January 2013 - Student of the Month - Skylar Bayer

Skylar Bayer, a Doctor of Philosophy student in Marine Biology, is the January 2013 Graduate Student of the Month.

Graduate School: Where are you from originally?

Bayer: I am from the Greater Boston Area and Cape Cod.

Graduate School: What undergraduate institution(s) did you previously attend?

Bayer: I did my Master of Science in Biological Oceanography in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MIT-WHOI) Joint Program and I received my Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology from Brown University.

Graduate School: Why did you choose to attend UMaine?

Bayer: I chose the University of Maine because of the reputation of the School of Marine Sciences, the Darling Marine Center and of course my advisor, Rick Wahle. I wanted to learn how to be an ecologist that also works with local fisheries. 

Graduate School: What degree program are you pursuing?

Bayer: Doctor of Philosophy (expected 2016) in Marine Biology in the School of Marine Sciences. My dissertation work focuses on reproductive and fertilization dynamics of Placopecten magellanicus – giant sea scallops. 

Graduate School: What are your plans after graduation?

Bayer: Given that this is a few years away, I’m not sure at this point. I’d like to continue working in the field of ecology, but also help shape future ecological policy. 

Graduate School: What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?

Bayer: I think being able to get through a very intense field season this past year working scallop reproduction. We did a very ambitious experiment this past field season and I think it’ll help pay off with my dissertation research in the long run. 

Graduate School: What is the highlight of your academic experience so far?

Bayer: In addition to working with such wonderful faculty and students in the School of Marine Sciences at both Orono and the Darling Marine Center campuses, working with scallop fishermen and DMR staff has been a highlight. University of Maine is a great place to work with people both in and out of the academic environment. 

Graduate School: What is your favorite place on campus?

Bayer: The Darling Marine Center running trails. 

Graduate School: What awards or other significant recognition (both on or off-campus) have you received since beginning your degree program?

Bayer: Since I’ve only been in the program about a year, I have yet to receive special recognition for anything just yet. That said, I was a co-author on a paper from the MIT-WHOI lab that came out this past December (2012) and I presented at the Benthic Ecology Meeting this past March. 

Graduate School: What other important information about yourself would you like us to know?

Bayer: I love ecology, martial arts, roller derby, ice hockey, boats (both building and sailing them), traveling and writing. I started a blog this year called “STRICTLYFISHWRAP”  in an effort to get science graduate students writing for the general public. I’m always looking for writers and interesting stories.

Bayer was also featured in the Spring 2012 edition of the Higher Degree, The Graduate School's newsletter. You can read that feature here.