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Animal and Veterinary Sciences

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Faculty and Staff - Robert Bayer

Executive Director, Lobster Institute
Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Cooperating Professor, Food Science & Human Nutrition
210 Rogers Hall
Phone 207/581-2785
Fax 207/581-2729
E-mail: or

Lobster Institute Website




Research interests

Dr. Bayer has been involved in lobster research for nearly 30 years and since 1995 has been Executive Director of the Lobster Institute, located on the campus of the University of Maine.  His primary interests are in the areas of lobster nutrition, management and pathology.  

In addition to his work with the Lobster Institute, Dr. Bayer is a Professor of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at the University of Maine.  He also serves as an adjunct professor in Food Sciences and in 1979 was a visiting scientist at the Institute of Marine Biochemistry in Aberdeen, Scotland.  He has taught a variety of courses, such as: Endocrinology, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Marine Resources, and Aquaculture. 

Dr. Bayer has written or collaborated on dozens of articles for a variety of professional journals, and is the co-author of several books and industry manuals. 

He is also the co-holder of two U.S. patents – one for the gaffkemia vaccine and the other for a method and solution for improving frozen seafood quality.  He is also known for his work with shell disease research, testing of artificial diets and baits for lobsters, developing tests for determining illegal removal of lobster eggs with chlorine bleach, and a variety of other research related to lobsters and the lobster industry.


Select Journal Articles & Abstracts:

Bayer, R.C. W.R. Brasslett, B. Pearce, and D.Cowan. 2007. Magnetic resonance and computed tomography images of normal and shell diseased lobsters. Journal of Shellfish Research 24:640

Congleton, W, R. Bayer, W. Fike. 2011. Trap design for assessment of prerecruit lobster (Homarus americanus) populations. 103rd Annual Meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association, Baltimore, MD

Dawes, R., D. Neivandt, R. Bayer, B. Beal, and G. Protopopescu. 2011. Quahog clam shells as reusable and biodegradable larval lobster grow out for use in open water. 103rd Annual Meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association, Baltimore, MD

Harden, M., R. Bayer. 2011. Does less bait catch fewer lobsters? Assessing the effect of bait reduction on lobster harvest. 103rd Annual Meeting of the National Shellfisheries Association, Baltimore, MD

Bolton, J. C., L.B. Perkins, R. Bushway, S. Collings, J. Vetilino, R.C. Bayer, and R. Smith. 2007. A non-invasive vitality sensor for the American lobster. Proc. 8th Annual Conference and Workshop, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Kaye, J., W.R. Congleton, R.C. Bayer and B.R. Pearce. 2007. GIS analysis of lobster shell disease distribution in the Gulf of Maine. Proc. 8th Annual Conference and Workshop, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

LeBlanc, L.A., L.B. Perkins, J.C. Bolton, T. Vassiliev, W.R. Congleton and R.C. Bayer. 2007. Is there a link between epizootic lobster shell disease and contaminant body burdens? Proc. 8th Annual Conference and Workshop, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Calder, B.L., A.A. Bushway, R.C. Bayer, K.A. Davis-Dentici and M.E. Camire. 2005. Quality of Whole Lobster (Homarus americanus) treated with Sodium Tripolyphosphate Before Cooking and Frozen Storage. Journal of Food Science 70(9):C523-528

Tall, B.D., S. Fall, D. Prince, R. Bayer, et al. Dec. 2003. Characterization of Vibrio fluvialis-Like Strains Implicated in Limp Lobster Disease. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69 (12):7435-7446.

Floreto, E.A.T., R.C. Bayer, P.B. Brown. Mar. 2001. The effects of krill hydrolysate-supplemented soya-bean based diets on the growth, colouration, amino and fatty acid profiles of juvenile American lobster, Homarus americanus. Aquacult. Nutr. 7(1):33-43.

Skonberg, Denise I., Darrell W. Donahue, Robert C. Bayer, Eric Floreto, and John G. Riley, 2001. Quality Evaluation of American Lobsters Fed Diets Containing Crab Processing Waste. Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology, Vol. 10(2):17-29.

Donahue, D.W. Bayer, R.C. Riley, J.G. 1998.  Effects of diet on weight gain and shell hardness of new-shell American lobster, Homarus americanus. Journal of Applied Aquaculture.  vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 79-85.

Loughlin, M.B., Bayer, R.C., Prince, D.L. 1998.  Lobster, Homarus Americanus, Gastric Fluid Is a Barrier to the Ciliate, Anophryoides haemophila, in an in vitro Study.  Journal of Applied Aquaculture.  Vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 67-72.

Leavitt, D. F.; Bayer, R. C. 1977.  A refractometric method of determining serum protein concentration in the American lobster. Aquaculture, Vol. 12 pp169-17


Career Highlights:


Student Projects

Dr Bayer has worked with many graduate and senior students on various projects, here is a sampling of studies with University of Maine students which were conducted as part of my MAFES project’s look at lobster health:




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Contact Information

Animal and Veterinary Sciences
5735 Hitchner Hall, University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5735
Phone: (207)581-2770 | Fax: (207) 581-2729E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System