Research

From the Cosmos to the Core

Student Research Opportunities

The Jackson School has student opportunities for research among our different themes and disciplines. Learn more about the current graduate and undergraduate student research opportunities.

  • Research in Marine Geology and Geophysics (Graduate)
    There are opportunities for research within Marine Geology and Geophysics.
    Posted by: Sean Gulick
  • Graduate Student Position in Mineral Physics Lab (Graduate)
    The mineral physics lab at the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for graduate student positions towards a Master's or Ph.D. degree in mineral physics. The Jackson School of Geosciences has exceptionally well-funded research programs and offers a number of scholarships to support graduate students for an extended period of time. Candidates with strong background and/or interest in physics (solid state physics), math, and geophysics/geochemistry are strongly encouraged to apply. Our mineral physics research programs focuses on high pressure-temperature experimental studies on materials properties using synchrotron X-ray and optical spectroscopies in a diamond anvil cell. Information about the graduate student programs at the Jackson School is available at: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/.
    Please contact Dr. Jung-Fu Lin at afu@jsg.utexas.edu for further information.
    Posted by: Jung-Fu Lin
  • Graduate and undergraduate research in geologic sequestration of CO2 (Graduate or Undergraduate)
    Gulf Coast Carbon Center supports a team of students and post docs working in geologic sequestration (deep subsurface long-duration storage) of the major greenhouse gas CO2, as a method to reduce release to the atmosphere. Student projects are wide ranging, from sedimentology to policy, linked in that they are 1) multidisciplinary and 2) applied to current issues.
    Students are typically jointly supervised by faculty in geology or petroleum geosystems engineering and staff at the GCCC. A class in geologic sequestration is offered in the fall some years.
    Posted by: Susan Hovorka

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  • Fault and fracture processes, structural diagenesis (Graduate)
    Graduate student projects combine the fields of fault and fracture mechanics and low-temperature geochemistry addressing deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, the effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures and faults, and the chemical interaction between fluids and minerals. Projects usually require the integration of field and laboratory analytical or numerical work and preference goes to applicants that are equally comfortable in the field and in the lab. Research topics include field- and core-based structural geology, geomechanics, geofluids, geochemistry, and natural resources including CO2 sequestration. A current research emphasis lies in Structural Diagenesis which combines the traditionally separate fields of brittle structural geology and diagenesis/geochemistry. Preference goes to PhD applicants with a prior MS degree and MS applicants with undergraduate research experience, preferentially through completion of a senior's thesis. Applications should be submitted to the MS or PhD program in Geological Sciences (GEO). Please contact Peter Eichhubl (peter.eichhubl@beg.utexas.edu for further details.
    Posted by: Peter Eichhubl

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  • Innovative Detrital Provenance Studies - Double Dating PLUS (Graduate)
    A major thrust of my current research the development and application of more comprehensive isotopic detrital provenance tools. U-Pb on zircon is clearly the big work horse, but only goes so far and sometimes yields "no" useful info, e.g., if the source of the sediment is mostly recycled sediment. We have extensively pursued double dating of zircons by U-Pb and He, as zircon He ages yield very interesting insights into the thermal and tectonic history of the source terrane; often yielding very different insights than crystallization ages. The combination is powerful, but I think we can take things so much farther by combining double dating with other constrains. People have tried fission track (not precise enough), Hf/Hf (to get mantle separation model ages), etc., but what we want to do and are working on is really Double Dating ++, combining zircon U-Pb-He dating with a variety of other geochemical aspects to more comprehensive understand detrital provenance and improve paleo-tectonic reconstructions. For example, trace-element thermometry (Ti in zirc), REE on zircon (met vs mag origin), Hf/Hf (see above), oxygen isotopes, etc. and also to develop rutile in an analogous manner (e.g., Zr in rut thermometry, Cr/Nb ratio (mafic vs granulitic), REE, etc.). The sky is the limit and what can learn so much. The issue in part it, how much can a single grain tell us before it's gone? The project sounds very laboratory oriented, but it's really a combination of field and lab work. We have identified a few possible case study areas, e.g., Morocco; great exposures, long-lived and preserved record of basin deposition since the Precambrian. My group is already working on some case studies in NW Himalayas, the N & S Pyrenees, the Sevier FTB, Permian Basin and other foreland basin. New projects include provenance studies along rifted and passive continental margins such the Gulf of Mexico, the central Atlantic Margins in Canada, USA, Portugal, and Morocco.
    Posted by: Daniel Stockli
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Opportunities (Graduate or Undergraduate)
    I regularly work with from 2-5 undergraduates and am open to co-advised honors theses and other. I feel undergraduate research is one of the most important aspects of undergraduate education.

