Euan Mackenzie

        Picture of Euan Mackenzie

PhD student

I am a benthic ecologist primarily interested in the effects of the energy industry on marine environments, especially on biogenic reef forming species such as flame shells (L. hians).

As the demand for energy increases, there are corresponding increases in infrastructure being deployed and upgraded in the marine environment. It is crucial that we understand the impacts and pressures associated with this to assist in management and mitigation for key species and habitats.

My current focus is subsea power cables and the impact these have on L. hians nests and associated communities.

Contact details:
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Ecology and recovery potential of flame shells (Limaria hians) following disturbance

Flame shells form expansive reefs along the seabed that attracts a diverse range of species. These reefs or nests, are created by binding together stones, pebbles, shells and other detritus together with thin threads, completely covering over the flame shells. The largest known reefs are formed on the West coast of Scotland, with one estimated to contain over one hundred million individuals. However, these nests are fragile and vulnerable to physical disturbances such as fishing activities.

We hope to be able to inform on the ecological resilience of this species and habitat to various disturbances. We will investigate the potential disturbances of subsea power cabling how these habitats recover after such disturbances using a variety of technologies such as AUV remote sensing. We also hope to improve on our current understanding of the potential distribution and viable habitats of flame shells on the West coast of Scotland.


Dr Clive Fox, SAMS

Dr John How, SAMS

Dr Annika Clements , Seafish


Bryden Centre and EU INTERREG VA (managed by SEUPB)



University of the Highlands and Islands

Professional training courses

Ecological Niche Modelling – PRStatisics

BSAC - Dive Leader & Open Water Instructor

International Association for Nitrox and Technical Divers – Scientific Diver (MNCR phase 2)


Teaching experience

BSAC Diving Instructor


Fieldwork experience

Madagascar - Various marine and terrestrial based conservation projects including marine biodiversity assessments, MNCR phase 2 classification, lemur behaviour and distribution analysis.

Ecological Consultant – Bat roost surveys, small mammal surveying and environmental impact assessments.

Offshore environmental auditing inspections on numerous drilling platforms and mobile vessels


Public engagement experience

Media coverage

I regularly feature on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal to discuss various topical environmental and wildlife related issues. This work is primarily conducted through Gaelic.


Seasonal - Field Researcher, Seafish

2016 – 2017 - Principal Investigator for Marine Research, Society for Environmental Exploration

2015 – 2016 - Ecological Consultant, Astell Associates

2014 – 2015 - Environmental Advisor, Shell UK Exploration & Production

Higher Education

2016 - MSc Ecology and environmental sustainability, University of Aberdeen

2017- BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Aberdeen

2012 - International exchange scholarship, Environmental Science, University of New Mexico