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Lee Bess, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant & Group Facilitator

Photo of Dr. Lee Bess

Lee Bess (they/them) provides individual and group support to people who are autistic and/or ADHD.  They help neurodivergent individuals with educational goals (especially obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees), career planning, building social communication and relationship skills, making and tracking goals, learning about neurodivergence, and more. They also provide training to universities, non-profits, and government agencies regarding supporting their neurodivergent students and employees.

Trained as an evolutionary biologist, Lee is fascinated with the origins and social functions of neurodivergence. Their big questions:  How were neurodivergent traits, such as those found in autism and ADHD, adaptive in earlier eras of human history? How can we create lives that enable our neurodivergent traits to benefit us now?

Lee holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, an MS from the University of Missouri, and is a IBCCES Certified Autism Specialist. During their 20-year career in biological science, Lee has worked as university faculty, as a federal government entomologist, and collaborated with private companies focused on insect growth or control. They have taught students from preschool through graduate school, and enjoy integrating teaching and discovery into every role they take on. Currently, Lee is part of the tech startup Bug Mars, and is training AI models to interpret and predict the behavior of insects with the goal of making insect farming more humane and accessible.

A nature lover and a farm kid at heart, Lee spends as much time as they can outdoors. Lee has traveled the world studying plants and insects, and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Community building is a core value for Lee. In 2023, they started the Toronto Neurodivergent Queer Meetup, and they have volunteered for many 2SLGBTQIA+ groups, including the Gender Affirming Spaces Project (Peterborough, Ontario), Lambert House (Seattle), and Growing American Youth (St Louis). Lee takes pride in organizing engaging events with a focus on the unique needs of neurodivergent members within their gender-diverse community. 

For those seeking understanding, support, and empowerment, Lee welcomes the opportunity to connect and explore how their expertise can make a positive impact on your journey.

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