Dr Suzannah-Lynn Billing

        Head and shoulder photo of Dr Suzi Billing on the beach outside SAMS

Principal Investigator in Marine Social Science

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist researching rural development, social licence to operate and community agents for change within the context of the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources (aquaculture, wave and tidal energy, inshore fisheries).

I am particularly interested in how top-down strategic policies are applied at a local scale and the opportunities and impacts they present for coastal communities.

Contact details:

Current projects

RiseUp: Resilience of the UK seafood system to the COVID-19 disruption. Funded by ESRC. 2020-22

GENIALG: WP6 – Socio-environmental benefits of seaweed farming – looking at social licence to operate. Funded by EU H2020. 2017-20


Past projects

MERIKA. Funded by EU FP7. 2014-17

Scottish Aquaculture; A view towards 2030. Funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre. 2016

AquaSpace: Case Study Scotland - looking at social licence to operate for salmon farming. Funded by EU H2020. 2015-18

SIFIDS: WP4 - Assessment of socio-economic and cultural characteristics of Scottish inshore fisheries. Funded by EU EMFF. 2016-19

Peer-reviewed publications

Mikkelsen E, Fanning L, Kreiss C, Billing S-L et al (2020) Availability and usefulness of economic data on the effects of aquaculture: a North Atlantic comparative assessment. Reviews in Aquaculture 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1111/raq.12488  

Graziano M., Billing, S-L., Kenter O., Greenhill L., (2016) A transformational paradigm for marine renewable energy Energy Research & Social Science 23 136-47

Rennie, F., Billing, S-L. (2015) Changing community perceptions of sustainable rural development in Scotland. Journal of Rural and Community Development 10 (2) 35- 46


Other publications

Gatward I, Parker A, Billing S-L, Black K; Scottish Aquaculture: a view towards 2030. Published in 2017 by the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Rennie, F., Billing S-L. (2016) Community land ownership and rural resilience: A case study from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Eds: Grabski-Kieron, U., Mose, I., Reichert-Schick, A., Steinfuhrer, A. In European rural peripheries revalued; Governance, actors, impact. LIT VERLAG, Berlin

Billing, S-L., Black K. (2014) A qualitative mixed methods approach to finding agents for change involved in wave energy development. Conference proceedings EIMR, Stornoway April 30th – May 1st

Consultancy and industry experience

My consultancy and industry experience involves working with both private and public organisations, from providing advice on approaches to community engagement for renewable energy developments through to consulting the aquaculture companies on their visions for future of the industry.

I have recently been working on assessing the social and cultural aspects of Scottish inshore fisheries, working with fishers, Inshore Fisheries Groups, academic institutes and government agencies.


Accessing consultancy services from SAMS

SAMS consultancy work is delivered through its wholly owned commercial subsidiary, SAMS Enterprise. SAMS Enterprise 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 SAMS Enterprise 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 SAMS Enterprise by email (info@sams-enterprise.com) or phone +44 (0) 1631 559 470.


Marine Science BSc: Lecturing on year 2 'Marine Resources'

Aquaculture, Environment and Society MSc: Lecturing on 'Society'

IDCORE: Lecturing / practicals for 'Society Programme'

Professional activities

Regional Studies Association: Member since 2014

Reviewer for Energy Policy


Expert advice to regulators / government

Short seminar 'Why people object to fish farms: a Scottish case study'. Audience = National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration USA. May 2017


Public engagement / outreach

Public seminar: How not to do business in communities. Ocean Explorer Centre 2015

Seminar with discussion: The people who facilitate rural development through renewable energy. Audience = Scottish Agricultural College 2016

AquaSpace outreach: Where does the fish that we eat for dinner come from? Argyll Schools competition 2017

Public engagement: Oban Live Festival – questions to Skerryvore

Featured scientist on external blog - LINK

Employment history

Since 2016 PDRA Marine Social Science. SAMS

2015-16 Business Support Officer. Argyll Coast and Countryside Trust

2011-12 Research Assistant. Waste Watch UK



2016 PhD 'The role of agents for change in the development of wave energy in the Highlandsn and Islands of Scotland'. University of Aberdeen

2011 MSc Sustainable Environmental Management. Plymouth University

2010 BSc (Hons) Environmental Science. Plymouth University