Researcher Profile

Jackson School of Geosciences

Nicola Tisato

Nicola  Tisato
Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
Assistant Professor (zero-time appointment), Dept. of Civil Eng., University of Toronto

Work: +1 512 232 7149
Office: JGB 4.216BA
Mailcode: C1160

I was born and raised in Italy in a wonderful town near Venice. Schio, my hometown, rests at the foot of "Piccole Dolomiti" (Small Dolomites). I love mountains; I was a boy-scout from 9 to 23 years old and since 1996 I am a caver - and by the way: Austin is great for caving! I am passionate about photography, especially about 3D photography. Since 2009 I am a member of La Salle-3D that is an international group of photographers. I like riding my mountain-bike along alpine tracks, and when the tracks are covered by snow, I love practicing cross-country skiing - but not in Austin...
When I was a teenager I spent more time in the garage "inventing" and "experimenting" rather than in front of books...
During high school, I studied electrical and automation engineering. Between 1999 and 2000 I was a policeman to fulfill the Italian compulsory military service. After that, and until 2004, I was an insurance agent. Meanwhile, the passion for mountains, caves and science was pushing me towards college. In October 2001, I started my Bachelor in Geology and I loved it! I graduated in December 2004. Meanwhile, after an internship, TecnoPenta srl offered me a position as technician. I worked for TecnoPenta srl between 2005 and 2009 and this experience allowed me to perfect my knowledge about laboratory and field measurements in geosciences.
I started my Master studies in October 2005. I graduated in October 2008 with a thesis in experimental rock physics studying static and dynamic friction in limestones. I had the honor of being supervised by Dr. Giulio Di Toro.
In March 2009 I started my PhD in Zurich (CH) and I had again the honor of having a great supervisor: Dr. Luigi Burlini. Sadly, Luigi passed away in December 2009, after a long disease, and my supervision was overtaken by Dr. Erik Saenger and Dr. Jean-Pierre Burg. I graduated in April 2013 with a thesis on rock physics, treating the attenuation of seismic waves in saturated sedimentary rocks.
Meanwhile, I met Dr. Giovanni Grasselli who offered for me to join his research group at the University of Toronto (UofT). In 2014 and 2015 I was a post-doc at the Department of Civil Eng. of UofT. During this time I learned how to use and maintain X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) apparatus and I paired micro-CT with classic rock-physics and -mechanics experiments.
On April 10th, 2014 I became father of a wonderful girl: Beatrice.
In January 2016 - together with my family that on March 23rd, 2017 grew with the addition of awesome Serena - I started my new adventure in Austin, and I am happy and honored to be here!

By the way, if you like to know more about my research you could watch this...and if you like caves here a nice and short video show.

Nicola is proud to be a member of the ROCKETH-science - Rock Physics Network.

- Here a paper about attenuation of seismic waves and wave-induced-fluid-flow (WIFF);
- Here a paper about attenuation of seismic waves and wave-induced gas-exsolution-dissolution (WIGED);
- Here a paper about physical properties of clays;
- Here a paper about dynamic friction in rocks;
- Here a paper about pairing rotary shear experiment with micro-CT;
- Here a paper about spectacular mineral cave deposits whose formation is orchestrated by bacteria;
- Here a paper about speleogenesis.

Areas of Expertise

Experimental rock physics and rock mechanics. Digital Rock Physics. Speleology. Seismic wave attenuation, Physical properties of rocks, Wave-Induced-Phenomena, Genesis of caves and speleothems, Reservoir characterization, Nuclear waste management.

Post-Doc fellow of Swiss NSF - Swiss National Scientific Foundation (2014 - 2015)

Graduate Students

Sebastian Ramiro Ramirez , Ph.D., expected 2020 (Committee Member)
Sebastian started his PhD program at UT in 2016. He is interested in petrographic, geochemical and petrophysical studies of mudrocks, and is currently working on porosity and permeability experiments in the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations, Delaware Basin.

Eric J Goldfarb (Supervisor)
In August, 2016, I moved from Toronto, Canada to Austin. While far from home, it is hard to think of a better place to do research. I like learning why the world looks the way it does, both natural and manmade. Geology has been there for me to explain the natural world, and engineering and applied science has been there for the constructed. The rock deformation lab here is a great mix of these two disciplines with experimental geophysics. My undergraduate is in geological engineering, and my Master’s is in mining engineering, both from Queen’s University in Canada. In past, I have been a ski instructor living in the mountains, a bike courier dodging cars in rush hour, and a member of a national sailing team competing in several countries. In fact, one day before retirement, I plan to captain a boat across the Atlantic (before it closes again).

Ken Ikeda (Supervisor)

Qi Zhao, Ph.D., 2017 (Co-supervisor)
University of Toronto

Kathrin Rieger, M.S., 2013 (Co-supervisor)
ETH Zurich

Segmentation-less digital rock physics: rock properties from CT imagery, University of Toronto Dept. of Geological Sciences:, Canada (2017)

Rock physics under micro-CT (Keynote talk), Workshop: “Improved reservoir characterization through rock physics and geomechanics”, University of Toronto Dept. of Civil Eng. (2017)

Viscoelasticity of rocks, University of Toronto Dept. of Civil Eng, Canada (2017)

Viscoelastic Properties of Montmorillonite and Monitoring of Nuclear Waste Repositories, UT Austin: Soft Rock Seminar, Texas (2017)

Viscoelastic Properties of Montmorillonite and Monitoring of Nuclear Waste Repositories, Texas Geophysical Society, Austin (2017)

Seismic Wave Attenuation and Dispersion in Saturated Rocks;, Geophysical Society of Houston:, Texas (2016)

Viscoelasticity of Rocks, Institute of Geophysics – The University of Texas at Austin:, Texas (2016)

Viscoelasticity of Rocks, INGV - Rome, Italy (2016)

Viscoelasticity of rocks, University of Perugia, Department of Geological Sciences:, Italy (2016)

Viscoelasticity of multiphase fluids: future directions, AGU general meeting (solicited), Austria (2016)

Bubbles attenuate elastic waves at seismic frequencies, AGU general meeting (solicited), Austria (2016)

Viscoelasticity of saturated sandstones, ExxonMobil Corporate Strategic Research, New Jersey (2015)

The Water-Energy Nexus – Mapping subsurface gas-bubbles, VirginiaTech, USA (2015)

How rock-physics can contribute to ensure a reliable and sustainable energy system, VirginiaTech, USA (2015)

University of Toronto: Seismic Attenuation at Low Frequencies in Partially Saturated Rocks, Institute of Geophysics - University of Toronto, Canada (2014)

Low frequency attenuation, ultrasonic velocities and local pore pressure effects: overview on part of my research in the last four years, Schlumberger Stavanger Research Center, Norway (2013)

Attenuation at low frequencies in partially saturated rocks, Institute of Geophysics – University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2012)

Measuring and understanding seismic wave attenuation at 'low' frequencies, INGV Rome, Italy (2012)

Measuring and understanding seismic wave attenuation at 'low' frequencies, TOTAL Research center - Pau, France (2012)

2018Spring GEO 325G Comp Appls In Geo
2018Spring GEO 391 Geophyscl Measrmnt/Monitrng
2017Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Spring GEO 468K Geophysics For Geo Sci Majors
2017Spring GEO 391 Geophyscl Measrmnt/Monitrng
2016Spring GEO 468K Geophysics For Geo Sci Majors