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Travel, ecology and science lecturer Dr. David Gallo is Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is a globally recognized expert on ocean exploration and has been for more than quarter of a century. His TED presentation “Underwater Astonishment" has been viewed more than eight million times and is in the top five most popular TED talks.

Dr. Gallo is currently planning a series of challenging expeditions using the latest explorative technology. His past successes have included mapping the RMS Titanic and locating the remains of Air France flight 447.

Passionate about the preservation of the oceans at the heart of our world, Dr. Gallo is outspoken about the need to mitigate the human impact on the world's oceans. As well as making more than ten TED and TEDx presentations he has appeared in documentaries for the Discovery Channel, History Channel and National Geographic as well as being featured on the Weather Channel, PBS Need to Know, MSNBC Ed show and the NBC Today show.

Dr. Gallo is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a National Fellow of the Explorer's Club and a member of the American Geophysical Union. He is also a board member at, amongst others, the Marine Environmental Research Institute, the One World One Ocean Campaign and the Terramar Project.

Full Profile

David Gallo, Ph.D. is an American oceanographer and Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – a preeminent, globally recognized scientific laboratory. For more than 25 years, Dr. Gallo has been at the forefront of ocean exploration, participating in and being witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that shape our view of planet earth. He has been described by TED Conferences as “an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land.” With more than 8 million views his TED presentation “Underwater Astonishments” is among the top 5 TED Talks viewed to date.

Dr. Gallo has participated in expeditions to all of the world’s oceans and was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to explore the deep seafloor. Most recently he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and he co-led the successful international effort to locate the remains of Air France flight 447.

Dr. Gallo is currently active in planning a series of challenging expeditions and is encouraging the development of new technologies for ocean exploration. He is a member of James Cameron’s Deep Ocean Task Force and the XPrize Ocean Advisory Board. Almost every expedition into the deep provides results that are often surprising, sometimes startling and in many cases revolutionary.

Dr. Gallo is becoming increasingly outspoken about the relationship between humanity and the sea. He feels strongly that instead of taking the oceans for granted we need to recognize the oceans critical role in providing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. At the same time, Dr. Gallo feels that human activity has impacted the ocean on a global scale and with significant consequences. The oceans hold the clues to our past and the key to our future yet they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood.

Dr. Gallo is personally committed to conveying the excitement and importance of ocean exploration to the public-at-large. He has lectured internationally to audiences ranging from children to CEO’s with the goal of awakening the little bit of Jacques Cousteau and Jules Vernes that resides in each of us. He has given more than 10 TED and TEDx presentations and has appeared in numerous documentaries (Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic) and has been featured on numerous televised news programs (Weather Channel , PBS Need to Know, MSNBC Ed Show, and NBC Today show).

In recognition of his efforts in exploration and science communications, David was recently elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a National Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, a member of the American Geophysical Union, and active on several boards including the Marine Environmental Research Institute, the One World One Ocean Campaign, and the Terramar Project.


David Gallo Speaker Videos Back to top

David Gallo: Underwater astonishments


"All of it, from an artistic point of view, it's just amazing," says Dr. David Gallo as he shares his wonder at the beauty of the undersea world with his TED audience. “Already we've discovered the world's highest mountains, the world's deepest valleys…" he explains, going on to point out that 95% of the ocean is unexplored and predicting some of the things which may still be out there, waiting to be discovered.

David Gallo: Looking deep into the ocean


Dave Gallo at TEDxSMU TedTalk



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Dr. David Gallo brings his vast knowledge of science, ecology and ocean exploration to a series of fascinating and thought-provoking talks. His passion for promoting the understanding of humanity's relationship with the sea sparks the imagination of his audiences.

Dr. Gallo explains how deep sea exploration has provided discoveries that have shed new light on life on Earth and on other planets, and yet 95% of the oceans remain unexplored. He demonstrates how the oceans have shaped the history of human civilization.

In recounting his personal experiences of mapping the wreck of the RMS Titanic and searching for Air France flight 447, Dr. Gallo spins a gripping tale of the challenges of deep-water exploration.

