Meet the GENIALG Scientists: Suzannah-Lynn (Suzi) Billing

Scientist Name:

Suzannah-Lynn (Suzi) Billing.

Where you are from (country) and where you are currently based (if different):

British (international) and live in Scotland, working with GENIALG partner, SAMS.

Academic background and research areas:

Senior postdoctoral researcher specialising in understanding the interactions between marine resource management and use and local communities, livelihoods, and cultures. Social acceptability and social license to operate are my particular areas of interest.

Any advice you would give or a favourite quote:

It actually doesn’t take much to be considered a difficult woman. That’s why there are so many of us.” – Jane Goodall.

Current research role, work and key results within GENIALG:

I work at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), and within GENIALG I’m the leader of the task aiming to explore the social acceptability of seaweed cultivation on a site scale, with different types of cultivation systems and in different countries. I’m also involved in another task which brings together the results of WP6 (Socio-environmental benefits of seaweed farming) into a guide for best practices for seaweed farming.

The key finding from our research is that although seaweed cultivation has the potential to be a sustainable source of food, pharmacuticals, chemicals and much more, support for it at a government level does not always translate to social acceptability at a site scale. We found that cultivation organisations that work closely with local communities and organisations to create good dialogue tend to have positive relationships and better outcomes when it comes to planning for expansion. Those that do not make this type of effort tend to have more site-scale conflict and less favourable planning outcomes.

Our recent publication has some more results:

Seaweed fact:

Seaweed cultivation is not the same as harvesting of wild seaweed. We encountered so much confusion between these two very different industries in our research that I think it’s important we point it out!   

Funny story/incident from your GENIALG work:

Note to self, Belgian beer is MUCH stronger than your average pint.

Email and/or social media links e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter etc:


Twitter: @suzibilling

Partner twitter account: @SAMSoceannews