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Florida LAKEWATCH

Florida LAKEWATCH

Meet The Lakewatch Team

Photo of Mark Hoyer

Mark Hoyer is the Director of Florida LAKEWATCH. Mark works closely with a Laboratory Manager, Laboratory Technicians, Regional Coordinators, Research Scientists and Graduate Students to accomplish the Mission and Goals of the Florida LAKEWATCH program. Mark has been with Florida LAKEWATCH since its inception in 1986.

Mark has lived in Florida for 40 years coming from multiple Midwest locations. Mark received his Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University and a Master of Science Degree in Limnology from the University of Missouri Columbia.

Mark is an avid outdoorsman enjoying all outdoor activities including but not limited to fishing, hunting, camping, hiking and vegetable gardening. It is also a good thing that Mark and his wife like to travel because their son and daughter-in-law have moved to New Zealand. You can contact Mark at: mvhoyer@ufl.edu.

Photo of Daniel Canfield

Dr. Daniel Canfield is the founder of Florida LAKEWATCH. He is a professor of Limnology at the University of Florida, and his specialty is applied research that directly relates to the management of aquatic ecosystems. Among his many achievements in this area is the TEAM (Together for Environmental Assessment and Management) approach — a process for developing effective lake management plans or water resource policy.

He also is one of the founders of the Fishing For Success program, which received a national award in 2003 and the Albert “Ray” Massey Award for Citizen Volunteers from the City of Gainesville for 2005. Among other lake management activities, he currently serves as the Univ. of Florida member on the Technical Advisory Group for the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council.

He has served as president of the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) and is a recipient of its prestigious Secchi Disk Award for his many contributions to the management of America’s lakes. The Florida Lake Management Society has also honored him with the Ed Deevey Jr. Award in “recognition of contributing to our scientific understanding of Florida’s water bodies.”

You can contact Dan at: Decan@ufl.edu.


Photo of Christy Horsburgh

Christy Horsburgh is the Scientific Laboratory Manager for Florida LAKEWATCH. Christy manages the LAKEWATCH Laboratory staff and the lab’s day to day operations along with managing all LAKEWATCH databases. She works closely with the Director of LAKEWATCH in developing and maintaining program goals and budgets. Christy has been with Florida LAKEWATCH since its inception in 1986.

Christy is a native Floridian and grew up on the west coast of Florida. Christy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology and her Master of Science Degree in Limnology from the University of Florida.

Christy enjoys kayaking, hiking, snorkeling and exploring Florida’s natural beauty.

You can contact Christy at horsburg@ufl.edu.

Photo of Dan Willis

Daniel Willis is a Research Coordinator II for Florida LAKEWATCH. Dan trains and coordinates with volunteers to collect water quality data for Florida’s waterbodies. He helps compile the data and disseminate the information back to the volunteers and the general public. Dan has been with the Florida LAKEWATCH program in some capacity since 1991.

Dan was born in Florida and grew up in Okeechobee, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida and received his Master of Science degree from the University of Florida's Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences program.

You can contact Dan at: djwillis@ufl.edu or (352) 273-363.

Photo of Jason (Mo) Bennett

Jason “Mo” Bennett is a Regional Coordinator for Florida LAKEWATCH, and is responsible for the North Florida and Panhandle regions.  Mo works to train and support new and existing volunteers. He has been with LAKEWATCH since 2006.

Mo is from Missouri (hence the nickname), but has lived in Florida since 2003.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and his Master of Science degree in Fisheries from the University of Florida.

Mo enjoys woodworking, fishing, and scuba diving with his son.  You can contact Mo at: jpb@ufl.edu.

Photo of Marina Schwartz

Marina Schwartz is a Regional Coordinator for Florida LAKEWATCH. Marina works closely with LAKEWATCH staff in multiple aspects of limnological research and data management, coordinates and trains volunteers, and facilitates regional meetings. Marina has been with LAKEWATCH since 2018.

Marina is a Florida native from the Tampa area. Marina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Integrative Animal Biology from the University of South Florida in 2016 and a Master of Science Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida in 2019.

Marina and her husband, Andy, love to travel, and enjoy finding new hiking, camping, and fishing adventures across the United States. She is always in pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. You can contact Marina at: (mevanskeene@ufl.edu) or (352) 273-3640



Mary Lettelier is an Office Assistant for Florida LAKEWATCH. Mary does data entry for Florida LAKEWATCH. She is in direct contact with LAKEWATCH volunteers on a daily basis. She sends out supplies, prints data reports and sets up meetings for Regional Coordinators and volunteers. Mary has been with LAKEWATCH since 2001 and has loved every minute of it.

