Rachel Shucksmith


  • Scalloway


Accepting PhD Students

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Expertise

Rachel manages the Marine Spatial Planning section within the Shetland UHI department, Marine Science and Technology. The section undertakes applied research and consultancy projects relating or informing marine management and decision making and is also responsible for delivering the Shetland Islands Regional Marine Plan.

Over the last 15 years Rachel has developed an international reputation in linking interdisciplinary marine science with real-life management opportunities and challenges, including marine planning. Rachel is a regularly invited speaker to conferences and workshops to provide keynotes in the area of marine planning, ecosystem-based management, and integration of local values in marine planning. Rachel’s research sections achievements include:

  • development of decision support tools to guide commercial decision making (e.g. offshore renewables, oil and gas, harbour management)
  • development of one of Europe’s first and most advanced marine plans in Shetland
  • integration of cultural ecosystem services into decision making
  • marine value mapping
  • inclusion of local knowledge in decision making

Rachel is particularly interested in how different data types can be used as an evidence base to inform effective decision making, and how stakeholder engagement can improve data quality and acceptance.

Rachel is currently accepting PhD students.

Current and recent projects include:

  • Shetland Islands regional Marine Plan
  • Shetland Community Wildlife Group – Heritage Lottery Funding
  • Using marine planning to balance competing demands on the marine environment: International comparisons. MAST-S report to ECCLR committee, Scottish Parliament
  • Identification of suitable locations for marine renewables in Scotland
  • Participatory mapping of inshore fishing grounds around Shetland
  • Fisheries management in the context of shared seas – Fisheries Innovation Scotland
  • Invasive Non-Native Species monitoring at key locations around Shetland

Industry and Knowledge Exchange

Rachel regularly works with a range of commercial users including aquaculture, oil and gas, marine renewables, and fisheries and stakeholders, including NGOs, government agencies, and regulators.

Policy and Knowledge Transfer

Rachel is an invited expert and speaker at multiple international workshops developing marine planning, Co-Chair of the MASTS Marine Planning and Governance Forum, member of ICES Marine planning and coastal zone management working group, lead researcher Shetland Marine Planning Partnership, and was invited to provide evidence to Scottish Parliament ECCLR committee.


Shetland Marine Spatial Plan Webpage

ResearchGate page

LinkedIn Page

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Science, The Open University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008

Bachelor of Science, University College of North Wales

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

External positions

Marine Spatial Planning and Governance Steering Group, MASTS Scotland

1 May 2015 → …

Working Group Member, ICES Working Group Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management

1 Jan 2013 → …


  • GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
  • mapping
  • marine spatial planning
  • data
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • Marine Renewable Energy


Dive into the research topics where Rachel Shucksmith is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations from the last five years

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