Marine Scotland Science: directory

Details of specialists working for Marine Scotland Science.

This document is part of a collection

Dr Philip Boulcott 

Planning and Environmental Advice Programme
Interim Programme Manager


Marine Scotland Science, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB, UK

Pronouns: he/him/his

Details of specialism

As interim manager of PEA, I oversee a programme of work that provides advice and scientific evidence to support the development of national and regional planning and the development and management of a network of Marine Protected Areas in Scottish waters. This work also provides advice to Scottish Government on monitoring, climate change, environmental assessments and management measures to achieve Good Environmental Status outlined in the UK Marine Strategy.

Within this broad topic area my personal scientific focus currently includes:

  • understanding the population distribution of key benthic species and communities (termed Priority Marine Features)
  • the effects of fishing and other human activities of the seabed
  • the role that MPAs can play in protecting rare and endangered habitats and species
  • understanding key life history events in priority marine species and examining the potential effect of climate change
  • how natural capital approaches can help bring about decisions that improve the status of our seas

Main policy links

  • marine conservation
  • sea fisheries
  • marine planning
  • renewables
  • climate change
  • shellfish aquaculture
  • finfish aquaculture

External committees and responsibilities

Papers of relevance

Langton R, Stirling DA, Boulcott P and Wright PJ (2020) Are MPAs effective in removing fishing pressure from benthic species and habitats? Biological Conservation 247, 108511.

Rijnsdorp AD, Hiddink JG, van Denderen PD, Hintzen NT, Eigaard OR, Valanko S, Bastardie F,  Bolam SG, Boulcott P, Egekvist J, Garcia C, van Hoey G,  Jonsson G,  Laffargue P, Nielsen JR, Piet GJ, Sköld M and van Kooten T (2020) Different bottom trawl fisheries have a differential impact on the status of the North Sea seafloor habitats. ICES Journal of Marine Science 77, 1772-1786.

MacDonald A, Speirs DC, Greenstreet SPR, Boulcott P and Heath MR (2019) Trends in sandeel growth and abundance off the east coast of Scotland. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, 201.

Stirling DA, Boulcott P, Bidault M, Karim Gharbi K, Scott BE and Wright PJ (2018) Identifying the larva of the fan mussel, Atrina fragilis (Pennant, 1777) (Pinnidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies 84, 247–258.

Boulcott P, Clarke J and Wright PJ (2017) Effect of size on spawning time in the lesser sandeel Ammodytes marinus. Journal of Fish Biology 91, 362–367.

Details of linked research pages

Philip Boulcott’s ResearchGate profile



Marine Scotland Science
Scottish Government
Marine Laboratory
PO Box 101
375 Victoria Road
AB11 9DB


+44 (0)131 244 2500


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