    I will be accepting several graduate students over the next two years (I average from 2-5 total).

    I am particularly interested in PhD students with prior experience in systematic methods, an interest in phylogenetic or anatomical (evolution of morphology) questions concerning the evolution of birds.

    I am also interested in highly motivated MS candidates with an interest in studying avian evolution. Although I have advised theses on non-avialan dinosaurs in past years, given current funded research projects, I am presently interested in advising students interested in working on birds (origin and evolution of).

    Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions.
    Posted by: Julia Clarke
  • Research in structural diagenesis (Graduate or Undergraduate)
    Fundamental and applied research on fractures, particularly as these studies apply to petroleum reservoirs, is conducted under the auspices of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium at The University of Texas at Austin. The academic program of research, mentoring and teaching is led by staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and the Department of Geological Sciences. Students in the Energy & Earth Resources Graduate Program also participate in FRAC sponsored research projects.

    For further information on opportunities for fracture studies within the program see the FRAC pages on opportunities in Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, and Energy Economics.

    FRAC welcomes Visiting Scientists from industry and from other academic institutions. Contact Steve Laubach for more information about these opportunities.

    A key part of the FRAC academic program is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative, a new teaching and mentoring perspective on interacting mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. For more information on the initiative see the Structural Diagenesis Initiative web site.

    If you are a prospective student, please see the admissions information on the Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering or Jackson School of Geosciences web sites.
    Posted by: Stephen Laubach

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  • General Opportunities in Field and Laboratory Based Studies (Graduate or Undergraduate)
    My position does not permit sole supervision of graduate student theses, but I co-supervise or serve on graduate student theses committees, particularly those involving aspects of GIS, GPS, structural geology, tectonics and petrology/mineralogy. I have supervised several undergraduate student honors thesis, both lab- and field-based, and look forward to continuing to do so.
    Posted by: Mark Helper
  • Graduate research opportunities in computational seismology (Graduate)
    Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology is looking for Ph.D. students interested in computational research. Our group works on a broad range of topics in exploration geophysics, from wave-equation seismic imaging and inversion to computational algorithms for seismic data processing and seismic interpretation. The work is supported by industrial sponsors. We use open-source software tools and high-performace computing resources.
    Posted by: Sergey Fomel

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  • Graduate and Post-Doctoral opportunities in GeoFluids Research Group (Graduate)
    The GeoFluids Research Group has immediate opportunities for graduate and post-doctoral study. Dr. Flemings is most enthused by students who have a commitment to a doctoral program because that allows time to delve deeply into research. However, he also regularly accepts exceptional M.S. students into our research group. If you are interested, please e-mail, Peter Flemings (pflemings@jsg.utexas.edu).

    Current Research Opportunities:

    1. Hydrate Melting:
    Examine the melting of methane hydrates in Arctic systems. DOE funded effort will examine the impact of warming over human time scales and longer. The project description is found here. We are looking for students and post-doctoral scientists with a fascination for marine geology and a yen for quantitative analysis of fluid flow.

    2. Mass Transport in Shales:
    Study transport processes in shale systems! You will perform permeability testing of shales (e.g. the Barnett, the Marcellus…) and develop multi-scale numerical models to describe mass transport within these systems. The work will include both laboratory analysis and sample characterization. This project is supported by Shell.

    3. GeoPressure Analysis:
    Study geopressure in sedimentary basins through our industry funded consortium UTGeoFluids. Dr. Flemings is always looking for students with a yen to characterize and model overpressure in sedimentary basins.
    http://www-udc.ig.utexas.edu/geofluids/

    4. Mudrock Geomechanics:
    Study the geomechanics of mudrocks through experimental analysis. This research is supported by UTGeoFluids. In this research, we analyze both intact samples (from industry and the ocean drilling program) and we synthetically create mudrocks. We ask fundamental questions such as:
    How to mudrocks compact?
    What is the permeability of mudrocks and how does it evolve?
    What is the strength of mudrocks?
    Posted by: Peter Flemings

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  • PhD Student Opportunity in Climate Research (Graduate)
    A PhD student is recruited to conduct modeling and observational study of Pacific decadal variability and its relation to decadal modulations of El Nino-Southern Oscillation at the University of Texas at Austin. Background in oceanic and atmospheric sciences is preferred but not required. General information on the graduate program at the UT's Jackson School of Geosciences can be found at http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/. The deadline for Fall 2014 application is January 1st, 2014. Interested candidate should contact Yuko M. Okumura (yukoo@ig.utexas.edu) for more information.
    Posted by: Yuko Okumura
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Position (Graduate)
    October 1, 2017
    Postdoctoral Fellowship Position

    The Bureau of Economic Geology in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin currently has long-term, funded projects on the environmental implications of CO2 sequestration. We are currently recruiting recent Ph.D. scientists or engineers for a postdoctoral fellowship position.

