SBEP Staff

Mark Alderson

Executive Director

Jay Leverone, Ph.D.

Program Scientist

Dr. Jay Leverone is the staff scientist for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.  Previously, he was a research scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory, studying the ecology of west Florida estuaries, characterizing estuarine habitats and how they are impacted by physical disturbances and water quality degradation.  More recently, he has turned his attention to restoring local shellfish populations, particularly scallops and oysters.  Dr. Leverone developed improved techniques for enhancing populations of bay scallops along the Florida Gulf coast and has led the way in restoring local oyster reefs.  In 2007, he received his Ph.D. from USF College of Marine Sciences where he studied the effects of red tide on early life stages of local shellfish.  His current focus as SBEP scientist has been the development of numeric nutrient criteria and a monitoring strategy for tidal creeks, both of which have regulatory implications for local governments.

Darcy Young

Director of Planning and Communications

Darcy has worked with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program since 2015. She is a Connecticut native who grew up along the Long Island Sound. After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, she moved to Washington, D.C. to become a research assistant in an ecology laboratory that was focused on understanding carbon cycling in forests. Upon moving to Florida in 2015, her sights shifted to science communication and natural resource management, and she has since been happily working on outreach initiatives with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.

Christine Quigley

Research & Outreach Assistant

Christine has an interdisciplinary background in Marine Biology, Environmental Science, and Management. She has worked on research and outreach initiatives for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the Environmental Defense Center. In addition, she has provided communication and marketing consultation to environmentally focused startups.

Christine holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a bachelor’s in Marine Biology from the University of Miami. She joined SBEP in October 2016. Although this is her first time living in Sarasota, she grew up going to the beaches of Sarasota and Naples as a child and looks forward to enjoying all of the opportunities to kayak, swim, and hopefully surf in her “backyard”.

Cheryl Dexter

Executive Assistant