Meet The Team
Dr Marc Chivers
Maritime ethnology, social history and boatbuilding advisor
Sailing, rowing, and boats in general, have been a constant source of fascination and enjoyment throughout my life. In 2008 I was a student at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis. Prior to boatbuilding I worked for the NHS at first in Nursing, then later I became a Training, Education & Workforce Development Manager. Before this NHS career I studied art, first in Hastings, and then at Wimbledon School of Art, London where I graduated with a BA (Hons) in fine art 'painting.'
Before moving to Shetland I worked for traditional wooden boatbuilding firm Butler & Co. who at that time were based in Dartmouth, Devon. Then in September 2013 Rae (my partner) and I moved to Shetland and I began a funded PhD on the history and development of Shetland's vernacular clinker boats 1500-2000 (I graduated in 2017).
A member of the Society for Nautical Research I have presented at international conferences and published on the 18th &19th century Shetland import of timber and boats from Norway. In March 2022 my book Shetland's Boats: Origin, Evolution and Use, which is an edited version of my PhD thesis, was published by the Shetland Times Ltd. In November 2019 a co-written paper titled An Ethnography of Shetland's Oldest Boat, the Sixareen Mary LK 981 was published in the prestigious academic journal "The Mariner's Mirror."
Dr Lauren Doughton
Dr Esther Renwick
I’ve always been fascinated with archaeology and most of my adult life has been dedicated to sharing that excitement with other people.
After a career in museums and heritage management in NE England I moved to Shetland in 2006, started a family and a PhD. Like Marc I graduated in 2017. My research focused on people's experience of heritage and the challenge of combining authenticity and sense of place in the visitor experience of archaeology. My thesis is available online - The Experience of Space & Place in World Heritage Site Management.
I have presented and published nationally and internationally on World Heritage management and visitor engagement. I have also researched and published on the heritage and archaeology of Orkney and Shetland, with a particular focus on movement, travel and the experience of land and seascapes. I also have a particular interest in eroding coastal archaeology and the impact of climate change. I have been teaching evening classes and weekend workshops on Shetland archaeology since 2009, wrote the open-access education pack for the Bronze Age Bressay Project (an HLF and Archaeology Scotland funded project) in 2010 and co-founded the community group Archaeology Shetland in 2015.
I was honoured to become a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2019.