Connor Tate

Research Associate

Connor is a research associate at IHMC and a Gulf Breeze native with a passion for ecotourism, sustainability and conservation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental geosciences from University of Florida in 2015; she is currently applying for master’s programs focused on sustainability and coastal engineering.

After graduating from UF, she traveled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Those experiences, combined with her family, education and travel focused upbringing, fostered a great sense of stewardship for the environment, marine resources and Pensacola.

Connor joined David Fries’ team in January 2017 and found a passion for work in innovating 3D printed intelligent reef systems as well as developing a sponge genomics sampling tool. Connor believes IHMC’s collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach can bring innovative solutions to the complex issues we face in society and the environment.

Her work on the Advance Manufactured Bio-mimetic Reef and Sponge Genomics Sampling included assist project management, project organization, purchasing, and intern management; grant writing; CAD design; manufacture reef models; education and outreach. Her research interests include habitat complexity, spatial light, remote sensing, additive manufacturing, materials science, aquaculture, coastal engineering, a permitting.

Her community involvement includes Friends of Pensacola State Park- Communications Director and LIFE Program Coordinator, Marine Science Academy, SeaGrant IFAS, BARC TAC, The Nature Conservancy. Her hobbies include hiking, ecotourism, painting, ceramics, dancing, and travel.


  • Lighting System Packaging for Smart Underwater Reefs for Sensing, Communications, and Robotics
  • Bio-mimetic Sentinel Reef Structures for Optical Sensing and Communications.