Meaghan Efford

Ph.D., OCF

Thesis Topic

Baseline modelling and archaeological investigations into pre-contact (i.e., pre AD 1792) Tsleil-Waututh diets and environmental stewardship of Burrard Inlet, BC.


Dr. Villy Christensen


M.A. Anthropology (Zooarchaeology), University of Victoria
B.A. Honours, Anthropology (Forensic Archaeology), University of Victoria

Research Unit

Global Ocean Modelling



I am a PhD student at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada. My interest in coastal ecology and archaeology started when I lived at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre for a summer while working at the local community school. My MA research was based at BMSC in the Broken Group Islands in Barkley Sounds, BC, and included research performed over the past 30 years throughout Nuu-chah-nulth territories.

My PhD research is in service to Tsleil-Waututh Nation: my project is designed based on the needs and questions of the community. I am using Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) to create a pre-contact (AD 1792) food web baseline model of Burrard Inlet, BC. I am using archaeological material, including shellfish and fish remains, along with historical and archival data. I will also be working with Tsleil-Waututh community members and administrative staff to look at a Traditional Use Study (TUS), monitoring and conservation data, interviews with community knowledge keepers, and other existing data sources. The model will be connected to a present day model developed by PhD student Matias Oddo to show how Burrard Inlet and surrounding areas have changed over time, and the implications of these changes on present and future projects. Our project is part of a 4-year collaborative partnership with Tsleil-Waututh Nation from 2019-2023.

The needs, questions, and priorities of Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) are foremost in the development and organization of this project. The TWN community and consultants will provide expert advice, information, and data. The project is founded in the needs of TWN from the present day going forward, while honouring the past. My role is to work in service to the Nation and the Cumulative Effects Monitoring Initiative. Two knowledgeable TWN consultants, Michelle George and Michael George, have joined the team as contributing authors and their expertise helps shape the path of the project.

My background is in zooarchaeology, invertebrate archaeology, historical ecology, community engagement, and science communication. In my spare time I am a West Coast Swing dancer and instructor, and you can see me competing, learning, and dancing with dancers in Canada and the USA.

See my website for a complete CV, including presentations, posters, papers, certifications, and work experience. Please get in touch with me, I look forward to hearing from you!

Research interests

Ecological modelling; zooarchaeology; faunal analysis; community engagement; Indigenous sovereignty; science communication.


Mitacs Accelerate Internship: September 2019-September 2023
Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF): September 2019 – undetermined (on hold while a Mitacs Intern)
President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award: Awarded May 2020
Ocean Leaders Fellowship: 2020/2021 Academic Year, Awarded May 2020
UVIC Graduate Award: July 2018


Couture, Fanny; Efford, Meaghan; Mangar, Roshni; Oddo, Matias. April 8, 2020. Habitat Change in Burrard Inlet: Mapping the Evolution of Coastal Waters in Metro Vancouver. StoryMap published through ESRI StoryMaps: hosted on

Efford, Meaghan; Hicks, Adam; Mejaes, Annie; Oddo, Matias. Hidden Consequences. Video:

Efford, Meaghan. 2017. An Archaeological Assessment of Rare Shellfish at Two Nuu-chah-nulth Sites: Kakmakimilh (306T) and Huu7ii (DfSh-7). A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Historical Ecology and Coastal Archaeology at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Instructor: Iain McKechnie.

Efford, Meaghan. 2016. The Implications of Thermogenic Modification for Anthropological Recovery of Burned Bone. Arbutus Review. 7(1): 20-37.

Contact Information

Phone: (250) 532-6935
Personal website:

Social Media

Twitter: @megefford