Greig Oldford


Thesis Topic

End-to-end ecosystem simulation modelling of the Salish Sea to evaluate potential causes of long-term declines of marine survival in coho and Chinook salmon


Villy Christensen

Research Unit

Global Ocean Modelling Group


Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hon; University of Guelph)
Advanced Diploma in GIS (Nova Scotia Community College)
Master of Environmental Studies (Dalhousie University)


Greig grew up in rural Nova Scotia next to the Annapolis River and enjoyed spending time sailing, wind surfing, and canoeing on the province’s many lakes and rivers. He became interested in aquatic conservation and restoration during a summer spent working with the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps on a stream restoration project. After completing his Bachelor of Environmental Science (Maj: ecology; minor: economics and policy) at the University of Guelph, he then completed an Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the College of Geographic Sciences (now the Nova Scotia Community College). During his GIS training he discovered an aptitude for computer programming, geostatistics, and geospatial modelling and a renewed interest in math. He then completed a Master of Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University.

Greig has worked or consulted for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, East Coast Aquatics, and Nova Scotia Power Incorporated. He recently worked in key roles at Fisheries and Oceans Canada as scientist, science advisor, and oceans planner supporting the development of the Northern Shelf Bioregion network of Marine Protected Areas. Since starting his PhD at IOF, Greig has TA’d for the Master of Data Science program’s Supervised Machine Learning II and Data Visualization courses.

Aside from academics, Greig has produced various visual and performance artworks (new media / sculpture, stage, and short film).

Research Interests

Greig is an environmental scientist, ecological modeller, and marine spatial planner working to support marine and freshwater resource management, conservation, and restoration. Generally, research interests include:

  • Decision support: Spatial optimization. Conservation planning. Software development.
  • Modelling: Ecological networks (rivers and marine ecosystems). Parameter estimation and uncertainty analysis. Trade-offs and cost-benefit analysis.
  • Data analysis: Large data sets. Geospatial analysis. Machine learning.
  • Integrative ecology and synthesis: Hypothesis evaluation. Collaborative / participatory research.

His research at the UBC Global Ocean Modelling Lab is supported by the National Science and Engineering Research Council, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, the UBC Ocean Leaders Program, and the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project.


NSERC / MITACS ‘Accelerate’ Grant – PI: Villy Christensen – 2018-2021
UBC Ocean Leaders Fellowship – 2019-present
UBC President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award – 2020
UBC Faculty of Science PhD Tuition Award – 2019
UBC Faculty of Science Graduate Award – 2018
Centre for Art Tapes New Media Arts Scholarship 2013-2014
Neil Munro Parks & Protected Areas Award – 2010
NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship – 2008-2010
Esri Canada Scholarship – 2007

Contact Information


Social Media

Twitter: @greig_oldford

Selected Publications

Oldford, G. (2020). “It’s time to call out denialism — on racism and on climate change.” The National Observer. June 4, 2020.

Brownlee G, Lang C, Oldford G, Virgen-Urceley, A (2020). “Technical aspects of Marine Spatial Planning in Burrard Inlet” Tech Report. Tsleil Waututh First Nation

Christensen V, Oldford G, Licandeo R, Walters CJ [in revision]. Depensatory mortality in British Columbia herring populations due to predation by Steller sea lions.

Martone R.G., G. Oldford , C. McDougall, J. Cristiani, A. Chow, C. Robb, E. Rubidge, K.S.P. Gale, L. Chaves, E. Damjkar, P. Mahaux, S. Ban. (2018). “Assessing Contribution of Established Protected Areas Towards Meeting MPA Network Objectives in the Northern Shelf Bioregion[in Chandler, P.C., S.A. King, J. Boldt (2018). State of the Physical, Biological and Selected Fishery Resources of Pacific Canadian Marine Ecosystems in 2017. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. No. 3266]” Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 3266

McKay SK, Cooper AR, Diebel MW, Elkins D, Oldford G, Roghair C, Wieferich D. 2016. Informing Watershed Connectivity Barrier Prioritization Decisions: A Synthesis. River Research and Applications. 33(6):847-862.

Oldford G, Duinker PN, Gunn EA, Kehler DG. [Accepted: in revision] Dams, Culverts, and Cumulative Effects: Quantifying Cumulative Effects of Barriers to Longitudinal Connectivity on Three Rivers in Nova Scotia, Canada. River Research and Applications.

Oldford G, MacNeil T, Woolston G, Feridooni A, Zerr D. (2009). Evaluating Participatory Approaches: Recommendations for Phase II of the Natural Resources Strategy. Prepared for the NS Department of Natural Resources and the NS Voluntary Planning Board (Report)

< Conference Presentations etc >

Oldford G, Buszowski J, Steenbeek J, Kumar V, Bolding K, Bruggeman J, Walters C, Hunt B, Pearsall I, Christensen V. (February 2020) Evaluating Marine Survival Hypotheses using a Spatially Resolved End-to-End Model for the Strait of Georgia. Pacific Salmon Foundation Salish Sea Marine Survival Project Bottom-up Workshop. Victoria, British Columbia.

Oldford, G. (October 2019). Investigating Hypotheses Related to Juvenile Salmon Marine Survival Using a Whole Ecosystem Model of the Strait of Georgia. Pacific Salmon Foundation Top-Down Hypotheses Workshop, Victoria. British Columbia.

Oldford, G. (June 2019). Spatial-Temporal Fitting for Ecosystem Models – Experiences and Observations from Canada. Ecopath-with-Ecosim Spatial Fitting Workshop, Barcelona, Spain.

Oldford G, Walters C, Christensen V. (May 2019). “Preying on the weak? Possible non-additive effects of seal predation and stress-related mortality in juvenile coho and Chinook in the Salish Sea.” American Fisheries Society, Bremerton, Washington, USA