Steven Baer picture

Steven Baer

Department: Ocean Studies

· Associate Professor

Phone: 207-326-2170
Office: 207 Dirigo House
Office Hours: M (1300-1430) & TH (1000-1200) & F (1100-1200)


Steven Baer is an Assistant Professor of Marine Science in the Corning School of Ocean Studies. He was appointed to Maine Maritime Academy's faculty in 2018.

Steven received his Ph.D. from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research interests focus on the interplay between phytoplankton diversity and biogeochemical cycles. In his spare time, Steven enjoys reading, outdoor adventures, and being with family.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Ph.D., Chemical Oceanography, The College of William & Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
B.A., Social Thought & Political Economy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Block Schedule:

I’m an Assistant Professor of Marine Science in the Corning School of Ocean Studies. I teach Introductory Chemistry (for non-majors), Organic Chemistry, and Marine Geochemistry (now Chemical Oceanography), along with departmental seminars.  I am in the process of developing a Global Environmental Change course for Ocean Studies’ new major in Coastal & Marine Environmental Science.  I serve as an instructor and advisor for students’ independent senior research projects.  Additionally, I have a prominent role with Mariner’s Athletics, as the Faculty Athletics Representative, an NCAA mandated position to help bridge the gap between academics and athletics to ensure a positive and enriching experience for our student-athletes.  Similarly, I am the Faculty Athletic Mentor for MMA’s women’s lacrosse team (Go Mariners!).  In the past, I have taught chemistry and oceanography at The College of William & Mary, Christopher Newport University, and while a postdoctoral scholar at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, with students from Colby College.  Additionally, I was an instructor for the KellerBLOOM program, which is an intensive, hands-on, week-long marine science program for high school juniors in the state of Maine.

My background is in marine biogeochemistry and chemical oceanography and my research interests are focused on the interactions between phytoplankton diversity and major macronutrient (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) cycling.  I have extensive experience with wet lab and autoanalysis techniques for nutrient chemistry, along with being a highly advanced user of both imaging and high-speed sorting flow cytometry.  I have run more chlorophyll analyses than I can count, and it was once calculated that I have identified (actually, killed) more than a trillion individual phytoplankton.

Most of my shipboard experience is in the “blue” open ocean and the polar regions.  I have participated in numerous research expeditions all over the world.  I have experienced Arctic winter night at -70 degrees, heavy weather in the North Atlantic, and the doldrums of the equatorial Indian Ocean. During the summer of 2018 I cruised in the Bering Sea with the Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rate Measurements (ASGARD) project before beginning teaching at Maine Maritime Academy. You can read about my adventures and learn more about the mission of this cruise by reading the blog.

I love going to work at sea, and I love science.



Lomas MW, Baer SE, Mouginot C, Terpis KX, Lomas DA, Altabet MA, Martiny AC (2021) Varying influence of phytoplankton biodiversity and stoichiometric plasticity on bulk particulate stoichiometry across ocean basins. Communications Earth & Environment 2: 143.

Killberg-Thoreson L, Baer SE, Reay WG, Roberts QN, Sipler RE, Bronk DA (2020) Seasonal nitrogen uptake dynamics and harmful algal blooms in the York River, Virginia. Estuaries and Coasts.

Lomas MW, Eisner LB, Gann J, Baer SE, Mordy CW, Stabeno PJ (2020) Time-series of direct primary production and phytoplankton biomass observations in the southeastern Bering Sea: responses to cold and warm stanzas. Marine Ecology Progress Series 642: 39-54.

Larkin AA, Garcia CA, Ingoglia KA, Garcia N, Baer SE, Twining BS, Lomas MW, Martiny AC (2020) Subtle biogeochemical regimes in the Indian Ocean revealed by spatial and diel frequency of Prochlorococcus haplotypes. Limnology and Oceanography 65(S1): S220-S232.

Twining BS, Rauschenberg S, Baer SE, Lomas MW, Martiny AC, Antipova O (2019) A nutrient limitation mosaic in the eastern tropical Indian Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II 166: 125-140.

Lomas MW, Baer SE, Krause JW, Acton S (2019) Pumped up by the cold: Elemental quotas and stoichiometry of cold-water polar diatoms. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 286, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00286.

Baer SE, Rauschenberg S, Garcia CA, Garcia NS, Martiny AC, Twining BS, Lomas MW (2019) Carbon and nitrogen productivity during spring in the oligotrophic Indian Ocean along the GO-SHIP IO9 transect. Deep-Sea Research II 161: 81-91.

