Meet The Team

Dr Marc Chivers




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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 October 2019 I  signed a contract for a book publication with the Shetland Times Ltd. I hope this edited version of my PhD thesis will be published in 2021. 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 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 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 have been teaching evening classes and weekend workshops on the topic 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. ​As a consequence of this community archaeology work I was honoured to become a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2019.

Recently I have widened my interest in public engagement and the cultural sector and when I'm not out doing archaeology I'm the Marketing Manager for Shetland Arts Development Agency.

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Dr Lauren Doughton


Non-Executive Director

Lauren first came to Shetland in 2006, moved up in 2010 for a year of PhD research, and is still here! She graduated from The University of Manchester in 2014 with a PhD on the Bronze Age Burnt Mounds of Shetland and is currently Project Manager for the Promote Shetland project.

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