Dr Richard Shelmerdine

Marine Surveys Scientist content

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.


Mouat, B., Bergh, M., Shelmerdine, R. L., and Leach, K. (In Press); Scottish Inshore Fisheries Integrated Data System (SIFIDS): review and optimisation of shellfish data collection strategies for Scottish inshore waters.  MASTS, 198 pp.

Shelmerdine R. L. and Mouat B. (In Press); Mapping fisheries and habitats in the North and East Coast RIFG area.  NAFC Marine Centre report, 69 pp.

Fraser, S., Shelmerdine, R. L., and Mouat, B. (2018); Razor clam biology, ecology, stock assessment, and exploitation: a review of Ensis spp. in Wales.  NAFC Marine Centre report for the Welsh Government.  Contract number C243/2012/2013, 62 pp.

Shelmerdine R. L. and Mouat B. (2018); Mapping features to the southeast of the Papa Stour SAC.  NAFC Marine Centre report, 45 pp.

Batts L., Shucksmith R. J., Shelmerdine R. L., Macdonald P., and Mouat B. (2017); Scotland's fishing industry - guidance for decision makers and developers.  Report for Fisheries Innovation Scotland, project FIS014. 21 pp.

Batts L., Shucksmith R. J., Shelmerdine R. L., Macdonald P., and Mouat B. (2017); Understanding and influencing the marine management and development processes - best practice guidance for fishers.  Report for Fisheries Innovation Scotland, project FIS014. 11 pp.

Shelmerdine R. L., Cowing A. L.., and Shucksmith R. J. (2017); Head of Lera Voe.  LNCS extended site statement.  NAFC Marine Centre report for Shetland Islands Council, 8 pp.

Shelmerdine R. L., Mouat, B., and Shucksmith R. J. (2017); The most northerly record of feral Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (Thunberg, 1793) in the British Isles.  BioInvasions Records 6(1): 57-60.

Shelmerdine R. L., Shucksmith R. J., and Mouat, B. (2017); Fisheries management in the context of shared seas.  Report for Fisheries Innovation Scotland, project FIS014. 55 pp.

Shelmerdine R. L. (2015); Teasing out the detail: how our understanding of marine AIS data can better inform industries, developments, and planning.  Marine Policy 54: 17-25.

Shelmerdine R. L. and Leslie B. (2015); A multidisciplinary approach to the collection and use of VMS data from an inshore scallop fishery.  Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science 6(13):1-27.

Shelmerdine R. L. and Shucksmith R. (2015); Understanding the effect of scale and resolution on predictive habitat maps.  ICES Annual Science Conference ICES CM 2015/N:10.

Shucksmith R. and Shelmerdine R. L. (2015); A risk based approach to non-native species management and biosecurity planning.  Marine Policy 59: 32-43.

Shelmerdine R. L., Stone D., Leslie B., and Robinson M. (2014); Implications of defining fisheries closed areas based on predicted habitats in Shetland: a proactive and precautionary approach.  Marine Policy 43:184-199.

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.

Leslie B. and Shelmerdine R. L. (2012); Management measures for self-propagated future recovery of crawfish, Palinurus elephas, in Welsh waters.  Countryside Council for Wales Commissioned Research Report 989. 63 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.

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.

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

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, 40 pp.

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

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

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.

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., Cruickshank S. F., and Shelmerdine R. L. (2003); Hydrostatic pressure effects on vestibular hair cell afferents in fish and crustacea. Journal of Vestibular Research-Equilibrium & Orientation 13(4-6): 235-242.

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

Fraser, P. J., Shelmerdine, R., 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