Holley McCoy

ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9733-2156

Research title: Thàine 's gun tàine feamainn (Come and come is seaweed): The Archaeology, history and heritage of Scotland's Seaweed Industry, 17th - early 20th centuries

Research Summary

Exploring the archaeology, history and heritage of Scotland's seaweed industry, 17th - 20th centuries:

  • Using diverse conceptual frameworks to explore the maritime landscape of kelpmaking: socio-ecology, conviviality, environmental histories, the relations between humans and non-human actors in the landscape, material culture of movement and kinship theory.
  • collating oral histories and traditions in Gaelic and Scots relating to the exploitation of seaweed through the ages to understand the social and cultural impact in Scotland and globally.
  • Examining the origins and nature of the development of the seaweed industry through documentary evidence within the context of fast-changing scientific, economic and political developments of the modern era
  • looking at physical remains of the infrastructure relating to the seaweed industry, particularly that of kelping: roads, dwellings, landing places, storage, drying walls and kilns and as the techniques and different uses developed, how that infrastructure changed
  • Understanding the role that industrial extraction and production of seaweed played within in society, the technology, the relation to other industries and the human experience of those involved.




Collaborative Doctoral Studentship (CDP) Award, AHRC (2020)



Celtic Students Conference, Dublin (Online). 2020.  Sùil na Cuimhne bho Linn Bhioctorianach: àrsairean agus dùsgadh seallaidhean muinntir Leòdhais is na Hearadh.

Soillse Conference, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. 2022.  Gnìomchachas na ceilpe aig Calabost, Eilean Leòdhais aig deireadh an 18mh linn: Raibeart Weir, fear-taca adhartach agus tionnsgainneach.

Highland Archaeology Festival, Inverness, (Recorded).2023. The Kelping Industry in Coigach 1765-1820: the leasing of shores to enterprising merchants

Scottish Archaeological Forum, Aberdeen, 2023. The kelp industry in Tiree 1863-1932: Stanford, iodine and the Tirisdich 


Graduate Teaching Assistant (2020-2022)

ARCH1001, Arch 1A: The Archaeology of Scotland

ARCH1002, Arch 1B: Archaeology in the Modern World

Additional Information

MSc with Distinction

Material Culture and History of the Gàidhealtachd

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, 2019


BA (Hons) 2:1

Gaelic Language and Culture

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, 2015