Advisory Group

Our team acknowledges with gratitude that we live, play, and work on the unceded territory of Coast Salish Peoples.

Ben Skinner, GIS Specialist


As the Data Centre’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist, Ben is honoured to put his energies towards the protection of our oceans & aquatic species. With over five years of experience in mapping and spatial data management, he is constantly striving to develop his knowledge of marine information and the technology systems that bring it to the public. In his role creating visuals for the Strait of Georgia Data Centre, he has been fortunate to grow under the guidance of a dynamic scientific minded team. He eagerly brings his supervisory experience, developed in positions within industries such as horticulture, to assist in managing GIS activities.

M.Sc., Royal Roads University, Dept. Environment & Sustainability (Ongoing); Adv Dip., British Columbia Institute for Technology, Geographic Information Systems; B.Sc., University of Victoria, Dept. Geography.

Dr. Brian Riddell, Science Advisor Pacific Salmon Foundation


Prior to joining the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Brian worked for 30 years in research and management positions in Science Branch, Department of Fisheries and Oceans; where he co-authored Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon (2005), and provided science advice to the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Since joining the Pacific Salmon Foundation (2009), he established the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and the research network necessary to undertake this international project (

In February, 2015; he was recognized nationally as one of “50 Notable Canadians” in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian flag.

Ph.D., McGill University, Dept. Biology (Population biology/genetics); B.Sc., University of Guelph, Dept. Biology (Honours Marine Biology).

Dr. Isobel Pearsall, Project Lead


Isobel is currently the Director, Marine Science Programs, for the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Many of the programs in her portfolio were developed in response to the findings of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project; she currently oversees a major program on Nearshore and Estuarine Habitat Restoration, a number of large-scale Citizen Science programs for oceanographic, forage fish and salmon data collation; a major research program to assess bottlenecks to survival of Coho, Chinook and Steelhead in the Strait of Georgia, and development of PSF Educational Initiatives. Isobel is also Project Lead for the Strait of Georgia Data Centre.

Ph.D., Univeristy of British Columbia, Dept. Plant Science; M.Sc. Dalhousie University, Dept. Biology; B.Sc., Oxford University, Dept. Biology (First Class).

Jake Dingwall, Research Assistant


Jake has been with the Pacific Salmon Foundation since 2021, coming on originally as a co-op student. He is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria where he obtained an honours degree in Earth and Ocean Science. Jake has experience in multiple natural resource industries, ranging from work in geological exploration to silviculture, where he planted over half a million trees. In 2022 Jake has taken on an all-rounder role, helping with data modelling and GIS, as well as wrangling a fish or two on the water once in a while. He hopes to continue to learn about salmon conservation with the wonderful team at PSF.

B.Sc., University of Victoria, Dept. Earth and Ocean Science (Honours).

Dr. Nicole Christiansen, Programs Coordinator Marine Science Program


Since 2021, Nicole has been the Programs Coordinator for the PSF's Marine Science Program. In this role, she supports the Strait of Georgia Data Centre along with the rest of the projects in the Marine Science Program portfolio. Nicole brings a broad background of research, monitoring, and work within marine, estuary, and freshwater ecosystems to the Data Centre. She is pleased to contribute to the protection of BC’s marine environment and all that it sustains.

Ph.D., Macquarie University, Dept. Ecology; M. Phil., University of Queensland, Dept. Ecology; B.Sc., University of California, Davis, Dept. Biology.

Terry Curran, Geospatial Consultant


As a manager in the DFO Canadian Hydrographic Service at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Terry developed expertise in project management, ISO-9000, marketing and geospatial data management technology (ISO-191xx and OSGeo standards, GeoNetwork/GeoServer, postGIS, etc). He served as the Industrial Liaison Officer for the Institute of Ocean Sciences from 1980 to 2005. He has led projects such as installation of winches aboard ships, designed and implemented audiovisual systems at IOS, guided developments in sea floor classification, and designed ocean instrumentation. Terry has programming expertise in xml, xquery, xslt, and python. He has a continuing interest in the application of underwater gliders to understand ocean processes. Sailing and hiking are passions.

B.A.Sc., University of British Columbia, Dept. Engineering; M.Sc., University of British Columbia,  Dept. Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

We have also been fortunate to have the assistance of a large number of scientists, database programmers and managers, who have provided advice along the way. Thank you.