MLCA’s Landings reports on Bayer’s retirement

The October 2018 issue (Vol. 26, No. 10) of Landings, the newsletter of the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance, reported on the retirement of Bob Bayer, former director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. Bayer, 74, grew up in New York and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science at the University of Vermont before earning his doctorate in animal sciences in 1972 from Michigan State University, according to the article. He then was hired for poultry research and teaching classes in animal science at UMaine. Bayer began his foray into marine sciences while working with a graduate student on his master’s thesis on nutrition for juvenile lobsters, before UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences was established. He credits Sea Grant with much of the support he received for his research, according to the article. At UMaine, he went on to have many achievements in the lobster field, including creating and patenting a vaccine against gaffkemia, or red tail; developing and patenting a method for preserving fresh flavor in frozen lobster for several years; and receiving UMaine’s Presidential Public Service Award for his work in 1988. The Lobster Institute was founded in 1987, and Bayer became director in 1995. “It was a truly innovative way to link lobstermen to scientists and vice versa,” Bayer said. “The problems that presented themselves were always different from day to day. Pollution issues. Contaminants in lobsters in Massachusetts. Now it’s climate change and ocean acidification.” As his 46-year science career comes to a close, Bayer has plans to remain involved in the world of lobster, Landings reported. “I plan to continue to support the Maine Marine Patrol in prosecution of individuals illegally removing eggs from lobster. I will also be working on lobster food product development with a couple of different companies,” said Bayer. “Plus I’m working with Giada Giachino in Milan, Italy, on using lobster shell in her jewelry as a replacement for endangered coral. I wouldn’t say I’m retiring.”