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Skylar Bayer

If you need to locate a faculty member with knowledge about particular functions of SMS (e.g., graduate admissions), you can find them on the list of current faculty committees.

Skylar Bayer

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Skylar Bayer

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Darling Marine Center


Ph.D. expected 2016; M.S. MIT-WHOI Joint Program 2011; B.S. Brown University 2008


I am a PhD student based out of the University of Maine's marine station, the Darling Marine Center in beautiful Walpole, Maine. My interests related to my research are primarily (but not limited to) reproductive ecology and how reproduction affects larger processes like demography, ecosystem functioning, evolution and conservation. However, I can never resist a good science question.


I am very invested in science communication and in an effort to help myself and other graduate students learn how to write well, I've started a blog, STRICTLYFISHWRAP. I believe humor is a very useful tool in communicating and sharing science ( I currently write for the National Shellfish Association newsletter and am a producer for The Story Collider (


Stay tuned for an MPBN Maine Calling show on scallops and the industry in December featuring myself and other scallop experts in Maine.

Aside from the wonders of science, I particularly enjoy reading fiction, maritime history, and writing. I love athletics and dabble in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Roller Derby, Ice Hockey, Rowing and Sailing.

Research interests

My dissertation focuses on fertilization dynamics of giant sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) populations. I conduct experiments both in the field and in the lab. My experiments in the field are focused on the effects of population density and natural flow conditions on fertilization success. A lot of my experiments in the lab use a one-way flume to study fertilization rates of eggs downstream of sperm release. Flow dynamics and fertilization assays are particular focuses in my work with broadcast spawners. Although the bulk of my dissertation is on scallops, the concepts and results from my field, lab and modeling work are potentially applicable to other broadcasting species.

I am broadly interested in reproductive ecology, larval biology, biological interactions with physical environments, marine protected resources and conservation, population connectivity and spatial modeling.


  • Mullineaux, LS, Le Bris, N, Mills, SW, Henri, P, Bayer, SR, Secrist, RG & N Siu. 2012. Detecting the Influence of Initial Pioneers on Succession at Deep-Sea Vents. PLoS ONE 7(12): e50015. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050015
  • Bayer, SR, Mullineaux, LS, Waller, RG & AR Solow. 2011. Reproductive traits of pioneer gastropod species colonizing a deep-sea hydrothermal vent after an eruption. Marine Biology 158(1): 181-192.


  • 2009 to 2012 — $120,000.00 — GRFP from NSF

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