A photojournalist 'embedded' with a field team of Heriot-Watt marine habitat researchers has been highly commended for his work at the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Dr Richard Shucksmith, an ecological photographer from Shetland, joined the survey team working for the Scottish Government in a partnership also including the Natural History Museum. The team was researching marine biodiversity hotspots around Scotland for important species which might benefit from protection measures, including horse mussels, maerl and shellfish communities.
"We are delighted with Richards success" said survey leader Dr Bill Sanderson, Heriot-Watt Universities MASTS Reader in Marine Biodiversity. "Richard's work has been an enormous benefit to communicating our science. His commendation at the BWPA for an image of an internationally important horse mussel bed is just the icing on the cake".
The British Wildlife Photography Awards are designed to recognise photographers working in the UK at the same time as highlighting the wealth and diversity of Britain's natural history, raising awareness and encouraging discovery, exploration, conservation and enjoyment of our natural heritage.
Dr Shucksmith's photograph, which features horse mussels and a crab and was taken in the Bluemull Sound area off Shetland, was highly commended in the Habitat section of the 2013 Awards.
Along with other winners and commended entrants, the work will be showcased in a national touring exhibition and in a book. Winning images can be viewed here
The ongoing work of Heriot-Watt Scientific divers can be seen at http://hwscientificdivers.wordpress.com/author/hwscientificdivers/
More of Richard Shucksmith's images can be viewed here.