Story Collider to feature Bayer’s podcast

On Aug. 12, The Story Collider will feature Skylar Bayer’s frank but sometimes funny podcast about a medical scare she experienced her first semester at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center.

In fall 2011, the doctoral candidate in marine biology was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia — a rapid heart beat due to a problem with her heart’s electrical impulses. It can result in sudden cardiac death. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) was placed in Bayer’s chest; when it detects an abnormal heart rhythm it delivers an electric shock to restore her normal heartbeat.

“My ICD is a constant reminder of the limitations I deal with, but becoming less self-reliant and more connected with others has been a healthy thing,” she said in her interview with the Henry David Thoreau Foundation.

Doctors told Bayer — who is researching scallop fertilization success for her Ph.D. in a scuba diving-based lab — that she can no longer dive. But she’s still active, playing roller derby and taking part in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  In addition, she has her blog and podcast StrictlyFishwrap, which has been produced for The Story Collider and writes about science communication in “The Plainspoken Scientist.”

To listen to her recent post on the power of audio, visit

“We are social animals, and interconnectedness is an important touchstone for those of us working to have a positive impact on the environment,” she told the Henry David Thoreau Foundation. “Convincing others of your point of view happens best in the context of communities that share values and experiences.”

Later this week, Bayer will be in Newfoundland at the 2016 International Marine Conservation Congress: Making Marine Science Matter. The annual gathering brings together conservationists to develop tools to further marine conservation policy.

To listen to Bayer’s story, on Aug. 12 visit