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Dr. Christopher Nicholas

Assistant Professor (Geology)
MUSEUM BUILDING


  Geological evolution of the East African Rift System   Geological field surveying in frontier regions   Mesozoic to Recent stratigraphy of Tanzania   Petroleum exploration in East and Central Africa   Quaternary geology of Lake Edward, Uganda & DR Congo
 Sedimentary response to coupled East African climate change and active rifting in the Lake Edward basin, Albertine Rift, Uganda
 Selous Basin Project
 Geological evolution of the southern Tanzanian continental margin
 Stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Ara Group in outcrop and its implications for play development in the South Oman Salt Basin
 Structural evolution and petroleum geology of the Mandawa Basin, southern coastal Tanzania

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Details Date
Former Chief Geologist for Dominion Petroleum Ltd., now acting as Geological Advisor
Details Date From Date To
Member of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland 2011 2015
Member of the Science & Technology Committee, Royal Dublin Society 2009 onwards
Member of the Royal Dublin Society
Member of the Geological Society of Africa
Pearson, P. N., and Nicholas, C. J. , Layering in the Paleocene/Eocene boundary of the Millville core is drilling disturbance, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences., www.pnas.org/cgi/doi, 2014, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Hudson, W. E. and Nicholas, C. J. , The Pindiro Group (Triassic to Early Jurassic Mandawa basin, southern coastal Tanzania): Definition, Palaeoenvironment, and stratigraphy, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 92, 2014, p55 - 67, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Nicholas, C. J, Geology and stratigraphy of the south-eastern Lake Edward basin (Petroleum Exploration Area 4B), Albertine Rift Valley, Uganda, Journal of Maps, 2014, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Nicholas, C. J. and Gold, S. E. P., Ediacaran - Cambrian Sirab Formation of the Al Huqf region, Sultanate of Oman, GeoArabia, 17, (1), 2012, p49 - 98, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Hellawell, J & Nicholas, C. J., Acid Treatment effects on the stable isotopic signature of fossils, Palaeontology, 55, (1), 2012, p1 - 10, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Luke Handley, Aoife O'Halloran, Paul N. Pearson, Elizabeth Hawkins, Christopher J. Nicholas, Stefan Schouten, Ian K. McMillan, Richard D. Pancost, Changes in the hydrological cycle in tropical East Africa during the Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximum, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 329-330, 2012, p10-21 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Nicholas, C. J., Abeinomugisha, D. & Newth, I. R., Petroleum Exploration in the Lake Edward - Lake George basins, Albertine Graben, Uganda, EAPC 2009 Conference Papers, East African Petroleum Conference 2009, Mombasa, Kenya, edited by East African Community Secretariat , East African Community Secretariat, 2009, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Bown, P. R., Dunkley Jones, T., Lees, J. A., Pearson, P. N., Randell, R., Coxall, H. K., Mizzi, J., Nicholas, C. J., Karega, A., Singano, J. M., Wade, B. S., A Paleogene calcareous microfossil Konservat-Lagerstatte from Kilwa Group of coastal Tanzania, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 120, 2008, p3 - 12, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Nicholas, C. J., Pearson, P. N., Ditchfield, P. W., Singano, J. M. , Structural evolution of southern coastal Tanzania since the Jurassic, Journal of African Earth Sciences, 48, 2007, p273 - 297, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Pearson, P. N., van Dongen, B. E., Nicholas, C. J., Pancost, R. D., Schouten, S., Singano, J. M., Wade, B. S., Stable warm tropical climate through the Eocene epoch, Geology, 35, (3), 2007, p211 - 214, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
  

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It is now widely recognised that the last of the World's large, 'easy' to produce oil discoveries have been made, yet the global demand for petroleum continues to increase. Consequently, there is now intense economic pressure from Governments to explore for hydrocarbons in more and more inaccessible terrestrial and marine regions of the globe. Success in this exploration is vital in order to prolong the planet's last oil and gas reserves and so ease the political and social transfer to renewable energy resources during the next fifty years. My research over the last ten years has gradually become concentrated on applying a multi-disciplinary geological approach to finding petroleum in developing regions which were previously thought to be uneconomic. A particular focus of study has become East Africa, which has the potential to yield large hydrocarbon reserves to developing countries desperate for their own energy sources. I have established a 'Tropical Geology & Exploration Group' in the Department of Geology at TCD, comprising a core of four PhD students and a Post-Doctoral Researcher. Their research is aimed at investigating the role of regional tectonics coupled with global climate change and how the interplay between them has controlled sedimentary basin fill architecture. Current projects are aimed at resolving Neogene to Recent structure and sedimentology on both western and eastern branches of the East African Rift System, modern inversion and contourites in deep offshore Tanzania, Karoo to Mesozoic rifting on the Tanzanian coast and tracking down outcrop equivalents of the subsurface Precambrian - Cambrian Ara reservoir carbonates in Oman. The group's primary approach is the application of field geology, supported by a variety of geochemical and geophysical techniques, to strip an area down into its component geological 'nuts and bolts' and through detailed field observation, data collection and laboratory analyses, piece it back together to build a comprehensive geological history. This work has a dual role to both Academia and the Petroleum Industry. We are currently operating in Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sultanate of Oman and Java with support from Dominion Petroleum Ltd., Soco International Ltd., Petroleum Development Oman (Shell), the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department of the Ministry of Energy, Uganda and the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation.