Updated: 08.30.2020

Hi, I’m Skylar Bayer! I’m a marine ecologist (Ph.D.) who studies population dynamics, & marine conservation, with a specific background in bivalves. I just started at Roger Williams University as an Assistant Professor of Biology, Aquaculture and Extension Specialist.

From 2019-2020 I completed a NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate fellowship at the NOAA Fisheries Milford Lab with Dr. Rose. We researched the impact of oysters on water quality. You can see my webpage on the lab website here. Analysis of results is still ongoing!

In Spring 2020, I was supposed to go to Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar. My research focus was on the Iceland scallop fishery and the life history of the Iceland scallop. If I will go another year for the fellowship is still TBD.

I am very interested in science communication, especially in regards to community engagement and the use of storytelling. I also have experience in environmental policy from working on Capitol Hill during my 2018 Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

This page is a summary of my research career. It is a bit outdated at the moment and I hope to create a new lab website this year while I start my job at Roger Williams University! However, you can check out my blog for older research updates. To see all my published manuscripts to date, click here (this is updated frequenty). For more information on my SciComm experience and projects, check out this page.

A long time ago as an undergraduate at Brown University, I started my research career at Toolik Lake Field Station in Alaska learning about nitrification in tundra soil microbes. After that I spent some time sailing across the Pacific Ocean with Sea Education Association learning how to conduct oceanography. I stuck around in Woods Hole studying hydrothermal vent communities in the Mullineaux Lab for an internship, an Alvin cruise and received my Masters of Science in Biological Oceanography from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. I spent a lot of time identifying deep-sea larvae and learning histology techniques.

While in Maine, I studied the reproductive ecology of sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus). I was very excited about the project because I was able to blend reproductive biology, population ecology, oceanography, fisheries in my experimental field, modeling and lab work. The sea scallop supports an economically important fishery both in Maine and federally.

My dissertation research specifically focused on the question, how does population density and abundance affects the percentage of eggs that are fertilized? This kind of basic fertilization ecology question is difficult to answer and is very important information for conservation and fishery management plans.

My research required the use of one-way flumes, current meters, spawning induction, developmental biology knowledge, MATLAB modeling, station deployments, SCUBA based field arrays, developing dock-based experiments, working with oceanographers, spat bags, and of course microscopes.

Since 2016, I have been collaborating with Dr. Pete Countway at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences using genetic methods to detect and quantify scallop egg, sperm and potentially larvae from water samples. This work has led to my involvement in the recent EPSCOR proposal that will be submitted later this year to NSF. In 2017, I was employed as a post doc with Dr. Phil Yund at the Downeast Institute. After completing a year in a environment and science policy fellowship, I’ll be applying all my research and policy background to my NRC Research Associateship project at the NOAA Fisheries Milford Lab, focusing on oysters and water quality.

Website photo credits: The photos on this website are from Pete Countway, Alice Anderson, The Story Collider, Jesse Stuart, Rick Wahle, The University of Maine media group, Story District, Katy Newcomer, Thom Young-Bayer, Lydia Kapsenberg, Janan Evans-Wilent, Megan Chen, and myself. Avatar (cartoon) by @blackmudpuppy on Twitter.