Graduate Student Austin Gallagher Receives Award from Florida Sea Grant, Florida Outdoor Writers

Austin Gallagher

MIAMI — Florida Sea Grant and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association have awarded Austin Gallagher, an ecosystem science and policy doctoral student at the University of Miami, a $1,000 scholarship for his efforts in promoting the “outdoor communication experience” to the general public. As a research scientist of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, which is a joint program of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, his research and communication efforts have been centered on ocean conservation, particularly predatory fishes and sharks.

“Florida Sea Grant has an excellent reputation as a leader in both research and communication. It’s an honor to work with and be recognized by them, and to receive this grant from the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. I look forward to future collaborations with both organizations,” said Gallagher, who plans to use the funding to enhance his ability to capture field research on film.

Aside from spending time working on his research dissertation to create ecological risk assessments for sharks in the subtropical Atlantic and promote sustainable catch-and-release shark fishing, Gallagher writes for the R.J. Dunlap Program’s conservation blog. He is also an avid filmmaker and wildlife photographer, and is the founder of the Beneath the Waves Film Festival.

Gallagher credits the continued support of his communication endeavors to many current and past colleagues, in particular those at the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy and his mentor, Dr. Neil Hammerschlag.

“There are exciting stories happening in front of us every day. The role of a scientist in the 21st century is changing, it is up to us to capture as much as possible and share it with the world,” he added.

Gallagher received his Master’s from Northeastern University and his B.S. in Biology from Loyola University in Maryland. He is a member of the Benthic Ecology Society, and is on the student affairs committee of the American Elasmobranch Society.

About the Florida Outdoor Writers Association
Chartered in 1946, FOWA is a not-for-profit, statewide paid professional communicators organization, made up of outdoor communicators who report and reflect upon Florida’s diverse interests in the outdoors to educate and encourage the public in ways to protect and conserve our natural heritage. Members cover a variety of outdoor topics including, fishing, hunting, boating, conservation, and all aspects of the environment. They are freelance writers, book authors, columnists, publishers, editors, broadcasters in radio and television, photographers, videographers, artists, illustrators, Web site designers, writers, editors, public information officers and public relations professionals.

About UM and the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in 2009, the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is a joint program of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science and the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. The mission of the R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program is to advance ocean conservation and scientific literacy by combining cutting edge research and outreach activities. For more information or to get involved, please visit

r.j. dunlap conservation program •  austin gallagher •  grant •  leonard and jayne abess center •  education •