Rachel Shucksmith

Job Title: Marine Spatial Planning Manager
Tel: 01595 772492
Email: rachel.shucksmith@uhi.ac.uk


Rachel co-ordinates the Marine Spatial Planning section within the Department of Marine Science and Technology. The section administers the Shetland Islands' Marine Spatial Plan (SIMSP), provides advice to developers and undertakes research to guide sustainable marine use and development.

Specialities/Research Interests/Skills

Marine spatial planning, policy, environmental impact assessment, GIS, computer modelling and aquaculture.

Brief History

After completing her BSc (Hons) degree in marine biology in 2002 at the University of Bangor, Rachel moved to Shetland to work at the NAFC Marine Centre on the European funded EUROGEL project- ‘mechanisms behind jellyfish blooms’.

From the EUROGEL project Rachel moved to the Shetland Island Council (SIC) where she worked in the Environmental Health section mapping areas of contaminated land. Rachel then started work at SSQC Ltd, co-ordinating their marine environmental surveying program; including benthic, hydrographic, wave and intertidal surveying. Rachel was also responsible for data analysis and reporting of the survey work.

In 2006, Rachel began working for the aquaculture industry managing Hjaltland Seafarms Ltd's marine licence applications across the company’s production areas. This included undertaking and supervising the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process from liaising with stakeholders and running consultations, to undertaking the required survey work, data analysis, impact modelling, assessment and reporting. During this time Rachel completed an MSc in Environmental Decision Making with the Open University on a part-time basis.

Rachel was seconded on a part-time basis from her post at Hjaltland to the Shetland Marine Spatial Plan, based at the NAFC Marine Centre, to work as project officer for the SSMEI (Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative) project between 2008 and 2010. During this time she worked with stakeholders on the development of the Interim Draft Marine Spatial Plan for the Shetland Islands and a sub-area plan for an intensely used region ‘Swarbacks Minn’.

In 2012 Rachel returned to the NAFC Marine Centre to take up the post of Marine Spatial Planning Manager.


Conference Papers

  • Shucksmith, R., MacIver, K., Shelmerdine, R. (2014) Identifying and assessing vectors for the dispersal of invasive species in the Shetland Islands. Science for new regulation, Ghent, 2 April
  • Kelly, C., Gray, L., Shucksmith, R (2013) Lessons learned in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): The Shetland experience. ICES ASC Reykjavik, 23-27 September
  • Shucksmith, R., Gray, L., Kelly, C., Marengo, I., Tweddle, J.  (2013) Shetland Marine Spatial Plan: Developing spatial guidance for renewables. ICES ASC Reykjavik, 23-27 September
  • Shucksmith, R. & Kelly C. (2103) Cultural Ecosystem Service – the Shetland experience. ICES Workshop, Geesthacht, Germany, 17-21 June.
  • Kelly, C., Gray, L., Shucksmith, R. & Tweddle, J. (2012) Shetland Marine Spatial Plan: An ecosystem-based approach in formulating marine policy and management options. ICES CRR