UCF Biology

Kate Mansfield

Research Area(s): Marine biology and vertebrate zoology with an emphasis on sea turtle ecology, behavior, habitat use, and conservation.


Dr. Kate Mansfield is a marine scientist and sea turtle biologist. Her research focuses on sea turtle biology, ecology, behavior, management, and conservation. Using various census and telemetry methods, Dr. Mansfield’s research interests include sea turtle and other marine vertebrate movements, migration, and habitat utilization. Dr. Mansfield’s recent projects include testing and deploying small-scale, solar-powered satellite tags on young, oceanic stage sea turtles with the goal of describing early sea turtle dispersal and habitat use.

Dr. Mansfield’s lab and field sites include the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group’s (MTRG) long-term nesting beach and coastal juvenile research programs. The UCF MTRG has monitored beaches within and adjacent to the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge for many decades, focusing on the reproductive biology and population trends of Atlantic sea turtles. In addition to this beach program, MTRG’s in-water netting program has monitored coastal (neritic) juvenile sea turtles in the Indian River Lagoon for over three decades. Combining these programs with Dr. Mansfield’s oceanic juvenile tracking work, the MTRG provides a whole life history approach to understanding the biology, ecology, and conservation needs of Atlantic sea turtles.


Putman, N.F. and K.L. Mansfield. 2015. Direct evidence of swimming reveals a new paradigm of dispersal in the sea turtle ‘lost years’. Current Biology, 25, 1-7. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.014

Ehrhart, L.M., W. Redfoot, D. Bagley, and K. Mansfield. 2014. Long-term trends in loggerhead (Caretta caretta) nesting and reproductive success at an important western Atlantic rookery. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Volume 13(2): 173-181.

Mansfield, K.L., J. Wyneken., W. Porter, and J. Luo. 2014. First satellite tracks of neonate sea turtles redefine the “lost years” oceanic niche. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Volume 281, No.1781, 20133039. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.3039.

Phillips, K.F., K.L. Mansfield, D. Die, and D.S. Addison. 2014. Survival and remigration probabilities for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Biology(published online 14 January, 2014).  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00227-013-2386-2

Putman, N.F., K.L. Mansfield, R. He, P. Verley, and D. Shaver. 2013. Predicting the distribution of oceanic stage Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Biology Letters 9:2013 0345. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2013.0345.

Mansfield, K.L. and N.F. Putman. 2013. Oceanic habits and habitats—Caretta caretta. Chapter 8 in: Wyneken, J., J.A. Musick, and K. Lohmann (eds). The Biology of Sea Turtles, Volume III. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Mansfield, K.L., J. Wyneken, D. Rittschoff, M. Walsh, C.W. Lim and P. Richards. 2012. Satellite tag attachment methods for tracking neonate sea turtles. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 457:181-192. Doi: 10.3354/meps09485. Open access: http://www.int-res.com/articles/theme/m457p181.pdf.

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

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.



  • Member: Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Working Group
  • Associate Editor: Herpetological Conservation and Biology




  • Ph.D. – Marine Science, Fisheries Sciences Department (2006); College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
  • M.A. – Marine Affairs and Policy (1995); University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
  • B.A. – Biology, Philosophy (1992); Mount Holyoke College (including semesters abroad with Sea Education Association’s Sea Semester, and the School for Field Studies’ Turk’s and Caicos program).



The Lost Years of Sea Turtles

by Barbara Abney University of Central Florida biologist whose groundbreaking work tracking the movements of sea turtle yearlings in the North Atlantic Ocean attracted international attention has completed a similar s... Read more

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