Lucy Greenhill

        Photo of Lucy Greenhill SAMS

PhD student

In my part-time PhD, I am researching the role of marine spatial planning in enabling governance to change and adapt, in order to address the complex socio-ecological challenges around sustainable use of marine resources.

My wider research and activities focus on developing knowledge to understand and support advances in governance, to address emerging and complex challenges of sustainable development. I am currently the Convener of the MASTS Marine Planning and Governance Forum.

Contact details:
  • +44 (0)1631 559 000

  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • lucygreenhill

Research interests

Governance of marine activities needs to adapt in order to address critical challenges of sustainable development, including balancing social and ecological concerns and dealing with conflicts. Prevalent approaches tend to be fragmented and slow to adapt to experience and new knowledge.

My research therefore focusses on how governance can change in order to enable greater participation and integration across interests, disciplines, knowledge systems, to support better decision making in terms of social and ecological risks and benefits.

In my part-time PhD, I am looking specifically at whether, and how, marine spatial planning (MSP) can enable these features of 'advanced' governance to emerge.

Through the research projects below, I am contributing to the development of new approaches to management in relation to the expansion of existing or novel sectors, including marine renewable energy, wild seaweed harvesting, aquaculture and how existing governance adapts to the impacts of climate change.

Current research projects

ACIDCOAST: Funded by the Research Council of Norway. 2016-18

AQUASPACE: Funded by EU H2020. 2015-18

EU MSP Platform: Funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund since May 2016

MERP: Funded by NERC and Defra. Since 2016

WILDWEED: Feasibility of wild seaweed harvesting in Scotland - understanding the licensing requirements. Funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 2017


Past highlight projects

MERIKA. Funded by EU FP7 (REGPOT). 2014-17


Fletcher, K., and Greenhill, L. The Role of Marine Spatial Planning in Facilitating Multi-Use in the Oceans. Conference Proceedings for Oceans 2017. (In prep).

Greenhill, L., Day, J., Hughes, A. and Stanley, M. 2016. Marine Renewable Energy. Commonwealth Blue Economy Series, No.4 Commonwealth Secretariat, London.

Greenhill, L. Challenges and Opportunities for Governance in Marine Planning, in Yates, K and Richardson, C (Eds.) Offshore Energy and Marine Planning (in prep).

Day, J., Greenhill, L., Hughes, A. and Stanley, M. 2015. Developing a Blue Economy Roadmap in the Republic of Seychelles: Contribution of New and Emerging Marine Sectors, Report Prepared for the Government of Seychelles on Behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat, May 2015.

MacLeod, A.K. Orr, K.K. Greenhill, L. Burrows, M. 2014. Understanding the potential effects of wave energy devices on kelp biotopes. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 783

Benjamins, S, Harnois, V., Smith, H.C.M., Johanning, L., Greenhill, L., Carter, C. and Wilson, B. 2014. Understanding the potential for marine megafauna entanglement risk from renewable marine energy d Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 791

Atkins, J., Banks, E., Burdon, D., Greenhill, L., Hastings, E. & Potts, T. 2013. An analysis of methodologies for defining ecosystem services in the marine environment, JNCC Report 491, A4, 115pp, ISSN 0963 8901

Greenhill, L. Marine Spatial Planning: A Platform for Integration. ICES MSEAS Conference, Brest, 31 May.

Greenhill, L. Marine Spatial Planning: Challenges and Opportunities. Invited speaker and workshop host at Sustainable Ocean Summit of the World Ocean Council, Singapore, 10 Nov.

Consultancy and industry experience

I contribute to a wide range of consultancy projects related to understanding and managing the impacts of marine activities, implementing the Blue Economy and the development of marine spatial planning.

Projects have included advising the Commonwealth Secretariat on the feasibility of developing marine renewable energy in SIDS, and particularly the Seychelles. I have delivered a number of projects relating to understanding the potential ecological impacts of proposed marine energy projects and other emerging sectors such as wild seaweed harvesting and floating offshore wind.

In the field of marine spatial planning (MSP), I work in projects supporting delivery of MSP in Scotland, and I am currently the Scottish Focal Point for the EU MSP Platform, supporting Member States in the implementation of the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive.


Accessing consultancy services from SAMS

SAMS consultancy work is delivered through its wholly owned commercial subsidiary, SAMS Research Services Ltd. (SRSL). SRSL operates a comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS) that is accredited to ISO9001:2008 standard, guaranteeing that all projects deliver the best possible service to our customers. All SRSL projects are planned by a professional programme manager who oversees a team of dedicated project managers, all of whom are focussed specifically on client delivery, and have scientific experience and technical expertise in fields relevant to their assigned projects.

For further information concerning commercial enterprise opportunities at SAMS, please contact SRSL by email ( or phone +44 (0) 1631 559 470.


IDCORE Society: Lecturer on 'Marine Spatial Planning; Marine Palace 

Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in AquaCulture, Environment and Society.

Marine Science BSc: Lecturer on year 4 'Environmental Impact Assessment'

Marine Science BSc: Lecturer on year 3 'Marine Conservation' module

Marine Science BSc: Lecturer on year 2 'Marine Resources' module

Expert advice to regulators / government

I interact with various groups and committees in relation to the implementation of MSP in Scotland, including on behalf of MASTS, as Forum Convener.

I am also part of: 

  • >Scottish Coastal Forum Steering Group Member (2015 – present)
  • >Member of the ICES Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Zone Management (WGMPCZM) (2014 – present)
  • >Steering Group Member of European Commission Ocean Energy Forum (2013 - 2016)
  • >Advisor to the British Deputy High Commission on developing renewable energy policy and research needs in India through the UK-India Science and Innovation Network (2014)



Alongside a number of other partners, I co-organise the Sea Scotland event series, which started in 2016 and provides a multi-interest forum for Scotland-focused dialogue and knowledge-exchange for progressive marine policy and management. In 2016 we focused on the development of marine spatial planning in Scotland, and in June 2017 we addressed the implications of Brexit on sustainable development of the marine environment. Sea Scotland website:

Employment history

2014-18 Research Fellow in Marine Policy and Governance. SAMS

2012-14 Renewable Energy Services Manager. SAMS Research Services Ltd

2007-12 Offshore Industries Advisor. Joint Nature Conservation Committee

2004-06 Spill Response Specialist. Oil Spill Response Ltd



2007 MSc (with distinction) Marine Resource Development and Protection. Heriot-Watt University

2003 BSc Geology with Biology. University of Southampton