Dr. Lesli J. Wood is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology in the University of Texas, Jackson School of Geosciences where she directs the Quantitative Clastics Laboratory research program and supervises numerous excellent student scientists. She teaches sequence stratitgraphy, seismic geomorphology, and seismic interpretation courses for industry, and has published numerous peer-reviewed publications, federal research reports and university consortium documents pertaining to both shallow and deep water clastic systems, hydrates, martian sedimentology and shale tectonics. She is involved with JSG field camp and has taught for GEOFORCE. Dr. Wood holds B.S in Geology from Arkansas Tech University, and M.S. in Geology from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in Earth Resources from Colorado State University. When not doing geology she is feeding her continually ravenous pig or playing music.

Areas of Expertise

Outcrop analysis of clastic systems architecture and sequence stratigraphy; seismic geomorphology and sedimentology of clastic systems; tectonics and sedimentation of active margin basins; shallow hydrocarbon features and shale diapirism; remotely sensed study (lidar, 2-D, 3-D and multicomponent seismic multibeam bathymetry and sonar) of clastic depositional systems.


Research Locations



AAPG Top 10 Poster, National Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana - AAPG (2010)

Excellence in Publication Award - BEG (2010)

AAPG International, Top 10 Best Poster Award, Calgary, Canada - AAPG ICE (2009)

Thomas A. Philpot Excellence of Presentation Award (Third place), Gulf Coast Assoc of Geol Soc - GCAGS (2009)

SEPM Journal of Sedimentary Research Best Paper Honorable Mention - SEPM (2008)

Houston Geological Society, Best Speaker Award, International Section - HGS (2007)

Jackson Research Fellowship - JSG (2006 - 2007)

SEPM Society of Sedimentary Geology Best Poster Award, Annual Meeting - SEPM (2005)

Invited Keynote Speaker - Houston Geological Society, Quantitative Seismic Geomorphology (2004)

Annual Award for Best Paper Presentation Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago - GSTT (2004)

Bowling Fellow #1 and Carlton Fellow #5 Grant for Teaching - UT (2002)

Scott Professorship Lecturer - Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin (2002)

Best Poster Award - XI Venezuelan Geophysical Congress, Caracas, Venezuela (2002)

Winner, Honorable Mention for Best Poster - AAPG/SEPM Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado (2001)

SEPM Society of Sedimentary Geology Best Poster Honorable Mention Award, Annual Meeting - AAPG/SEPM Annual Meeting (2001 - 2000)

SEPM Society of Sedimentary Geology Best Poster Award, Annual Meeting - Society of Sedimentary Geology (2000)

Outstanding Woman Geoscientist - Denver Chapter, Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) (1992)

J. C. "Cam" Sproule Award, Best Paper by a Scientist 35 Years or Younger - American Association of Petroleum Geologists - 2001)

President, GCSSEPM (2006 - 2007)

President, Gulf Coast Section, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) (2006)

Co-Convenor, Seismic Geomorphology Conference, Houston, Geological Society of London/Society of Sedimentary Geology (2005)

Vice President, Gulf Coast Section, SEPM (2005 - 2006)

President-Elect, Gulf Coast Section, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) (2005)

Reviewer, Journal of Sedimentary Research, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) (2004)

Reviewer, Bulletin and Special Publications, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2004)

Session Co-Chair, Deltas Revisited, Dallas, American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (2004)

Session Co-Chair, Mobile Shale Basins, Dallas, American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (2004)

Session Co-Chair, Seismic Geomorphology, Calgary, American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (2004)

National Secretary-Treasurer, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) (2004 - 2006)

National Secretary-Treasurer, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) (2004 - 2006)

Session Convenor, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2003)

Chairman, Program Committee, SEPM Annual Meeting, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) (2003)

Member, Committee on Conventions, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2002)

Member, Core and Samples Preservation Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2002)

Member, Publications Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2002)

Member, Technical Program Committee, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (2002)

Member-at-Large, Committee on Professional Development, Geological Society of America (2002 - 2005)

Session Co-Chair, Deepwater seismic imaging: case studies from the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa, Offshore Technology Conference (2002)

Session co-Convenor, Offshore Technology Conference (2002)

Topical Session Chair, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (2002)

Member, OTC Program Subcommittee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2001)

Member, OTC Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2001)

