Dr Richard Shelmerdine

Job Title: Marine Surveys Scientist
Tel: 01595 772303
Email: richard.shelmerdine@uhi.ac.uk


Richard is the Marine Surveys Scientist within the Marine Development Section.  His primary role is to co-ordinate and/or conduct all surveys, data analyses, and reporting for marine surveys.  He manages the marine survey equipment, and associated IT, and advise clients and colleagues on the capabilities of the outputs.  Surveys range from the upper intertidal down to the sub-bottom, including; underwater video and camera work, grab sampling, acoustic surveys producing habitat and bathymetry maps, and sub-bottom profile surveys and processing.  He manages, analyses, and maps both AIS and VMS data, with particular reference to vessel density.

Specialities/research interests/skills

Marine survey techniques and planning, Spatial and temporal variation of marine species and habitats, GIS and mapping, Fisheries interactions with the environment, Marine ecology, Environmental monitoring, Species identification, Data analysis and processing.

Brief History

Richard completed his undergraduate Honours degree in Zoology (Marine Biology and Fisheries) at the University of Aberdeen where he examined the effects of pressure detection in the dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, and the shore crab, Carcinus maenas.  He later completed a Masters of Research in 'Marine and Fisheries Science: Sustainable Management of Living Marine Resources' at the University of Aberdeen.  His project was based at the Natal Sharks Board, South Africa, where he studied the biology of the African angel shark, Squatina africana, from net catches off the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

After his Masters, he moved to Oban, on the west coast of Scotland, to undertake a PhD at the Scottish Association for Marine Science on 'Large scale forcing of coastal communities'.  This involved monitoring intertidal communities with respect to species abundance, recruitment and growth rates, testing for differences between areas of contrasting pelagic primary production, wave exposure, and freshwater inputs.

Richard worked as a Shellfisheries Scientist at the NAFC Marine Centre for five years before his secondment to his current role in the Marine Development section.  He has experience of a wide range of survey techniques including the intertidal, underwater video and camera work, acoustic surveys producing habitat and bathymetry maps using GIS software, sub-bottom profile surveys and processing, as well as fisheries surveys.  Some of his more recent work involved marine species identification, including a course on sponge taxonomy.


Shelmerdine, R.L., Stone, D., Leslie, B., and Robinson, M. (in press); Implications of defining fisheries closed areas based on predicted habitats in Shetland: a proactive and precautionary approach.  Marine Policy.

Shelmerdine, R.L., Robinson, M., Johnson, A., Leslie, B., Stone, D., and Tait, L. (2013); Assessment of the appropriateness of areas closed to protect priority marine features from scallop dredging around Shetland.  NAFC Marine Centre report, 166 pp.

Shelmerdine, R.L. and White, E. (2011); Escape gaps for velvet crabs (Necora puber); stock and economic benefits for the catching sector.  Scottish Industry Science Partnership Report No. 01/11: 25 pp.

Gear, D., Shelmerdine, R.L., and Leslie, B. (2010); The effects of storage and diet on the condition and flesh quality of European lobsters.  NAFC Marine Centre Report: 25pp.

Leslie, B., Laurenson, C.H., Shelmerdine, R.L., and Winter, K. (2010); Shetland Shellfish Stock Assessments 2010.  NAFC Marine Centre report: 38pp.

Shelmerdine, R.L. and Leslie, B. (2009); Restocking of the native oyster in Shetland: habitat identification study.  Shellfish News No.27: 10-12.

Shelmerdine, R.L. and Leslie, B. (2009); Restocking of the native oyster, Ostrea edulis, in Shetland: habitat identification study.  Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 396.

Leslie, B. and Shelmerdine, R.L. (2009); Review of the Shetland Islands Regulated Fishery (Scotland) Order.  NAFC Marine Centre report: 209pp.

Leslie, B., Laurenson, C., Shelmerdine, R.L., Gear, D.J.R., and Winter, K.A. (2009); Shetland Shellfish Stock Assessments 2009.  NAFC Marine Centre report: 100pp.

Leslie, B. and Shelmerdine, R.L. (2008); Spatial variability in velvet crab populations: a possible candidate for real time fisheries management.  NAFC Marine Centre report for Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation: 40pp.

Fraser, P.J., Cruickshank, S.F., Shelmerdine, R.L., and Smith L.E. (2008); Hydrostatic pressure receptors and depth usage in crustacea and fish.  Journal of the Institute of Navigation 55(2): 159-165.

Shelmerdine, R.L., Clark, L., and Leslie, B. (2008); Shellfish environmental and biological monitoring programme: feasibility study.  NAFC Marine Centre report 26pp.

Leslie, B., Laurenson, C., Shelmerdine, R.L., Riley, D. and Simmons, S. (2008); Shetland Shellfish Stock Assessments 2008.  NAFC Marine Centre report: 94pp.

Leslie, B., Laurenson, C., Shelmerdine, R.L., and Riley, D. (2007); Shetland Shellfish Stock Assessments 2007.  NAFC Marine Centre report: 93pp.

Shelmerdine, R.L., Adamson, J., Laurenson, C.H., and Leslie, B. (2007); Size variation of the common whelk, Buccinum undatum, over large and small spatial scales: Potential implications for micro-management within the fishery.  Fisheries Research 86(2-3): 201-206.

Leslie, B and Shelmerdine, R.L. (2007); Scallop fishing in the Firth of Lorne Marine SAC: Review of Scientific Literature.  SNH Contract No 19099.

Shelmerdine, R.L. and Cliff, G. (2006); Sharks caught in the protective gill nets off KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  12.  The African angel shark Squatina africana (Regan).  African Journal of Marine Science 28(3-4): 581-588.

Fraser, P.J., Cruikshank, S.F., and Shelmerdine, R.L. (2003); Hydrostatic pressure effects on vestibular hair cell afferents in fish and crustacean.  Journal of Vestibular Reseach-Equilibrium and Orientation 13(4-6): 235-242.

Fraser, P.J., Shelmerdine, R.L., Findlay, R.F., Cruickshank, S.F., Macdonald, A.G., Tawse, L., and Taylor, G.G. (2002); Effects of gravity and hydrostatic pressure on angular acceleration coding sensory neurons in the crag and dogfish.  Proceedings of the European Symposium on Life in Space for Life on Earth 501: 269-270.

Fraser, P.J. and Shelmerdine, R.L. (2002); Dogfish hair cells sense hydrstatic pressure. Nature 415(6867): 495-496.

NAFC Development Notes

Shelmerdine, R.L., Clark, L., and Leslie, B. (2008); Variation in spawning and recruitment of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis.  NAFC Marine Centre Fisheries Development Note No.27

Shelmerdine, R.L., Adamson, J., Laurenson, C., and Leslie, B. (2006); Size variation in populations of the common whelk, Buccinum undatum.  NAFC Marine Centre Fisheries Development Note No.24