Mary is a native born Floridian, and has been here all her life. With a background in bookkeeping and accounting she has accomplished many new and exciting tasks working with the Florida LAKEWATCH program.

As a native Floridian she has always been a lover of fishing, camping and hunting. For many years she has loved wildlife and being a nature lover. Her love of animals has led her to become a “pet sitter” for her friends and family pets. You can reach Mary at: larose@ufl.edu.

Photo of David Watson

David Watson is a Regional Coordinator for Florida LAKEWATCH. David has been with Florida LAKEWATCH since 1996.

David received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Alabama and a Master of Science in Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture from Auburn University.

David is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hiking and beach sunning. You can contact David at: dlwatson@ufl.edu.

Photo of Ivelisse Ruiz

Ivelisse Ruiz is a Laboratory Technician for Florida LAKEWATCH. Ivelisse does mainly nitrogen analysis using the AutoAnalyzer.  Ivelisse has been with LAKEWATCH since 2007.

Ivelisse is a native of Puerto Rico and has been in Florida since 2004. She came to pursue her advance degree. Ivelisse obtained her Master of Science degree from the University of Florida, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences department, with a minor in SFRC (Hydrology) where she looked at how catastrophic events (fires) can influence the nutrient dynamic of lakes in Florida, using the Santa Fe lakes as a case study.

Ivelisse enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, rock climbing, biking, or just walking her dog. She is a traveler, and loves to go to new places when she has the chance. Ivelisse is very active and enjoys going to the gym and CrossFit. She has a bit of acrophobia (fear to heights) that she is trying to overcome with Rock Climbing. Ivelisse is an active member of the Latino Community of Gainesville. You can contact Ivelisse at: iveruiz@ufl.edu.

Photo of Steve Banes

Steve Banes is a Laboratory Technician for Florida LAKEWATCH. Steve primarily analyzes water samples for chlorophyll, and has been with LAKEWATCH since 2010.

Steve is originally from Kentucky and has lived in Florida for 12 years after retiring from a Quality Control lab in the private sector. Steve received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food Science from the University of Kentucky.

After vacationing in Florida for many years, Steve continues to enjoy the many attractions here including the beaches and Disney. (The drive’s much shorter now.) You can contact Steve at: sjbanes@ufl.edu.

Photo of Thomas (Tad) DeGroat

Thomas “Tad” DeGroat is a Laboratory Technician for Florida LAKEWATCH. Tad has been with LAKEWATCH since 2000.

Tad graduated from Santa Fe College with a degree in Environmental Science.

Tad is a lifelong conservationist and naturalist, Certified "Master Naturalist", and participant teacher in outreach programs for conservation and permaculture including the Edible Plant Project and Grow Gainesville. You can contact Tad at: tatadaho@ufl.edu.

Photo of Colton Hasson

Colton Hasson is a Laboratory Technician for Florida LAKEWATCH. Colton cleans glassware and sampling bottles and bags them for transportation. He also assists with keeping the laboratory clean. Colton has been with LAKEWATCH since May of 2013.

Colton is currently enrolled at Santa Fe College where his studies focus on biology and science.

Colton is a sports enthusiast, including football, basketball, baseball, soccer and golf. He was born in Gainesville and bleeds orange and blue! Go Gators!

You can contact Colton at: colton.hasson@gmail.com.

Photo of Malcolm Morris

Malcolm Morris is a Laboratory Assistant and Driver for Florida LAKEWATCH.  Malcolm keeps glassware and sampling bottles used by the lab cleaned, as well as driving to collection centers around the state of Florida on a semi-weekly basis to bring back volunteer collected water samples.  Malcolm has been with LAKEWATCH since 2018

Malcolm has lived on a small farm in High Springs Florida for 20 years, and has raised nearly everything from squirrels to cows in that time.  Malcolm has an Associate’s degree in History.

Malcolm loves reading fantasy books/manga, playing video games, and listening to classic rock.  You can contact Malcolm at: mtimothy.morris@ufl.edu.

Photo of Jolie Hasson

Jolie Hasson is a Laboratory Assistant for Florida LAKEWATCH. Jolie helps the laboratory technicians and chemists with day to day operations, organizes equipment for volunteers, and cleans and maintains glassware for use in the LAKEWATCH water chemistry laboratory. Jolie has been with Florida LAKEWATCH since 2018.

Jolie was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. In her free time she enjoys gardening and painting. You can contact Jolie at: jolie.hasson@gmail.com.