Griffin was a collector from the Needle.
After Griffin's father's business ventures collapsed, Griffin and his brother were forced to support themselves. They began doing surveying of the lower dimensions for work, which enabled Griffin to build a collection of specimens for himself and led him to discover some unusual damage to space-time in San Francisco in 2002. With funding from the Society, he launched an expedition to San Francisco, planning to collect creatures that were falling out of the dimensional scar. His collection included Mandelbrots, a Dodo, bog wraiths, Serpentoidians, Hypnoredips, a robo-destroyer, a leopard woman, a man with three eyes, and Mutant Marvin the Two-Horned Unicorn. With these specimens, he hoped to secure his reputation in the Society and restore his family's status.
Griffin's efforts to capture these creatures was thwarted by the Eighth Doctor, who was trying to seal the rift. Griffin became obsessed with defining the Doctor, believing that the disruption to reality caused by the scar was due to the Doctor's own insanity rather than his own manipulation of it. As Griffin tried to use the scar to rewrite the Doctor's biodata, the Doctor pushed Griffin into the dimensional scar. (PROSE: Unnatural History)
Although he considered himself a scientist, when faced with data that contradicted what he already 'knew', Griffin sought to make the new data fit his theories rather than alter his own views to accommodate new data, essentially believing that the universe was wrong rather than consider that he might not understand. (PROSE: Unnatural History)