Session Co-Chair, Field development case studies: coastal and shallow marine reservoirs, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2001)

Member, Graduate Student Council, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2001)

Delegate, House of Delegates, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2000 - 2006)

Member, Margins Program Planning Group Conference, National Science Foundation (2000)

Session co-Convenor, Deep marine sedimentation, 2000 GSTT/SPE Meeting (2000)

Session co-Convenor, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1999)

Session co-Convenor, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geologists) (1992)

Graduate Students

Khushboo Arora, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Supervisor)
The main purpose of my current research is to study the influence of long-period surface gravity waves on sediment transport and deposition of hummocky cross-stratified deposits on marine shelves. An integrated study of paleo-hydraulic analysis and reservoir architecture of hummocky cross-stratified sands is critical for achieving a greater understanding of shelf sands deposited in shoreface and deeper settings. An improved understanding of how these sands and muds distribute themselves in the shelf settings with varying physiographic and storm conditions will be extremely useful in limiting exploration and development risk in shelf sand reservoirs around the world. In addition, the physical-modeling portion of this research coupled with the field component will enhance our understanding of mechanisms of sand transport from shelf to slope due to storm forces and varying water densities. Having a better depositional model of shelf sand movement and deposition will improve our understanding of the paleo-processes active on the world's ancient shelves and enhance our ability to explore for and produce these reservoir facies, as well as model changes in storm and climate character along these ancient margins.

Vishal T Maharaj, Ph.D., expected 2014 (Supervisor)

Dolores A Van Der Kolk, Ph.D., expected 2014 (Supervisor)
My research focuses on marine environments and marine-continental transitions preserved within siliciclastic depositional systems. I extract clues from the sedimentary rock record in order to understand how paleoenvironments and paleoclimates evolved through time. For example, I am currently exploring how a greenhouse (warm) climate is reflected in the sedimentary rock record in both high- and mid-latitude environments. I utilize both field-based and subsurface data and apply various sedimentologic, stratigraphic, biostratigraphic, geochronologic and geochemical methods in my research. I am also involved in investigations that evaluate the evolution of petroleum systems by conducting source rock and reservoir evaluations in rift, forearc and foreland basin settings.

Tricia G Alvarez, Ph.D., expected 2014 (Supervisor)
Tricia Alvarez is a PhD student at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. She completed a B.Sc. in Geology at The University of the West Indies in 2001 and an M.S. in Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Her research interest at the Jackson School of Geosciences is focused on the study of sedimentary basins in the context of their tectonic setting with emphasis on the influence of tectonics on spatial and temporal structural patterns, and clastic sediment partitioning through the application of integrated geologic, geophysical and remotely sensed datasets.

Migdalys B Salazar, Ph.D., expected 2014 (Co-supervisor)
My research involves the investigation of processes of sediment transport from the shelf region to the slope and deeper positions of the basin, as well as the relationships between basin fill architectures and ocean processes, sea level fluctuations, and tectonics through seismic geomorphological and clinoform architecture analyses. .

Maria I Prieto, Ph.D., expected 2014 (Supervisor)
My research work involves understanding the interaction between gravity-driven and current-controlled sedimentary processes in the lower continental slope to abyssal plain transition in the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM); and how the local structural controls (salt) affecting the bathymetry of the basin can influence these processes. I use near seafloor high resolution geophysical data as my primary dataset. The outcome of my research will be also useful as an analog model for interpreters working with older stratigraphic units within the GOM where seismic resolution is low.

Brian A Kiel, Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
Using remotely collected data to measure attributes of modern rivers and ancient river deposits. Currently focusing within the contiguous US, and modeling river-groundwater interaction as it relates to contaminant transport.

Kurtus S Woolf, Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)

Thomas C Brothers, Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
My research focuses on the interpretation of remotely sensed data to investigate the surface geomorphology and subsurface stratigraphic record of planetary bodies. I make extensive use of orbital radar soundings, high resolution satellite imagery, and digital elevation models. My research involves processing, interpreting and integrating observations from multiple types of remotely sensed data in collaboration with other researchers to deduce the evolution of planetary surfaces. Throughout my dissertation, my research has been focused on applying these approaches to the Mar's north pole.