    Position: Numerical and Analytical Modeling of Fluid Flow in Porous Media Related to CO2 Injection

    General topics of research is related to reservoir fluid flow modeling and simulations in CO2-EOR/Sequestrations settings with various focuses including history matching, optimization algorithms, regional geomechanics, pore scale modeling and economics related to oil and gas production. We are interested in outstanding fellowship applicants with direct experience in reservoir simulation using commercial packages specially CMG package (all modules). Experience in running simulations in parallel environment is a plus. Candidates must have interest in theoretical analyses and mathematical modeling of fluid flow problems. Strong and deep understanding of fundamentals of reservoir engineering and coding skills in Matlab, Python or other relevant programing languages are required. We anticipate that the successful candidate will have formal training in petroleum engineering or related fields.

    Successful candidate will be part of Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC), an interdisciplinary team of research geologists and engineers who conduct CO2-sequestration research at the Bureau of Economic Geology. GCCC is one of the world’s leading research groups in CO2 sequestration. Our Frio brine injection experiment was the first to monitor CO2 injection into brine, and we are currently involved in several large scale CO2 injection monitoring projects in the U.S. GCCC collaborates closely with faculty in departments across the UT-Austin campus, other universities, and U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories.

    This position will be based in North Austin, at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, The University of Texas at Austin. Austin is often on the list of top 10 places to live in the U.S.

    Please send a resume and a short expression of interest to:

    Dr. Seyyed Abolfazl Hosseini
    Email at: seyyed.hosseini@beg.utexas.edu

    The University of Texas at Austin is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. All positions are security sensitive, and conviction verification is conducted on applicants selected.
    Posted by: Seyyed Hosseini
  • High Resolution 3D marine seismic for fluid studies (Graduate)
    Opportunities exist to become involved in the design, acquisition, processing, and interpretation of high-resolution 3D marine seismic data. Current applications include characterization for subsurface storage of carbon dioxide and natural fluid migration studies. We anticipate development into imaging modern systems as reservoir analogs.
    Posted by: Timothy Meckel
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (Graduate - ongoing)
    Purpose of position: To conduct research in numerical simulation of fluid flow using both traditional Darcy flow simulators as well as Invasion Percolation methods, sandbox flow modeling, and development of a strong publication record on the topic.

    Essential functions: Develop numerical simulations of fluid flow CO2 in mm to m scale models informed by geologic depositional heterogeneity. Assist in designing and implementing laboratory validation experiments of sandbox flow modeling to support theoretical and numerical simulations. Publish results in peer reviewed outlets, assist in project reporting and make presentations, as needed to support project.


    Required qualifications: PhD in hydrogeology, environmental engineering, or closely related geoscience field earned within the last three years. Relevant laboratory experience with sandbox scale flow experiments. Demonstrated research interest in forward and inverse modeling of subsurface flow and transport pertaining multi-phase flow.


    Preferred qualifications Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to conduct experimental studies. Demonstrated experience in presenting and publishing results, including CO2 or CCS.
    Posted by: Timothy Meckel

