Connor Tate

Research Associate


2015- University of Florida, Bachelors in Environmental Geo-Sciences

Current- Applying for Masters programs

  • Sustainability- Coastal Engineering


I am a Pensacola (Gulf Breeze) Native with a passion for eco-tourism, sustainability and conservation. After graduating from UF I spent time travelling Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. My experiences there combined with my family, education and travel focused upbringing have fostered a great sense of stewardship for the environment, our marine resources and my home Pensacola. I joined David Fries team in January 2017 and have found an intense passion for my “work” in innovating 3D printed intelligent reef systems as well as developing a sponge genomics sampling tool. Working at IHMC has opened a world of opportunity by combining the disciplines of technology and field science; I truly believe through this collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach we can bring innovative solutions to the complex issues we face in society and the environment.

My work on the Advance Manufactured Bio-mimetic Reef and Sponge Genomics Sampling include:

  • Assisting project management
    • project organization
    • purchasing
    • intern management
  • Grant writing
  • CAD design, with geo-informed focus
    • Fusion 360
    • element Pro
    • netfab
    • Ansys
  • Manufacture reef models
  • Education and outreach
  • Research
    • Habitat complexity
    • Spatial light
    • Remote sensing
    • Additive manufacturing
    • Materials science
    • Aquaculture
    • Coastal engineering
    • Permitting


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

Community Involvement

  • Friends of Pensacola State Park- Communications Director and LIFE Program Coordinator
  • Marine Science Academy
  • SeaGrant IFAS
  • The Nature Conservancy


  • Hiking
  • Eco-tourism
  • Painting
  • Ceramics
  • Dancing
  • Travel