Dr. Brian J. Todd

Research Scientist

Marine geoscientific research on Canada’s continental margins to understand their surficial geology, glacial history, and geohazard potential.

Current research and/or projects


Following a postdoctoral position at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I joined the Terrain Sciences Division of the GSC in Ottawa in 1990. I worked on electromagnetic mapping of permafrost in the Canadian and Russian arctic, groundwater studies in Ontario and British Columbia, and marine geophysical surveys in Lake Simcoe, Lake Winnipeg and the Great Lakes. After moving to GSC Atlantic at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in 1996, I focused on sea floor mapping using multibeam sonar, combined with traditional geophysical and geological tools.

I now undertake marine geoscientific research on Canada’s continental margins to understand their surficial geology and glacial history. My research focusses on the acquisition, compilation, mapping and evaluation of existing geophysical and geological information, as well as new data collected by ships of opportunity. My objective is to identify, locate and report on indicators of geohazards.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Mapping offshore faults to enable improved modelling and prediction of seismic hazard in British Columbia.
  • Seafloor mapping in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to asses marine geohazards.
  • Compilation and synthesis of tilted and warped paleo-lake shorelines in northern North America in support of relative sea level projections for Arctic coastal communities.

Professional activities / interests

I have collaborated on large geoscience projects at sea and in the Arctic involving both federal and provincial government scientists and academic researchers.

I have also collaborated on a number of scientific books with colleagues from around the world, the latest being the Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient (www.submarineglacialatlas.com) to be published in 2016 by the Geological Society of London.

I now serve on the executive committee of GeoHab (www.GeoHab.org), a scientific group focussed on seafloor mapping and on providing learning opportunities for marine science students.


Education and awards

B.Sc. (Hons.) Geophysics, University of Western Ontario, 1978

M.Sc. Geology, Dalhousie University, 1984

Ph.D. Geology, Dalhousie University, 1988

Key publications

  1. Todd, B.J., Shaw, J., and Valentine, P.C. 2016. Submarine glacial landforms on the Bay of Fundy–northern Gulf of Maine continental shelf. In: Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Edited by J.A. Dowdeswell, M. Canals, M. Jakobsson, B.J. Todd, E.K. Dowdeswell and K.A. Hogan, Geological Society of London, Memoir.
  2. Todd, B.J., Shaw, J., Li, M.Z., Kostylev, V.E., and Wu, Y. 2014. Distribution of subtidal sedimentary bedforms in a macrotidal setting: the Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Canada. Continental Shelf Research. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2013.11.017.
  3. Shaw, J., Todd, B.J., Li, M.Z., Mosher, D.C., and Kostylev, V.E. 2014. Continental shelves of Atlantic Canada. In: Chiocci, F.L., Chivas, A.R. (Eds), Continental Shelves of the World: Their Evolution During the Last Glacio-Eustatic Cycle, Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 41, 7-19, doi: 10.1144/M41.2.
  4. Todd, B.J., and Shaw, J. 2012. Laurentide Ice Sheet dynamics in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, revealed through multibeam sonar mapping of glacial landsystems. Quaternary Science Reviews, 58: 83–103. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.10.016.
  5. Todd, B.J., and Shaw, J. 2009. Applications of sea floor mapping on the Canadian Atlantic continental shelf. Geoscience Canada, v. 36, p. 81–94.