Ronald J Steel

Ronald J Steel
Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Ron Steel is Professor and Davis Centennial Chair at UT Austin (Emeritus from Sept 1, 2020). He was also 6th-Centuary Professor (part-time) at Aberdeen University (2006-14) Honorary Professorial Fellow (2016-17) and Honorary Professor (2018-2020) at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. He was Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences in the Jackson School at UT Austin, August 2011-2015, previously Chief Geologist for Norsk Hydro (1983-1990), Professor of Reservoir Geology at the University of Bergen (1990-1995), and Wold Professor of Energy at the University of Wyoming (1995-2003). He was awarded 6th Century Chair in Sedimentary Geology (part-time) at the University of Aberdeen, UK (2006), on the occasion of the University’s 600th anniversary. He has some 260 published papers, edited 11 books, received 8 best paper or poster awards, and graduated about 200 MS and PhD students from the universities of Bergen, Wyoming and UT Austin. He has held Distinguished and Endowed Lectureships for AAPG, Japan Society for Promotion of Science, and University of Texas at Austin. He was invited to deliver the William Smith Annual Lecture at the Geological Society of London in 2014 and was awarded the Twenhofel Medal for research excellence by SEPM in 2016, their highest award. His current research interests, based on sedimentology and stratigraphy, are on the relationships between tectonics and sedimentation, the construction of shelves by deltas, the growth of continental-shelf margins and the mechanisms by which sand and mud are delivered across shelf-edge regions down into deep-water areas.

Areas of Expertise

KEY RESEARCH THEMES 2000-2021 The main focus of my research over the last 25 years or so, has been to gain an understanding of the time scales, sediment delivery mechanisms, sediment budget partitioning and growth styles of shelves and shelf margins of deepwater basins. In addition, my interests in Sedimentation and Tectonics continue, with several students completing research on long Late Cretaceous transects from the Sevier fold-and ¬Ėthrust belt out into the Foreland Basin for 100s of km. I am also strongly engaged in understanding relationships between sea-level change and tides, and in particular in developing models of tidal dunes and bars on deltas, estuaries and shelves. Recent research locations have been Washakie Basin (Wy), Cretaceous WIS (Wy, Co and Utah), paleo-Gulf of California, Orinoco Delta and Margin (Trinidad and Venezuela), Upper Paleozoic of Arabian Plate, Jurassic Margin development (Neuquen, Argentina), Oriente Basin (Ecuador), South China Sea basins, lacustrine Junggar Basin (NW China).

Research Locations

Best Paper in Basin Research for 2019 - EAGE (2020)

Cam’ Sproule Award for Best Paper (w/student Jinyu Zhang) - American Assoc. Petrol. Geologists (2017)

Twenhofel Medal for Excellence in Research - SEPM (2016)

Honorary Professorial Fellow - Lyell Center for Earth and Marine Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, UK. (2016)

Delivered the William Smith Lecture - Geological Society (London) (2014)

Van Tuyl Distinguished Lectureship - Colorado School of Mines (2014)

Distinguished Educator Award - American Assoc. Petrol. Geologists (2011)

Distinguished Educator Award, American Assoc. Petrol. Geologists, 2011 - AAPG (2011)

Distinguished Teaching Award, Jackson School, University of Texas, 2010 - UT Austin (2010)

SEPM Best Paper (Honorable Mention), Gerber et al. 2009 - SEPM (2009)

Walter Excellence Award, Jackson School, University of Texas at Austin 2009 - Jackson School. UT Austin (2009)

SEPM Best Paper (Honorable Mention) award 2007 and AAPG Best Paper (2nd Place), 2008 - AAPG & SEPM (2007 - 2008)

Awarded 6th Century Chair - University of Aberdeen, UK (2006)

Distinguished Lecturer - AAPG (2004 - 2005)

Distinguished Lecturer - Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (2002)

Excellence of Poster Award - SEPM (2001)

