The epistemic politics of nature-based solutions: Knowing carbon in Scottish land governance
Theo is an environmental geographer whose research examines the relationship between science, technology and environmental justice.
Theo's PhD research investigates nature restoration in the Scottish Highlands. Drawing upon a mixture of ethnographic and interview techniques, the project examines how forests are measured using a range of metrics and technologies. He traces how environmental, ecological and economic value are generated through measurement practices. This uncovers how certain forest futures are made financially and socially valuable - for the benefit of some at the expense of others. In doing so, his work highlights how ecology and political economy shape each other. His work draws principally on science and technology studies, environmental anthropology, and political ecology.
Theo's research is co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Hertford College's Mortimer-May Scholarship. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin in the Anthropology of Environment | Human Relations Laboratory (2023-) and is a Researcher at Oxford University's Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (2022-).
In 2019, Theo completed the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance in the School of Geography and the Environment. His dissertation investigated the post-colonial politics of forest conservation in Loita Forest, Southern Kenya. After graduating, he worked in environmental communications for the anti-deforestation NGO Global Canopy. He holds a BA (hons, First Class) in Philosophy from the University of Bristol.
Theo worked as the Teaching Assistant for the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance (2021-2022). He is the current Teaching Assistant for the MSc in Medical Anthropology, teaching topics such as queer theory, biopolitics and post-humanism. He has taught on the BA in Geography.
He welcomes potential collaborators such as journalists, artist and academics to email him at email@example.com
- Humboldt University. Anthropology of Environment | Human Relations Laboratory. Overseas Institutional Visit. (Full funding from Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership) (2023)
- Hertford College, Oxford. Mortimer-May Scholarship (2020-2023)
- University of Oxford. Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership. Economic and Social Research Council Studentship. (2020-2023)
- University of Cambridge. Economic and Social Research Council Studentship. (2020-2023) (Declined)
- University of Oxford. Nature, Society and Environmental Governance MSc. Best Overall Performance Prize (2019)
- University of Oxford. Nature, Society and Environmental Governance MSc. Best Dissertation Prize (2019)
- University of Bristol, Southwest Doctoral Training Program. Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (2019-2022) (Declined).
- Stanley, T. (2023) Carbon finance: does it streamline Scottish woodland creation? Reforesting Scotland (67), 19-21.
- Stanley, T. (2022) Excel, drones and the measurability of forest carbon. Digital Ecologies.
Guest Lectures and Conference Presentations
- Stanley, T. (2023) A political ecology of forest carbon measurement accuracy. Paper presented at the Political Ecology Seminar Series, University of Bristol. Bristol, U.K.
- Stanley, T. (2023). Carbon 'known not grown': The political economy of carbon measurement. Paper presented at the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, University of Oxford. Oxford, U.K.
- Stanley, T. (2022). From Nature-has-carbon to nature-as-carbon: The performativity of carbon measurement in the Scottish Highlands. Paper presented at the Royal Geographical Society-IGB Annual International Conference, Newcastle, U.K.