Jessica Hudock, M.S., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
I have been studying washover fans (WOFs) in modern systems using remote sensing and satellite imagery to quantify various morphological characteristics of washover fans including throat width, intrusion length, fan area, barrier widths, channel lengths, etc. WOFs are deposited in multiple types of geometries and tend to vary in location of deposition. I have begun categorizing WOFs according to these geometries and examining the morphological trends amongst the different sub-families. I am using these relationships to understand preservation potential and how WOFs might appear in the subsurface. For my subsurface component, I have logged cores from the Upper McMurray Formation of Alberta, Canada, which are associated with barrier and estuarine environments to identify possible washover deposits. This data will be used to help me construct a facies model with the ultimate goal of understanding the geometries of flow barriers in the subsurface.

Damian Markez, M.S., expected 2012 (Supervisor)

Sean M Sullivan, Ph.D., expected 2010 (Supervisor)

Kristie A Ramlal (Supervisor)
My research interests involve the integration of 2D and 3D seismic data with well data to understand deep-water clastic depositional systems in a variety of structural settings. I focus on: 1. The architecture of deep-water deposits, particularly slope-channels and mass transport complexes, through use of quantitative methods 2. The nature of sediment transfer from continental margins to deep-water basins and its impact on reservoir distribution and architecture.

Darrin Burton, Ph.D., 2011 (Supervisor)

Anmar Davila, M.S., 2011 (Supervisor)

Jessica Morgan, M.S., 2010 (Supervisor)

Stefan Punette, M.S., 2010 (Supervisor)

Kadira Singh, M.S., 2010 (Supervisor)

Brian Kiel, M.S., 2009 (Supervisor)

Tricia Alvarez, M.S., 2009 (Supervisor)

Darin Burton, M.S., 2009 (Supervisor)

Tom Lovitz, M.S., 2009 (Supervisor)

Nysha Chaderton, Ph.D., 2009 (Supervisor)

Vishal Maharaj, M.S., 2008 (Supervisor)

Tiffany Hediyati, M.S., 2008 (Supervisor)

Lorena Moscardelli, Ph.D., 2007 (Supervisor)

Julie Maher, M.S., 2007 (Supervisor)

Chad Weisenburger, M.S., 2007 (Supervisor)

Terence Campbell, M.S., 2007 (Supervisor)

Jed Flint, M.S., 2006 (Supervisor)

Nysha Chaderton, M.S., 2006 (Supervisor)

Sean Sullivan, M.S., 2006 (Supervisor)

Emilio Garciacaro, M.S., 2006 (Supervisor)

Ariana Osman, M.S., 2006 (Supervisor)

Kristen Mize, M.S., 2005 (Supervisor)

Cem Kilic, Ph.D., 2003 (Supervisor)

Wei Ruan (Supervisor)
Chinese Visiting Scholar, Supervisor

Jie Huang (Supervisor)
Chinese Visiting Scholar, Supervisor


Invited Keynote: On Beyond Zebra: Moving from deep water deposit models to successful integrated modeling of deep water deposits, AAPG Forum on Deep and Ultradeep Water, Gulf of Mexico, Houston, Texas (2010)

Invited Keynote:What Lies Beneath: Exploring and exploiting beneath the Tertiary cover., AAPG GTW Sub-salt Conference,, Veracruz Mexico (2010)

Invited Keynote:Role of mass transport deposits and processes in shaping continental margins., MIT University in Pune, India, Pune, India (2007)

Invited Keynote: Antarctica, SPE Mumbai Chapter, Mumbai, India (2007)

Deep marine margin processes and deposits in offshore Trinidad, presented to the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad (2004)

Geomorphology of deltas and channels on Earth and Mars, presented at the Bureau of Economic Geology colloquium, Austin, Texas (2004)

Quantitative seismic geomorphology, presented at the Bureau of Economic Geology colloquium, Austin, Texas (2004)

Controls on the morphology and development of deep-marine channels, eastern offshore Trinidad and Venezuela, poster presented at American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas (2004)

Co-Instructor, Deep Marine Systems and Deposits, Nautilus, Inc., Houston and London (2004)

Seismic Geomorphology, Oxy, Houston, Texas (2004)

Invited Keynote: Quantitative Seismic Geomorphology, Houston Geological Society, Houston, Texas (2004)

