Skip to main content
Toryn

Toryn Whitehead

Research interests

  • Environment

Biography

Toryn Whitehead is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at King's. He is interested in extirpated species (such as wild boar, Eurasian lynx) reintroductions and coexistence in Scotland, rewilding, and shifting baseline syndrome. His research is funded by the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP).

Before joining King’s, Toryn founded Climate4Kids which aims to engage and inform young people about the climate emergency. He holds a BSc in Chemistry and an MSc in International Development: Environment and Climate Change from the University of Manchester.

Research

Thesis title: 'Extirpated Species Coexistence in Scotland: A shifting baseline syndrome perspective'

The extirpation of many large charismatic species from Scotland has had far reaching social and ecological implications. Efforts to reintroduce extirpated species are highly contested, with the values and objectives of stakeholders often unable to find common ground. One reason for this could be shifting baseline syndrome (SBS), which refers to the unconscious, gradual change in the accepted norms for the condition of the environment across generations and over the course of individual lives.

The aim of this thesis is to explore whether SBS can help explain divisions over the reintroduction of extirpated species in Scotland. It consists of three overarching research objectives:

  1. To investigate human-feral pig/wild boar coexistence in Loch Ness and explore the influence of SBS;
  2. To understand factors other than SBS that influence people’s perceptions of lynx by comparing human-lynx coexistence in Europe; and
  3. To investigate the influence of SBS on normative values towards wild boar/feral pigs, lynxes, and wolves in Scotland.

This thesis will be implemented in collaboration with local interest groups at their various territories across Scotland and Europe using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

PhD supervision

Research

PEES image
Political Ecology, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

The Political Ecology, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (PEBES) group provides a collaborative focus for work on the social (re)production of nature, environmental conservation and resource management.

Research

PEES image
Political Ecology, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

The Political Ecology, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (PEBES) group provides a collaborative focus for work on the social (re)production of nature, environmental conservation and resource management.