David Gallo, Ph.D.

Director of Special Projects

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution





David Gallo is Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology from the State University of New York at Albany and a Doctorate degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.  In 1987 he joined Robert Ballard’s team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as Assistant Director of the Center for Marine Exploration.

For the past 25 years David has been at the forefront of ocean exploration.  He has participated in expeditions to each of the world’s oceans and was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to create detailed maps of deep-sea mountain ranges.  Most recently he was co-expedition leader on a mapping mission to RMS Titanic and co-leader of the successful search for the missing aircraft, Air France 447.

David has been directly involved in the development of new undersea technologies and is an outspoken advocate for breaking down the artificial barriers to science communications between classrooms, living rooms, and corporate board rooms. He was instrumental in development of the JASON Project and is involved in the FIRST Robotics Competition.

In recognition of his role in exploration and communications David is the co-recipient of a Computerworld-Smithsonian Award. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of The Explorers Club.  He is a member of the XPrize Deep Ocean Advisory Board, the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X-Challenge Board, and James Cameron’s Deep Ocean Task Force.

David is passionate about exploring planet earth and about the relationship between humanity and the sea. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally to audiences ranging from K to CEO including 10 TED and TEDx presentations. In addition he has participated in numerous documentaries and news programs including CNN’s Larry King Live, Bloomberg TV, and the PBS program Need to Know.  He was recently featured in the History Channel television series, Underwater Universe.