Mud volcanoes, shale diapirs and fluid systems: making mud pies on a grand scale, presented at Bureau of Economic Geology colloquium, Austin, Texas (2003)

Co-Instructor, Deep Marine Systems and Deposits, Nautilus, Inc., Houston and London (2003)

Invited Keynote: Exploring nontraditional hydrocarbon traps for gas resource additions in the shallow Gulf of Mexico shelf, U.S.A,, New Orleans Geological Society, New Orleans, Louisiana (2003)

Sequence stratigraphy and structural framework of southeast Caribbean margin: offshore Orinoco Delta, Venezuela, presented at the XI Venezuelan Geophysical Congress, Caracas, Venezuela (2002)

New resources from old fields: revitalizing gas exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico shelf province, presented to Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, Houston, Texas (2002)

New resources from old fields: revitalizing recovery in shelf-bound Pliocene- and Miocene-age Gulf of Mexico reservoirs: invited keynote dinner speaker, presented to the Houston Geological Society, Houston, Texas (2002)

Invited Keynote: New Resources from Old Fields: Revitalizing recovery in shelf-bound Pliocene- and Miocene-age Gulf of Mexico Reservoirs, HGS, Houston, Texas (2002)

Down to de island man: depositional systems of the southeastern Caribbean margin: Soft-Rock Brown Bag Lecture, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (2001)

Tectonomorphic development of the southeastern Caribbean margin with emphasis on the latest Tertiary, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics PLATES Industrial Consortium, Austin, Texas (2001)

Intimate relations: the interaction of tectonics and sedimentation offshore eastern Trinidad and Venezuela, Phillips Petroleum, Inc., Bartlesville, Oklahoma (2001)

Tidally influenced shoreline systems: Sego Sandstone, Book Cliffs, Utah, U.S.A., University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (2001)

Intimate relations: the interaction of tectonics and sedimentation offshore eastern Trinidad and Venezuela, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (2001)

Tectonomorphic provinces of the eastern East Maturin Basin: luncheon keynote address, University of Houston, Geosciences Alumni Association, Houston, Texas (2001)

Secondary gas recovery: applied research for new opportunities in Gulf of Mexico shallow-water gas, Appex Meeting, (poster presentation), Houston, Texas (2001)

Invited Keynote:Tectonomorphic provinces of the eastern East Maturin Basin, Houston, Texas, University of Houston Geosciences Alumni Association, Luncheon, Houston, Texas (2001)

Understanding sedimentary geology, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, training series, Austin, Texas (2000)

Structure, stratigraphy and sedimentary processes of the eastern offshore Maturin Basin, Venezuela, PDVSA, Caracas, Venezuela (2000)

Influence of structure on deep marine reservoir development: Columbus Basin, Trinidad, West Indies: keynote address, Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago/Society of Petroleum Engineers 2000 Meeting, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad (2000)

Invited Keynote: Influence of structure on deep marine reservoir development: Columbus Basin Trinidad, West Indies, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, GSTT/SPE, GSTT/SPE MTG (2000)

Incised valley development and falling stage systems tracts of the Sego Sandstone, eastern Utah, Bureau of Economic Geology weekly lecture series, (1999)

Chronostratigraphy and tectonstratigraphy of the Columbus Basin, Trinidad and Tabago, West Indies, University of Texas Institute of Geophysics, (1999)

Sequence stratigraphy of the Columbus Basin, Texaco Oil and Gas, Houston, Texas, (1998)

Integrated Sequence Stratigraphy and Seismic Attribute Technologies for Resolving Complex Fluvial Reservoir Geometries, San Jorge Basin, Argentina, University of Texas at Dallas Departmental Seminar, (1998)

Invited Keynote Address: Significance of deltas as worldwide hydrocarbon provinces and the complexity of exploration in deltaic settings, IPC Deltaic Systems Session of the Annual Conference, Houston, Texas, (1996)

Understanding process-response through experimental modeling, Wood's Hole Oceanographic Research Center, Wood's Hole, Massachusetts, (1995)

Effects of baselevel change on coastal plain and fluvial depositional systems, University of Tennessee at Middlesborough, (1995)

Flume experiments of depositional system's response to relative sea-level change: Implications for sequence stratigraphic models, University of Houston, (1994)

Effects of baselevel change on coastal plain systems, Exxon Production Research, (1991)