Cornel Olariu

Cornel  Olariu
Research Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
Lecturer, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Work: +1 512 471 1519
Office: JGB 6.136
Mailcode: C1100

Areas of Expertise

Clastic Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, Basin Analysis

Research Locations

Graduate Students

William S Bailey , Ph.D., expected 2026 (Co-supervisor)

Abdulmajeed Alrefaei , M.S., expected 2025 (Supervisor)
I am an exploration geologist working for Saudi Aramco where I conduct surface studies of subsurface reservoirs. I worked within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on many different basins such as Tabuk basin, Central Arabia basin, Hail basin and Qasim basin. I am personally interested in the lower Paleozoic (Hirnantian) glacial deposits of the Sarah Formation in Saudi Arabia, specifically...

Fernando Rey , Ph.D., expected 2025 (Committee Member)
My research focus is to link the stratigraphic record with tectonic processes using geochronology and geochemical signatures. I am currently working on projects in southern Patagonia (Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Rocas Verdes Back-arc basin) and Japan (Neogene opening of the Sea of Japan).I am also interested in the dispersal of sediments in shallow marine environments. I have 8 years of experience...

Michelle Tebolt , Ph.D., expected 2024 (Committee Member)
As a planetary scientist, I study sedimentary processes on Mars to better understand the paleoenvironment, or the conditions that once existed on the surface. I am particularly interested in Martian fluvial processes that occurred ~3.8 billion years ago when there was liquid water on the surface and consider the question: How has water influenced the surface of Mars? Or more...

Rawan Alasad (Co-supervisor)
I study the sedimentary record, surficial processes, tectonic relief and catchment evolution that occurs during rifting.

Sarp Karakaya (Co-supervisor)
Thesis Project: Constraining and quantifying depositional controls on mixed carbonate & siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy of the Eastern Shelf of the Permian Basin and reservoir modeling using 3D seismic interpretation, well log interpretation, seismic inversion, core analysis, and machine learning applications Tasks: o Interpreted a 3D seismic volume and well logs in the Eastern Shelf of the Permian Basin o Wrote a Python...

Jana Alabdullatif, M.S., 2023 (Supervisor)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Yuquian (Philomena) Gan, Ph.D., 2022 (Co-supervisor)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Jake Gearon, M.S., 2021 (Supervisor)

Logan West, Ph.D., 2020 (Co-supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

2024Spring GEO 660A Field Geology
2024Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2024Spring GEO 302J Crisis Of Our Planet
2023Spring GEO 660A Field Geology
2023Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2022Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2021Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks-Wb
2020Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2019Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2018Spring GEO 383U Dynamic Field Strtgrphy-Ut/Rou
2018Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2017Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2016Spring GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks
2015Fall GEO 193 Technical Sessions
2015Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2015Spring GEO 193 Technical Sessions
2014Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2014Fall GEO 193 Technical Sessions

Undergraduate Positions

UTIG Undergraduate Research Opportunities Fellowship in "Sediment Microplastics in Austin's Waterways" (Fall 2023 semester)
The UTIG Undergraduate Research Opportunities Fellowship in "Sediment Microplastics in Austin's Waterways" is open to third and fourth year JSG undergraduates for the fall, 2023 semester (September-December). Fellowship recipients will process sediment samples from Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake to extract microplastics (at the sedimentary lab at Pickle Research Campus) as part of a baseline study funded by UTIG and the City of Austin. The project includes optional opportunities for local field work, independent research projects, and publication. Get involved!

Fellows will receive a monthly stipend of $500/month. No experience necessary! To apply, email resume and brief statement of interest to Marcy Davis ( and Cornel Olariu ( Please include your major, year in school, and contact information in the body of the email.