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. He has spoken at venues around the world including a TED talk, and he has appeared in countless articles including outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Virgin, Yahoo, Vice, and many more.

In 2020, he partnered with tiger sharks to make a major ocean discovery: the discovery of the world’s largest seagrass ecosystem, an area over 50,000 sq. miles in The Bahamas, representing the ocean’s largest carbon sink, a discovery valued at over $0.4 Trillion dollars. This piece of science is ranked in the top 99.9% of all papers published all-time in terms of garnering press and public attention. Most notably, is that this discovery has the potential to transform the future economy of the nation of The Bahamas.

Dr. Gallagher holds an honorary adjunct professor position at the University of Exeter (UK), has mentored and advised over 50 graduate students. He served as the founding chief editor of “Discoveries,” a subsection of the scientific journal Frontiers in Marine Science, and also serves on the editorial board of the journal Endangered Species Research. He received his PhD from the University of Miami, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Carleton University, and he received his MS from Northeastern University and Bachelor’s from Loyola University in Maryland.

His work had earned him several awards, including a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, the Forbes 30 Under 30, Blue Marine Foundation’s 2023 Science Award, and Scuba Diving Magazine’s “Sea Hero.” He is a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow of The Explorer’s Club. Austin also serves on the advisory boards of Colossal, Hidden Worlds Entertainment, and regularly consults with brands on sustainability.