Austin Gallagher, Ph.D.

Dr. Austin Gallagher is a globally-activated marine biologist and social entrepreneur, best known for his research on megafauna, particularly sharks. He is the founder of The Beneath the Waves Group, which controls 6 companies engaged in cutting-edge marine research and exploration, technology, climate solutions, and carbon finance. He serves as CEO to core asset Beneath the Waves Inc., a next-generation NGO research institute engaged in marine projects worldwide, with a focus on North America and The Caribbean. Gallagher’s approach combines research, private sector collaboration, local engagement, and media – to create effective partnerships.
Dr. Gallagher has worked diligently studying and advocating for highly migratory species and their habitats around the world, directly supporting the protection of species and hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of ocean. He has served as the lead scientist on 50+ global scientific expeditions across 6 continents, and is broadly trained with expertise spanning large animal tracking, behavioral ecology, physiology, genetics, plant biology, and socioeconomics. He has published over 100 scientific papers, spanning research on the migrations of ocean giants, blue carbon, deep-sea exploration, and marine policy, and sits on the Editorial Board of Endangered Species Research.
He has forged dozens of firsts in the marine industry, ranging from the identification of new species and geographic records, to implementing new technologies to accelerate conservation solutions. In 2020, he partnered with wild tiger sharks to discover the world’s largest seagrass meadow, an area over 93,000 sq. km representing the ocean’s largest carbon sink, a discovery valued at over $0.4T. This discovery paved the way for his founding of Blueprint, a company focused on providing governments and corporations an end-to-end solution for blue carbon project management – from science to credits.
Dr. Gallagher is regularly consulted by US Congress, international governments, and he has briefed and collaborated with over 10 Heads of State to prompt and develop legislation and policies to protect threatened ocean habitat, species, and the communities that depend on them. He is a National Geographic Explorer, Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, Fulbright Scholar, former Forbes 30 Under 30 Winner, and is an Adjunct Professor at both The University of Exeter and Northeastern University.