Deep Sea – Deep Secrets: Exploring and Understanding the World Beneath the Sea

Underwater lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, valleys, volcanoes, and earthquakes and life that rivals the tropical rainforests…..this presentation will expose the audience to some of the most startling discoveries made in the global oceans. Nearly every expedition into the deep returns with discoveries that are often surprising, sometimes startling, and on occasion revolutionary. The audience will also be exposed to the importance of understanding the relationship between humanity and the sea.

Beyond Titanic – What’s Left to be Discovered in the Deep Sea

The oceans hold the clues to our past and the keys to our future. Despite this fact they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood. We have only explored about 5 percent of the ocean realm and yet we have made discoveries that change the way we think of life on this, and other planets. What’s in the other 95%? Were we lucky enough to find all of the great discoveries in the few percent we explored or is the ocean full of surprises?

Exploring RMS Titanic – A Modern Day Myth

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. The wreck of Titanic lies 300 miles south of St John Newfoundland. With the proliferation of new tools for ocean exploration, it’s never been easier to access the wreck site and to remove artifacts from the seafloor or from the ship itself. This presentation discusses the effort to map the entire Titanic wreck site, to inventory the thousands of artifacts in and around the ship, and the effort to preserve the legacy of Titanic for posterity.

The Search for Air France 447

In the dark of night on June 1 2009, Air France flight 447 fell from the sky. The last known position of the flight was somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean between South America and Africa. This presentation will introduce the audience to challenges of locating and examining an aircraft in deep water.

Origins, Evolution, Destiny: Humanity and the Sea

Throughout history the oceans have been both pathways and obstacles to human evolution and development. This presentation introduces the audience to what we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to know about the oceans role in shaping the rise and fall of civilizations and the shaping of humanity.





* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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Deep Sea – Deep Secrets: Exploring and Understanding the World Beneath the Sea

Underwater lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, valleys, volcanoes, and earthquakes and life that rivals the tropical rainforests…..this presentation will expose the audience to some of the most startling discoveries made in the global oceans. Nearly every expedition into the deep returns with discoveries that are often surprising, sometimes startling, and on occasion revolutionary. The audience will also be exposed to the importance of understanding the relationship between humanity and the sea.

Beyond Titanic – What’s Left to be Discovered in the Deep Sea

The oceans hold the clues to our past and the keys to our future. Despite this fact they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood. We have only explored about 5 percent of the ocean realm and yet we have made discoveries that change the way we think of life on this, and other planets. What’s in the other 95%? Were we lucky enough to find all of the great discoveries in the few percent we explored or is the ocean full of surprises?

Exploring RMS Titanic – A Modern Day Myth

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. The wreck of Titanic lies 300 miles south of St John Newfoundland. With the proliferation of new tools for ocean exploration, it’s never been easier to access the wreck site and to remove artifacts from the seafloor or from the ship itself. This presentation discusses the effort to map the entire Titanic wreck site, to inventory the thousands of artifacts in and around the ship, and the effort to preserve the legacy of Titanic for posterity.

The Search for Air France 447

In the dark of night on June 1 2009, Air France flight 447 fell from the sky. The last known position of the flight was somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean between South America and Africa. This presentation will introduce the audience to challenges of locating and examining an aircraft in deep water.

Origins, Evolution, Destiny: Humanity and the Sea

Throughout history the oceans have been both pathways and obstacles to human evolution and development. This presentation introduces the audience to what we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to know about the oceans role in shaping the rise and fall of civilizations and the shaping of humanity.


David Gallo: Underwater astonishments


"All of it, from an artistic point of view, it's just amazing," says Dr. David Gallo as he shares his wonder at the beauty of the undersea world with his TED audience. “Already we've discovered the world's highest mountains, the world's deepest valleys…" he explains, going on to point out that 95% of the ocean is unexplored and predicting some of the things which may still be out there, waiting to be discovered.

David Gallo: Looking deep into the ocean


Dave Gallo at TEDxSMU TedTalk