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Charles E. Schmidt College of Science



Kate Mansfield
Affiliate Research Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University CIMAS, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center

PhD: College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2006
MA: University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 1995
BA: Mount Holyoke College, 1992

Research Interests: marine biology, ecology, conservation and management; animal behavior; fisheries bycatch reduction; telemetry methods.

Contact information

Office:             CIMAS; NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149 (Room 220).

Satellite office: Florida International University; School of Environment, Arts and Society; 3000 NE 151st Street -AC1-322a; North Miami, FL  33181

Phone: 305-365-4108

Email: kmansfie@fau.edu,  kate.mansfield@noaa.gov or klmansfi@fiu.edu

Website:  http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/staff/katemansfield.htm


Professional Interests and Research Program

My research and conservation goals include striking a balance between coastal marine resource use and the protection of long-lived and/or highly migratory marine species. I am particularly interested in melding interdisciplinary scientific information generated by sea turtle population studies, behavioral research, and oceanographic modeling into integrated regional management approaches that reduce human-induced sea turtle mortality at all stages of the turtles’ life cycle. My research program is multi-faceted and includes field and lab-based scientific data collection; advisory service to local, state, federal and international agencies or working groups; and educational outreach.

My research focuses on sea turtle biology, ecology, behavior, management and conservation. Using various census and telemetry methods (aerial surveys, in-water mark and recapture, and satellite, radio and acoustic telemetry), my work examines sea turtle movements and migration, habitat utilization, and how in-water sea turtle behavior may influence the potential for turtle-fishery interactions. My specialties include: satellite, radio and acoustic telemetry; endangered and protected species conservation and policy; animal behavior; aerial abundance estimates; marine ecology, biology and policy; fisheries science; coastal fisheries management; and fisheries bycatch reduction. 

My current research includes testing small-scale satellite, radio and acoustic telemetry on hatchling and neonate sea turtles with the goal of describing early sea turtle dispersal and habitat utilization. I have active field projects in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic tracking young Kemp’s ridley and loggerhead turtles in collaboration with federal and state researchers, and a collaborative laboratory project at FAU testing tag attachment methods on young loggerhead and green turtles.



Mansfield, K.L., J. Wyneken, D. Rittschoff, M. Walsh, C.W. Lim and P. Richards. (in press) Satellite tag attachment methods for tracking neonate loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles. Marine Ecology Progress Series; doi: 10.3354/meps09485.

Mansfield, K.L. 2011. Tracking sea turtles through time and space. Florida Environmental Outreach Magazine, 2(3): 10-12.

Mansfield, K.L. 2010. Sea turtles: ancient creatures with modern problems. Online ActionBioscience publication, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Washington, D.C.
http://www.actionbioscience.org/biodiversity/mansfield.html (accessed 8/2010).

Mansfield, K.L., V.S. Saba, J. Keinath, and J.A. Musick. 2009. Satellite telemetry reveals a dichotomy in migration strategies among juvenile loggerhead sea turtles in the northwest Atlantic. Marine Biology. 156:2555-2570.

Mansfield, K.L. 2003. Surfacing for Science. Virginia Marine Resources Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 2, Fall 2003. Virginia Sea Grant Program, Gloucester Point, VA. Pp 2-8.

Seney, E. E., K.L. Mansfield, and J. A. Musick. 2003. Summary of Virginia Sea Turtle Strandings during 2002. Catesbeiana 23(2): 61-63.

Publications in preparation or review

Mansfield, K.L. and J. Wyneken. The “lost years” found: satellite tracking neonate loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles. In preparation.

Mansfield, K. L., C. Sasso and J. A. Musick. Site fidelity and non-lethal incidental capture of sea turtles in Virginia’s pound net fishery. In preparation.

Mansfield, K. L., and J. A. Musick. Site fidelity and home range of female loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles in the northern extent of their western Atlantic nesting range. In preparation.


Advisory Service

Technical Workshop on Minimizing Sea Turtle Interactions in Coastal Net Fisheries. International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN),  Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, Southeastern Asian Fisheries Development Center, Indian Ocean—South-East Asian Marine Turtle MoU, and US National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center; Honolulu, HI
Invited participant in technical workshop to catalyze the requisite scientific research to determine if gear modifications will be an effective and commercially viable solution to turtle interactions in fixed and drift net fisheries. January 2009.

Manatee Protection Plan Review Committee/Advisory Board Environmental Advocate; Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL. Appointed by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebecca Sosa (District 6) to serve on an 24 month advisory committee tasked with reviewing and rewriting the Miami-Dade County manatee plan (December 2007 to 2009).

Loggerhead Expert Working Group. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Invited to serve on 2-year working group to update Atlantic loggerhead stock assessments. (2006-2008).


Research links and educational outreach





Funding and partnerships:

While I am an affiliate faculty member at Florida Atlantic University, my primary appointment is jointly held through Florida International University’s School for Environment, Arts and Society and NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami. Funding for my current research is supported, in part, by NOAA and the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program. The Sea Turtle Grants Program is funded from proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. To learn more, visit: www.helpingseaturtles.org.





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