projects, water science

A. J. Gallagher, a young promise

1 Comment 15 September 2010

A. J. Gallagher, a young promise

In most of our posts we have covered famous photographers and well-known scientists or scholars working in the field of science or marine research. Considering that water conservation and sustainable programs have real impacts only if they are respected on the long term, with this post we have decided to introduce you to a young promise in the field of marine research that will certainly portray the work of his tutors in this field. Austin J. Gallagher is a PhD student at the University of Miami whose interdisciplinary work focuses on community ecology, biology and physiology with a particular interest for predatory fishes.With a great sense of wit and ambition, this young man launched his own film production company and has already created various short films.

His studies are driven by fish predation and community interactions as fundamental facets of biology studies.  Fascinated by sharks, he is working hard at studying their behavior in order to come up with ways to protect this already endangered animal. His research currently focuses on anthropogenic impacts on shark population. In collaboration with the Conservation Program at the University of Miami: “assessing the impacts of catch-and-release fishing on elasmobranch species, the analysis of migration and behavior through satellite tagging of hammerhead, bull and tiger sharks” (Source: These projects are centered with an analysis of behavioral and physiological ecology techniques.

His previous projects include the stress physiology of Sharks, positive impacts of southern California marine protected areas (MPA) on harvested reef-dwelling fishes and the effects of predator risks, resource availability and conspecific density on the growth of the Atlantic Dogwhelk. In order to better communicate the need to protect the environment and marine creatures, film production is a very strong medium for this young scholar that tell us: “Communicating science is a great way to make an impact, while inspiring people to make a difference themselves. I am driven to reach more people by producing short and full-length educational documentaries for various research projects” (Source: For this reason, in 2009, Austin launched his own small production where he has worked for professionals, amateurs and well-known clients such as National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Created by Austin Gallagher,“Inside the Lines” is a film that immerses you into the immense beauty of the marine wildlife on the coast of California. After three months of studying marine conservation biology, the young man spent many hours and days under water shooting footage of the marine wildlife. Despite his amazement, the sea creatures were not at all afraid of the human presence. After more than hundreds of hours spent under water the film produced is worth having a look at.

Recently Gallagher has been working as a research assistant to Neil Hammerschlag, studying the impact of the BP oil spill on sharks. These powerful animals are at the top of the ocean food chain but nobody has even considered studying the impact the oil is having on the sharks. Gallagher reminds us: “if you see a high levels of oil in a shark, you better believe it is in the whole food chain” (Source:

Austin Gallagher is a promising new asset for the world of marine biologist and scholars who are working for the protection of the marine environment and of all its species. He has demonstrated to have great passion, ambition and will as he founded his own production company in order to communicate with films his passion for the ocean and to raise awareness for the protection of the sea life.



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  1. denise says:

    Really nice video’s study more sharks and rays they are my favorite

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