Outstanding Research Award - University of Wyoming (2000)

Best Lecturer, 2nd Place - SEPM, Rocky Mountain Section (1999)

Best Paper Award - Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver (1999)

Dr Steel currently supervises or co-supervises 8 graduate students working within RioMAR (shelf and shelf-margin depositional systems and architecture) IA Program, BITE (Bars in Tidal Environments) IA Program, Campanian Dynamic Stratigraphy (& impact of Laramide tectonics) Project in US Western Interior, as well as newer projects on peri-Tethyan, Miocene Lake Basins (Romania and Black Sea), Deepwater Channel-to-Lobe Transitions (Argentina) and large paleo-Deltas (Orinoco, Colorado).


Anjali Fernandes, Denison University

Graduate Students

Fritz Palacios (Supervisor)

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

Sarp Karakaya (Committee Member)
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...

Yuquian (Philomena) Gan, Ph.D., 2022 (Supervisor)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Matthew Nix, M.S., 2022 (Committee Member)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Junwen Peng, Ph.D., 2021 (Committee Member)

Jake Gearon, M.S., 2021 (Supervisor)
Department of Geosciences

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

Keri Belcher, M.S., 2019 (Co-supervisor)

Lily Jackson, Ph.D., 2019 (Committee Member)

Rene Winter, Ph.D., 2018 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Reynaldy Fifariz, Ph.D., 2018 (Committee Member)

Woong Mo Koo, Ph.D., 2018 (Co-supervisor)

Yaser Alzayer, Ph.D., 2018 (Committee Member)

German Merletti, Ph.D., 2017 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Rattanaporn Fong-Ngern, Ph.D., 2016 (Supervisor)

Valentina Rossi, Ph.D., 2016 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Kelsi Ustipak, M.S., 2015 (Committee Member)

Julio Leva Lopez, Ph.D., 2014 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Eugen Tudor, M.S., 2014 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Alvarez Tricia, Ph.D., 2014 (Committee Member)

Michael Cloos, M.S., 2014 (Co-supervisor)

Joshua Dixon, Ph.D., 2013 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Allison Ned, M.S., 2013 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Nataleigh Vann, M.S., 2013 (Supervisor)
University of Texas at Austin

Carla Sanchez, Ph.D., 2011 (Supervisor)
Controls on Sedimentary Processes and 3D Stratigraphic Architecture of a Mid-Miocene to Recent, MIxed Carbonate-siliciclastic Continental Margin: Northwest Shelf of Australia

Georgia Huggins, M.A., 2007 (Supervisor)

Sarah Milewski, M.S., 2007 (Supervisor)

Rikke Bruhn, Ph.D., 2003 (Supervisor)
KÝbenhavns Universitet / University of Copenhagen

Anton Wroblewski, Ph.D., 2002 (Supervisor)
University of Wyoming

Manasij Santra (Supervisor)

Daniel Pinkston (Supervisor)

Chris Armstrong (Supervisor)

Ozge Karaman (Supervisor)

Bryn Clark (Supervisor)

Victor Pusca (Supervisor)

Maija Schellpeper (Supervisor)

Ariana Osman, M.S. (Supervisor)

Cristian Carvahal (Supervisor)

Andrew Petter, Ph.D. (Supervisor)

Stuart Blackwood (Supervisor)

Carlos Uroza (Supervisor)

Jennifer Aschoff, Ph.D. (Supervisor)

Carolina Gomez (Supervisor)

2019Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2018Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2018Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2018Spring GEO 383U Dynamic Field Strtgrphy-Ut/Rou
2017Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2016Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2016Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems
2015Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2015Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems
2015Spring GEO 330K Energy Exploration
2014Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems
2014Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2014Summer GEO f660A Field Geo-Tx/Nm/Co/Wy/Mt/Id/Ut
2014Summer GEO f320L Introductory Field Geology
2014Spring GEO 291 Dynamic Field Stratig: Andes
2014Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems