Ballantine, David L. (Active)
United States National Museum of Natural History
David was born on September 24, 1947 in southern California and grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Glenview, Illinois. He competed as a varsity wrestler in high school and college. He attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan before changing his major field of study to marine biology and transferring to Long Island University (Southampton, New York) where he received a BA in 1969. David received his MS degree from the University of South Florida in 1973, where he began a specialization in the study of marine algae. His MS thesis focused on algal epiphytism of seagrasses. His doctoral research, also investigating algal epiphytism, took him to the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico where he received his PhD degree in 1977. Following a post-doc in Puerto Rico, David joined the faculty in the same department in 1978 where he taught and conducted research until his retirement in 2012. Immediately following retirement from the University of Puerto Rico, David joined the Smithsonian Institution Department of Botany as a Research Associate. At that time he donated his personal herbarium of more than 8,000 specimens to the US algal collection. While a professor at the Department of Marine Sciences, David was the curator of the marine algae collection, “Herbario Marino Puertorriqueño.” He has served as major professor to 5 MS and 5 PhD students. With a research specialty in ecology and systematics of marine benthic algae, his more recent work has principally involved floristics of deep-water habitats, employing extensive scuba diving, ship-board dredging, and two-man submersible diving throughout the Caribbean region. On the bases of his many collections, Dave has described as new to science, approximately 60 species of algae, including five new genera. He has also published on ciguatoxigenic dinoflagellates, algal community dynamics, algal life history studies in vitro, algal natural products and tropical cyanobacterial blooms. David served as an assistant Editor of the Caribbean Journal of Science (1998-1991) and Editor (2007-2012) as well as the Associate Editor of Phycologia (International Phycological Society) for macroalgal systematics (2005-2007). David's research has been supported by extramural funding from federal granting agencies, including Sea Grant, NOAA, NSF, and NIH.