Dr. Rebecca Giesler
Marine Planning Project Officer
Rebecca is an interdisciplinary researcher, with experience in the fields of marine ecology and non-native species, marine governance and policy, and marine spatial planning. She is also interested in community involvement in data production and the role of knowledge transfer, science communication, and data management in developing effective marine management.
In her role at UHI Shetland within the Marine Spatial Planning team, she works on the development and implementation of the Shetland Islands Regional Marine Plan (SIRMP). Rebecca coordinates the marine non-native species monitoring work carried out under the SIRMP and Shetland Biosecurity Plan. She also leads on a SMEEF funded project mapping Shetland's seagrass beds using drone surveys and citizen-science.
Rebecca is a member of the Scottish Government Working Group on Non-native Species and contributed to the 2023 horizon scanning report on the Spread of invasive species into Scotland. She also sits on the British Ecological Society Special Interest Group on invasive species. She has organised a number of outreach events at UHI Shetland through the work of the Shetland Community Wildlife Group.
Rebecca graduated with a BA (Hons) Oxon in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2012. She then studied for a MRes in Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems at the University of St Andrews and the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences (SAMS), where she worked on a research project investigating the distribution of marine invasive species around the Isle of Man. In 2014, she started a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and SAMS in Oban looking at the impact of salinity as a management measure on marine invasive species. Her research used rapid assessment surveys and settlement panels to investigate the distribution of marine invasive species around mainland Scotland.
During her PhD, Rebecca spent three months at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology working with the House of Commons Library, which furthered her interest in environmental legislation and policy. She has also worked as a policy officer at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).
Prior to joining UHI Shetland, Rebecca worked as a researcher in the Earth Institute, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. She supported an expert group preparing a report on expanding Marine Protected Areas in Ireland. Her post-doctoral project investigated the use of modelling to support management of marine non-native species in Ireland.