Dave is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, who spent his early years in Portland and has lived in Seattle since 1984. He studied chemistry and German at Reed College and Portland State University, then spent two years in Togo, West Africa, teaching chemistry and physics as a Peace Corps volunteer. He earned a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from the University of Washington in 1990. Dave has been a research scientist in the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans, a NOAA Cooperative Institute, since 1993. His office and laboratory are at the NOAA Western Regional Center in Seattle.

Broadly speaking, Dave’s research concerns chemical exchange between the ocean and the solid earth, and the main focus has been deep-sea volcanoes and the hot springs and chemosynthetic ecosystems they create. Dave uses the composition of hydrothermal fluids to learn about sub-sea floor processes ranging from magma degassing to microbiological productivity. The research requires a combination of shipboard field research and laboratory analysis and experimentation. To study deep-sea hot springs, Dave has invented specialized instrumentation including a sampler for hot spring fluids and particles and an incubator that can grow high-temperature microbes on the seafloor.  He has been on 46 expeditions with research submersibles to deep-sea volcanic sites around the Pacific and Atlantic.

Dave has been on several expeditions with Falkor,  including Axial Seamount Cruise (2013), Searching for Life in the Mariana Back-Arc (2015), and he was the Principal Research Scientist for 2016’s Hydrothermal Hunt at Mariana.