I am interested in clastic sedimentology and stratigraphy, including applications to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons. My students and I combine numerous approaches to our work, including: (1) lithofacies and stratigraphic architecture analysis in core and outcrop, (2) paleoecologic reconstruction of ancient sedimentary environments through trace fossil analysis, (3) wireline log and 3-D seismic interpretation, (4) sequence stratigraphy, and (5) provenance studies.
My research group is active in numerous parts of the world, including the Western Canada Cordillera (Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan), and the Magallanes Basin of Chile. My three main current areas of study are summarized below.
 Deep-water slope systems (Chilean Patagonia): Sedimentary Processes and Stratigraphic Architecture
The Chile Slope Systems (CSS) joint industry project (JIP) is a collaboration between the University of Calgary, University of Utah (PI = Dr. Lisa Stright), Virginia Tech (PI = Dr. Brian Romans) and industrial partners, which aims to better understand the processes of sediment transfer across deep-water slopes through analysis of channel deposits that crop out in the Magallanes Basin of southern Chile.
A primary motivation is to provide insight into stratigraphic architecture and hydrocarbon distribution within subsurface reservoirs that are hosted in analogous slope channel system deposits. As such, the research ultimately aims to provide geomodels of slope channel strata constrained by detailed outcrop observations.
Funding Sources: CSS JIP (Anadarko, BG Group, BHP-Billiton, BP Egypt, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Maersk, Marathon Oil, Nexen, Shell, Statoil, Talisman Energy), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC DG Grant).
The CSS JIP website is here.
 Sedimentology and Stratigraphic Architecture of Tidal-Fluvial Channel Deposits
The focus of this research is deducing the sedimentary processes and resultant stratigraphic architecture of tidal-fluvial systems. A primary objective is improved reservoir characterization, using sedimentological concepts to better understand the distribution of reservoir facies in the Athabasca Oil Sands and other hydrocarbon-bearing fluvial units. The research involves subsurface (well data and 3-D seismic data) and analogue investigations (ie, outcrop and modern river analogues).
Funding Sources: Nexen Inc. (Canada), ConocoPhillips (Canada), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
3] The Stratigraphic Architecture and Paleogeographic Implications of Deep-Water Strata (Cretaceous) of the Nanaimo Basin, Western British Columbia.
This research aims to deduce the channelized history of slope deposits (Nanaimo Group) that crop out on the Gulf Islands. The project leverages previous lithostratigraphic analysis, which provides a framework for detailed sedimentological and architectural study. The record of immense and long-lived conduits that cross-cut the Cretaceous slope setting reveal insight into a complex history of sediment transfer, which included protracted stages of erosion, sediment bypass and deposition.
Funding Sources: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.