Adair Gallo Junior, PhD

PhD Students



Adair Gallo Junior is a chemical engineer from Brazil. He co-founded Massarani, a consultancy company specialized in the areas of Chemical/Environmental Engineering. During his undergraduate study, he was awarded the Science Without Borders scholarship for a one-year exchange program at the University of Iowa, USA. During this stint, he also interned in the laboratory of the Late Prof. Jacob Israelachvili at University of California Santa Barbara, where he investigated the time-dependence of wetting of biomimetic polymeric interfaces. This work appeared on the cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Subsequently, Adair joined Dr. Mishra’s Group at KAUST as an MS-PhD student. His MS-thesis work has settled a long-standing debate on the applicability of electrosprays of water to investigate pristine air-water interfaces; this work has appeared on the cover of Chemical Science – the flagship journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Together with Prof. Mishra, Adair is the co-inventor of SandX, and currently responsible for large-scale manufacturing, designing and leading field trials, and testing the complementary effects of SandX with other soil-amendment technologies towards strengthening the global food-water-energy nexus.

Research Interests

Hydrophobic interfaces, application and scale-up of technologies, chemical reactions in electrosprays, biochar, agriculture, aerogels, desalination.

Selected Publications

  • K. Odokonyero, A. Gallo Jr., V. Dos-Santos, H. Mishra.  Effects of Superhydrophobic Sand Mulching on Evapotranspiration and Phenotypic Responses in Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) under Normal and Reduced Irrigation. Plant-Environment Interactions (2022). Cover Article.  DOI: 10.1002/pei3.10074 
  • Gallo Jr., A., Odokonyero, K., Magdi, M., Reihmer, J., Al-Mashhawari, S., Marasco, R., Manalastas, E., Morton, M., Daffonchio, D., McCabe, M., TEster, M., Mishra, H.  Nature-Inspired Superhydrophobic Sand Mulches Increase Agricultural Productivity and Water-Use Efficiency in Arid Regions. ACS Agricultural Science & Technology, 2022, 2, 276-288. Cover Article. DOI: 10.1021/acsagscitech.1c00148
  • Gallo Jr., A., Musskopf, N. H., Liu, X., Yang, Z., Petry, J., Zhang, P.,  Thoroddsen, S. T., Im, H. G. &  Mishra, H. On the formation of hydrogen peroxide in water microdroplets. Chemical Science, 14 Jan 2022. DOI: 10.1039/d1sc06465g
  • Musskopf, N., Gallo Jr., A., Zhang, P. & Mishra, H., The air-water interface of condensed water microdroplets does not produce H2O2. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2021, 12, 11422–29. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c02953
  • Gallo Jr., A., Tavares, F., Das, R., Mishra, H., How Particle–Particle and Liquid–Particle Interactions Govern the Fate of Evaporating Liquid Marbles, Soft Matter, 2021, 17(33), 7628-7644.  
  • Odokonyero, K., Gallo Jr., A, Mishra, H., Wax-coated Jute Mulches and Seed Storage Bags for Reducing Evaporation and Post-harvest Seed Deterioration, Scientific Reports, 2021, 11(1), 1-11. 
  • Nauruzbayeva, J.*Eq., Sun, Z.*Eq., Gallo Jr., A.*Eq., Ibrahim, M., Santamarina, J. C., Mishra, H., Electrification at water–hydrophobe interfaces. Nature Communications, 2020, 11(1), 1-10. (*Eq. Equal contribution). 
  • Mahadik, G., Sánchez, J., Arunachalam, S., Gallo Jr., A., Cheng, L., Farinha, A. S., Thoroddsen, S. T., Mishra, H., Duarte, C. M., Superhydrophobicity and size reduction enabled Halobates (Insecta: Heteroptera, Gerridae) to colonize the open ocean. Scientific Reports, 2020, 10(1), 1-12. 
  • Gallo Jr., A., Andreia SF Farinha, Miguel Dinis, Abdul-Hamid Emwas, Adriano Santana, Robert J. Nielsen, William A. Goddard, and Himanshu Mishra. "The chemical reactions in electrosprays of water do not always correspond to those at the pristine air–water interface." Chemical Science 10, no. 9 (2019): 2566-2577.​ Cover article. DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05538F
  • Subramanian, N., Qamar, A., Alsaadi, A., Gallo Jr, A., Ridwan, M.G., Lee, J.G., Pillai, S., Arunachalam, S., Anjum, D., Sharipov, F., Ghaffour, N., Mishra, H. 2019. Evaluating the potential of superhydrophobic nanoporous alumina membranes for direct contact membrane distillation. Journal of colloid and interface science, 533, pp.723-732. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.08.054
  • H. Mishra, A. M. Schrader, D. W. Lee, A. Gallo Jr., S-Y. Chen, Y. Kaufman, S. Das, J. N. Israelachvili, "Time-Dependent Wetting Behavior of PDMS Surfaces with Bioinspired, Hierarchical Structures", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces (2015). Cover article. DOI: 10.1021/acsa​mi.5b10721 ​​



    • Ph.D. Environmental Science and Engineering, KAUST, Saudi Arabia (2022)
    • M.S. Environmental Science and Engineering, KAUST, Saudi Arabia (2017)
    • ​B.S., Chemical Engineering, State University of Western Parana (UNIOESTE), Brazil (2015)
    • Technician in Chemistry, Federal Technological University of Parana (UTFPR), Brazil (2009)


    • 1st place ITAS Arab Youth Competition 2023 - International Conference on Innovation and Technological Advances for Sustainability, 1st place (out of 117 entries) at University of Doha for Science and Technology, Qatar, awarded by the Prime Minister of Qatar 
    • Taqadam 2022–2023 Start-up Accelerator Program - US $140,000 non-dilutive cash award (only 10 teams chosen among > 2000 applicants) 
    • Cover article, Agricultural Science & Technology, DOI: 10.1021/acsagscitech.1c00148 (2022)
    • Cover article, Soft Matter, DOI: 10.1039/D1SM00750E (2021) 
    • Participant at the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting & Online Science Days. 750 top young scientists selected worldwide & 70+ Nobel laureates (2020, 2021) 
    • Winning team at 1st Sciathon, organized by the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Foundation (2020) 
    • Winning team at Wetskills Water Challenge – Oman (2019)
    • Cover article, Chemical Science, DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05538F (2019)
    • Best Poster Award at the 5th Water Arabia Conference and Exhibition (2017)
    • Elsevier Best Poster Award at the 7th International Colloids Conference (2017)
    • Presenter at Falling Walls Lab – KAUST – Breaking the Wall of Food Insecurity (2017)
    • Winning team at KAUST/Dow STEAM Challenge (2017)
    • Cover Article, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b10721 (2016)
    • Winning team at Design for Manufacturing RC competition at University of Iowa (2014)
    • Science Without Borders, Brazil Scientific Mobility Program fully funded scholarship recipient for University of Iowa (USA), CAPES Foundation (2014)
    • 1st place at entrance exam at UNIOESTE (2010)
    • Two-time medalist at the Parana Chemistry Olympiad (2009 and 2008)
    • 2nd place at entrance exam at UTFPR (2006)

    KAUST Affiliations

    • ​Water Desalination and Reuse Center