We are delighted to welcome Dr. Leesa Souto to the Applied Ecology Team as Director of Operations and Sr. Project Manager!

Dr. Souto has been working for Florida’s water resources for over 30 years in many different capacities, providing her a comprehensive understanding of the complex environmental issues facing our state. During her career, she has done water and soil chemistry; groundwater and surface water assessment and remediation; environmental education and behavior change; shoreline restoration and land management; policy support and advocacy; program design and evaluation; environmental and socio-ecological research; grants and contract administration; and business development and management. Some of her accomplishments include initiating an international fishing line recycling program (MRRP, 2001), creating the Florida Water Resources Monitoring Council structure (2002-04), chairing Florida’s Stormwater Education Task Force (2001-2012), creating and distributing the Stormwater Education Toolkit (2003-04), launching the Cocoa Beach and Orlando Green Business Programs (2007-2011), producing the Indian River Lagoon Report Card (2017-2021) and conducting over one hundred charettes, assemblies, and conferences. She is an urban-ecology researcher who conducts actionable research to solve Florida’s water quality problems.

Dr. Souto received a BS in Biological Sciences and Minor in Interdisciplinary Sciences from Florida State University and a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Doctorate in Conservation Biology from the University of Central Florida. Leesa lives in downtown Melbourne, and she loves to explore the world, looking for birds and beautiful water.