COS Professor Honored with Reach for the Stars Award
Kate Mansfield, Ph.D., is one of five of the University of Central Florida’s brightest early career professors. She was honored for her cutting-edge research, including her internationally recognized study of sea turtle migration.
She received the Reach for the Stars Award as part of the celebration of Founders’ Day on April 5, 2017. President John C. Hitt selected her and the other winners based on their past four years of work.
Mansfield, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, came to UCF in 2013. Mansfield’s research, teaching and scientific advisory service focuses on sea turtle biology, ecology and conservation. She is also a vocal advocate for STEM fields, conservation and women in science, and speaks at numerous public and scientific events. Her deployment of GPS tags on juvenile sea turtles drew international attention and shed light on nestlings’ first year at sea, a time that previously had been a mystery to biologists. She has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow UCF to establish a permanent sea turtle research station on the on the beaches of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in southern Brevard County. Mansfield played a leading role in collaborative efforts to understand impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine turtles. Mansfield is well published in top peer-reviewed journals – 11 peer-reviewed papers, a book chapter and an invited review – and is a sought-after speaker, having given four keynote talks and 26 invited talks.
Mansfield and the additional Reach for the Stars winners get a $10,000 annual research grant for three years, which can be renewed based on their promising work. This is the third year UCF has given Reach for the Stars Awards at Founders’ Day.