Professor Skylar Bayer, December 2, 2020
Nutrient removal by Greenwich, CT oysters through biodeposition and excretion measurement
Abstract: In the first part of this seminar, Dr. Bayer will discuss her experience working as a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Office. Coming from a research-focused Ph.D. program, Dr. Bayer aided in crafting environmental, infrastructure, and fisheries legislation during her fellowship. In the second part of this seminar, Dr. Bayer will discuss her recent results from biodeposition and excretion measurements of eastern oysters. In locations with an established shellfish aquaculture industry, bivalve morphometrics, tissue and shell nitrogen content can be combined with harvest numbers to assess aquaculture contributions to nutrient reduction and increased water quality. This approach only accounts for the removal associated with harvest, and most aquaculture operations have several year-classes growing simultaneously. Measurement of bivalve feeding activities combined with knowledge of total farm stock can provide a more complete assessment of farm-scale nitrogen removal. In collaboration with local stakeholders (Greenwich Shellfish Commission and Stella Mar Oysters) Dr. Bayer and her colleagues at Milford Laboratory collected data needed to estimate farm-scale rates of nitrogen reduction for cultivated eastern oysters in Greenwich Bay, Connecticut.
Bio: Dr. Bayer is an Assistant Professor of Biology, Aquaculture and Extension Specialist at Roger Williams University. She received her B.Sc. in Marine Biology at Brown University (2008), her M.Sc. in Biological Oceanography from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program (2011) and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine (2017). Her research career has focused on invertebrate population dynamics, larval behavior and dispersal, and reproduction, particularly in bivalves. Her recent post-doc was at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center Milford Laboratory, where she researched the impacts of oyster farms on water quality. In 2019 she completed a year-long fellowship on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. She is a producer for The Story Collider and has dabbled in several types of science communication. Most recently she’s published with co-author Gabi Serrato Marks in Scientific American on disabilities in science. They are currently under Columbia University Press for their book, Uncharted, on this topic.