Katey Lesneski, Ph.D.

Katey Lesneski

Mission: Iconic Reefs Research and Monitoring Coordinator


Katey joined FKNMS in late 2022 as the Mission: Iconic Reefs Research and Monitoring Coordinator via Florida International University. Prior to moving to the Keys with her potcake pup Dogtor PepĂ­, she was the Director of Restoration Science at Coral Vita in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Katey holds a B.S. degree in Geo-Biology from Brown University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Boston University, where she studied the ecology, physiology, and gene expression of populations of the endangered staghorn coral in Belize, under transplantation scenarios. She has worked as a Divemaster at Key Dives, and participated in the full field survey on the post-Hurricane Irma rapid reef assessment efforts in 2017, as well as the OceanX Saving America's Great Barrier Reef survey in 2019.

She is excited to use her background in applying science that informs reef restoration practices for the ambitious Mission: Iconic Reefs project. She enjoys freshwater fish husbandry, gardening and plant cultivation, reading sci-fi novels, and just about any watersport.