About Us

For the Love of The Ocean

Nick Mallos

Vice President of Conservation, Ocean Plastics

Portland, OR

Areas of Expertise

  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Debris
  • Effects of plastic waste on marine life
  • Plastics material recovery
  • Citizen scientist community engagement and mobilization

Nick oversees Ocean Conservancy’s global portfolio of work on marine debris, including its annual International Coastal Cleanup, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative® and its Science for Solutions research portfolio on ocean plastic pollution.

After completing his graduate work, Nick wanted a job that allowed him to work at the nexus of field research, citizen science, and advocacy–not necessarily a request matching bountiful opportunities. Fortuitously, the stars aligned and a position opened at Ocean Conservancy to work on the very ocean issue for which he cares most deeply. Since joining ocean conservancy in 2010, he’s had the great fortune to participate in once in a lifetime research expeditions and work with incredible, devoted and inspiring people not only at Ocean Conservancy but also in coastal and inland communities around the world. This includes extensive field research assignments that have taken him from the North Pacific Gyre to the remote coastlines of Alaska and the Philippines and the tsunami-stricken shores of Japan. Nick has also testified before the U.S. Senate on the sources and impacts of plastic debris in the ocean, and routinely participates in international policy discussions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, United Nations Environment Programme and other global fora. Nick occasionally appears on CNN to comment on matters pertaining to ocean health.


  • Master’s degree from Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University
  • Bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania

My Favorite Thing About the Ocean

The ocean is truly a therapeutic experience for me. Whether surfing, diving, or kayaking–when I’m on or in the water all my worries and stresses disappear. I’ve been an ocean junkie at heart since I can remember and somehow got lucky enough to make a career out of it!



  • Nick Mallos
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