Dan Willis grew up in Okeechobee, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida in 1993. In 1993, he began working for the Florida LAKEWATCH program. In 2000 he received his Master of Science degree from the University of Florida's Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. He is currently working at the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program as a regional coordinator for the Florida LAKEWATCH program.
Dan is a member of the Florida Lake Management Society (FLMS) and the Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society (FAPMS).