Leandro Sousa was born in 1978 in São Paulo, Brazil. At the age of nine years he used his mother´s cooking pots to keep a couple of livebearers (Xiphophorus hellerii) and figured out it was neither good for the fishes nor for the happiness of his mother. Since then, he improved a little bit his aquarium skills and decided to graduate in Biology (in 2000). The ichthyological career started in the master course at Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Manaus, where he did a lot of field trips to central amazon rivers and had the opportunity to do a taxonomic revision of the tiny Doradids of the genus Physopyxis with description of two new species.
During his PhD (made at Universidade de São Paulo), while studying the systematics and evolution of a subfamily of Doradids, he continued to make field trips all over Brazil and followed ornamental fishermen hunting loricariids in the rapids of the Tapajós and Xingu rivers. The latter brought his interest to the Hypancistrus diversity and he received a post doctoral fellowship to study and describe species.
Today Leandro is a professor at the Universidade Federal do Pará in Altamira, right in front of the Xingu rapids, and is doing extensive field trips with local fishermen to try to understand the amazing loricariid diversity found in that place. He uses scuba diving techniques to register the fishes, the rocks they live in, as well as how fishermen catch them.
Since 2014 he coordinates a Conservational Breeding Project of Xingu Endemic species at the University, focused mainly in Loricariidae.