Kent AG, Baer SE, Mouginot C, Huang J, Larkin AA, Lomas MW, Martiny AC (2019) Parallel phylogeography of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. The ISME Journal 13: 430-441.

Garcia CA, Baer SE, Garcia NS, Rauschenberg S, Twining BS, Lomas MW, Martiny AC (2018) Nutrient supply controls particulate elemental concentrations and ratios in the low latitude eastern Indian Ocean. Nature Communications 9: 4868.

Wawrik B, Bronk DA, Baer SE, Chi L, Sun M, Cooper JT, Yang Z (2017) Bacterial utilization of creatine in seawater.  Aquatic Microbial Ecology 80: 153-165

Sipler RE, Gong D, Baer SE, Sanderson MP, Mulholland M, Bronk DA (2017) Preliminary estimates of the contribution of Arctic nitrogen fixation to the global nitrogen budget. Limnology and Oceanography Letters 2: 159-166.

Baer SE, Sipler RE, Roberts QN, Yager PL, Frischer ME, Bronk DA (2017) Seasonal nitrogen uptake and regeneration in the western coastal Arctic. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 2463-2479.

Sipler RE, Baer SE, Connelly TL, Frischer ME, Roberts QN, Yager PL, Bronk DA (2017) Chemical and photophysiological impact of tundra derived humic acids on nitrate uptake in the coastal western Arctic. Limnology and Oceanography 62: 1881-1894.

Baer SE, Lomas MW, Terpis KX, Mouginot C, Martiny AC (2017) Stoichiometry of Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and small eukaryote populations in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Environmental Microbiology 19: 1568-1583.

Singh A, Baer SE, Riebesell U, Martiny AC, Lomas MW (2015) C : N : P stoichiometry at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study station in the North Atlantic Ocean. Biogeosciences 12: 6389-6403.

Baer SE, Connelly TL, Bronk DA (2015) Nitrogen uptake dynamics in Arctic landfast sea ice near Barrow, Alaska during winter and spring. Polar Biology 28: 781-797.

Baer SE, Connelly TL, Bronk DA, Yager PL (2014) The effect of temperature on rates of ammonium uptake and nitrification in the western coastal Arctic during winter, spring, and summer. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 28: 1455-1466.

Connelly TL*, Baer SE*, Cooper JT, Bronk DA, Wawrik B (2014) Urea uptake and carbon fixation by marine pelagic Bacteria and Archaea during the Arctic summer and winter seasons. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80: 6103-6022.

* These authors contributed equally.

Field Research Experience

Year Research
2018 R/V Sikuliaq, Bering and Chukchi Seas. Phytoplankton community structure, primary production, nitrogen uptake rates, and particle backscattering as part of the Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rate Measurements (ASGARD) project.
2017 R/V Ocean Starr, Arctic Ocean. Primary production, nitrogen uptake rates, phytoplankton community structure, and zooplankton stoichiometry as part of the Arctic Integrated EcoSystem study.
2016 R/V Roger Revelle, Indian Ocean. Primary production, nitrogen uptake rates, phytoplankton community structure, and taxon-specific stoichiometry and uptake in an under-studied, ultraoligotrophic system. This cruise was part of the GO-SHIP repeat hydrography program.
2014 McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Effects of increased temperature and CO2 on primary production and nitrogen uptake in sea ice and the underlying seawater.
2014 R/V New Horizon, Eastern Tropical North Pacific. Taxon-specific stoichiometry of primary production and export.
2014 NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, Bering Sea. Primary production and nitrogen uptake along the 70 meter isobath.
2010-2012 UMIAQ Station, Barrow, Alaska. Seasonal (January, April, August) nitrogen uptake and regeneration dynamics of Arctic coastal microbial communities.
2010-2011 York River, Gloucester Point, VA. Time-series study of nitrogen uptake and nitrification by bacterial and archaeal communities in the York River.
2010 R/V Hugh R. Sharp, Chesapeake Bay. Field study to determine rates of nitrogen and carbon uptake by specific prokaryotic groups using stable isotope probing.
2009 R/V Atlantic Explorer, Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series site. Cruise as part of the microbial oceanography course at BIOS, we took samples to elucidate community structure (via T-RFLP) and proteomics.
2009 R/V Atlantic Explorer, Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Site. Archaeal ammonium uptake and oxidation in the mesopelagic.
2008 R/V Pelican, Gulf of Mexico, Florida. Nitrogen uptake kinetics of Karenia brevis, a harmful algal bloom species.
2006 R/V Thomas G. Thompson, Monterey Bay, California. Investigation of photo-oxidative and bacterial breakdown products of zooplankton-produced FDOM signal.