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  • Ph.D. Students Opportunities (Graduate)
    My group occasionally has openings for graduate students. Solid quantitative backgrounds with computing experience (e.g. Matlab or NCL or IDL, Linux) and climate dynamics courses are required. Qualified applicants with interests in climate are encouraged to contact me to discuss possibilities.
    Posted by: Rong Fu
  • Undergratuate Students (Undergraduate)
    Undergratuate students who are interested in climate change are always welcome to apply.
    Posted by: Rong Fu
  • PhD Student (Graduate)
    I am accepting applications for a new PhD Student in my lab. This student must be interested in paleontological or carbonate sedimentology research (both would be best), and should be aware of the current/recent projects in the Martindale Lab. Exceptional MSc students will be considered, but preference is for a doctoral student (prior research experience at the undergraduate or MSc level is desired).
    Posted by: Rowan Martindale
  • Prospective Students (Graduate or Undergraduate)
    Thank you for your interest in joining my research group! There are currently opportunities at all levels beginning in the Fall of 2016. I welcome the opportunity to work with students who have a strong academic record, quantitative skills, research and writing experience, and unquenchable curiosity and creativity. Our group focuses on spatial and temporal patterns of water movement in the near surface. If you're interested in joining the lab, please contact me directly (rempe@jsg.utexas.edu) with a CV and a statement of your research experience and interests.
    Posted by: Daniella Rempe
  • Laser ablation (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He dating of zircon and apatite (Graduate)
    Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in noble gas geo-thermochronology and geochemistry to pursue project in method development and application of laser ablation (U-Th)/He dating and depth profile 4He/3He thermochronometry of zircon and apatite. Our laboratory has a dedicated noble gas extraction line with a SFT magnetic sector noble gas mass spectrometer and dedicated Excimer Laser. The lab also houses two Element2 magnetic sector single collector ICP-MS instruments with a second Excimer laser as well as a state-of-the-art Bruker optical interferometric microscope. The project will develop laser ablation methodology to recover detailed thermal histories from apatite and zircon by laser ablation (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He dating as well as comparison to step-heating fractional loss experiments.
    Posted by: Daniel Stockli
  • LA-ICP-MS single-pule U-Pb depth profiling recovery of thermal histories (Graduate)
    Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in in-situ geochronology to pursue project in method development and application of laser ablation continuous mode or single-pulse U-Pb LA-ICP-MS geo-thermochronology as well as trace element speedometry to constrain thermal history or lower and middle crustal rocks. The UTChron Geo- and Thermochronometry laboratory houses two Element2 magnetic sector single collector ICP-MS instruments with a large-volume cell Excimer laser system, ideally suited for depth profiling and U-Pb and trace element split stream analysis. The laboratory also houses a Bruker optical interferometric microscope to control laser ablation rates as well as a Raman system. The focus of applications is on method development and application to the exhumation of middle and lower crustal rocks in rifted margin settings.
    Posted by: Daniel Stockli
  • Detrital Geo- and Thermochronometry of Atlantic Rift Basins (Graduate)
    Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in conducting integrated detrital zircon U-Pb and (U-Th)/He work on Triassic and Jurassic rift basins along the Atlantic margin in the NE USA and Canada and the conjugate margin of Morocco. The goal of the project is to understand basin sedimentation, sediment routing, and sediment provenance to shed light on lithospheric rift processes leading to Atlantic rifting and break-up. This project will combine stratigraphy, detrital geo-thermochronometry, and geodynamics to more holistically understand 2D and 3D sediment dispersal and lithospheric-scale controls on sediment dispersal and stratigraphic record during progressive rifting through time.
    Posted by: Daniel Stockli
  • IMPACT: Geo- and thermochronometry of the Chicxulub Crater and KPg ejecta deposits (Graduate)
    Seeking motivated Ph.D. student interested in investigating the thermal history of the recently drilled Chicxulub impact crater (IODP 364) in collaboration with Drs. Dan Stockli (DGS) and Sean Gulick (UTIG). The aim of the project is to test different hypotheses for the formation of the peak ring, to investigate the thermal evolution of the impact and the post-impact hydrothermal alteration as well as to explore KPg deposits in the USA and Cuba using U-Pb and (U-Th)/He geo-and thermochronometry. In addition, we envision to use other IODP and industry borehole samples as well as outcrop samples from the USA and potentially Cuba to elucidate the ejecta and tsunami deposits related to the KPg impact in the southern Gulf of Mexico to more holistically understand the impact and its effects on the circum-GOM region.
    Posted by: Daniel Stockli
  • PhD Candidate (Graduate)
    Research on Gulf of Mexico sedimentary systems and sequence stratigraphy; Source to sink analysis.
    Posted by: John Snedden
  • Masters Candidate (Graduate)
    Research on Gulf of Mexico, using industry seismic and well data
    Posted by: John Snedden
  • Student opportunities exist within all of the indicated research areas (Graduate)
    Student opportunities exist within all of the indicated research areas
    Posted by: Peter Hennings
  • National Science Foundation-International Research Experiences for Students (Graduate or Undergraduate - Summer 2017 and Fall 2018)
    The National Science Foundation has awarded an International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program to provide four weeks of geological field-based research and training experiences across Slovakia for undergraduate and graduate students. These students will investigate geological processes that occurred in Slovakia due to the closure of branches of ancient ocean basins. Because of its extensive exposures of ancient ocean suture zones and crustal fragments, Slovakia is an ideal location to study how continents grow.
    Posted by: Elizabeth Catlos

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