Dr Leo Dutra is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO with multi-disciplinary expertise linking ecological processes, stakeholder engagement, governance and decision-making to support resource management, conservation and adaptation. He has a BSC (Honours) in Biology, MSC in Marine Geology, and PhD in Ecological Economics. Between 1998 and 2004 Leo was involved in a number of research projects in Brazil looking at the ecology of marine organisms, Present and Past (Holocene) climate change impacts on coral reefs, and effects of sedimentation on reef corals. In 2004 Leo came from Brazil to Australia to do his PhD at the Centre for Ecological Economics and Water Policy Research at the University of New England looking at coral reef management issues in Timor-Leste.
Since then and after joining CSIRO in 2008, he gained extensive experience in the fields of fisheries and coastal management, marine conservation, water quality management from catchments to coastal waters, adaptive management, modelling, participatory approaches, stakeholder engagement, governance and decision-making processes. He worked in projects in iconic Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef, South East Queensland and, more recently in Torres Strait. Between 2015 and 2017 Leo took leave from CSIRO to lecture and research at the University of the South Pacific (Fiji). He taught courses related to coral reef ecology, marine spatial planning and marine geology and ran a research program looking at coral reef socio-ecological systems in Fiji.
Leo has led and participated in project teams that have tackled complex ecological, fisheries, climate change and coastal zone management issues in Brazil, East-Timor, Australia and Fiji. He has developed and applied methods to understand social, ecological, economic and governance system interactions to effectively link science, knowledge systems and resource management.