Drawing on critical environmental geography, science studies and political ecology, Theo’s work unpacks the social and ecological impacts of forest measurement. Theo analyses how a range of metrics and digital technologies are used to measure carbon. This work shows the powerful effect that measurement has in shaping Scotland’s landscapes and society. Empirically, he uses a mixture of ethnographic and interview techniques.

His research aims can be broken into two strands:


  • How can carbon ever be sufficiently ‘known’ enough to be valued?
  • What political and technological factors determine how carbon is measured?
  • Why are some ways of measuring forests preferred over others?


  • How is the turn towards maximising carbon sequestration being used by different social groups?
  • Does increasing attention on land-based carbon disrupt or reinforce hegemonic land governance patterns?
  • Does a focus on carbon deter from considering other social and ecological issues?