Professor David MacDonald
Chair in Geology & Petroleum Geology
BSc, PhD, FGS, FRGS, CGeol.
Career summary: Grant income of £7.4M (majority from industry); 15 PhD students successfully defended, 6 current PhD students; 60 research publications and popular science articles.
1999-present: Professor of Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen; 2003-05: Course Director: MSc in Petroleum Geology; 2003-2005: Head of School of Geosciences 2005-2010. Research on reservoir sand quality and deltas (mainly Sakhalin and Russian Far East).
1993-1999: Director and Chief Geologist, Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme (an independent geological research group, c.30 staff, in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge); industry funded, >£1M p.a. Specialised in field geology of frontier areas: Arctic, Russia, China and South Atlantic.
l984-1993: Senior Sedimentologist & Leader, Fore-arc Basin Dynamics Project, British Antarctic Survey.
l982-1984: Sedimentologist, BP Petroleum Development Ltd, International Division. Took part in field work in Sabah and Irian Jaya.
l980-1982: Postdoctoral demonstrator in Department of Geology, University of Keele.
l977-1980: University of Cambridge, Darwin College: PhD The sedimentology, structure and palaeogeography of the Cumberland Bay Formation, South Georgia.
l975-1980: Contract Geologist, British Antarctic Survey.
l97l-1975: University of Glasgow: BSc with First Class Honours, Geology, July l975.
Petroleum geology; tectonics and sedimentology
I am working on the links between large-scale tectonics and sediment supply. I have a particular interest in deltas at continental margins and plate boundaries witrh current PhD studnets active in Nigeria (Niger-Benue system) and Californis (palaeo-delta of the Colorado River).
My main collaborations are with:
- With Ian Dalziel and Lawrence Lawver at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (part of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin) I have worked on continental reconstructions using the PLATES Project software.
- Rachel Flecker (BRIDGE group, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol) and I work together on the palaeo-Amur system as exposed on Sakhalin, Russian Far East. this research also includes collaboration with Dr Uisdean Nicholson of Shell.
- I continue to associate with my old colleagues at CASP in the University of Cambridge.
I teach at both BSc and Masters level:
- I am a member of the course team for our second year field class, centered on the Isle of Arran (GL2510: Introduction to field geology)
- I am course coordinator for a level 3 course for petroleum engineering studnets (GL3523: Petroleum geology & reservoir characterisation)
- I teach and coordinate a course for MSc students on the OGEM programme, showing how the energy industry works (GL5006: Overview of the energy industry)
- From September, I will be Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes in Petroleum Geology, responsible for both Integrated Petroleum Geoscience and Oil & Gas Enterprise Management
Member of the College Postgraduate Committee, University Redundancy Committee, and the University Honorary Degrees Committee
Contributions to Journals
- Nicholson, UA., VanLaningham, S. & Macdonald, D. (in press). 'Quaternary landscape evolution over a strike-slip plate boundary: drainage network response to incipient orogenesis in Sakhalin, Russian far east'. Geosphere.
[Online] DOI: 10.1130/GES00883.1
- McGregor, E., Nielsen, SB., Stephenson, R., Clausen, OR., Petersen, KD. & Macdonald, D. (2012). 'Evolution of the west-Greenland margin: onshore thermo-stratigraphic data and modelling'. Journal of the Geological Society, vol 169, pp. 515-530.
[Online] DOI: 10.1144/0016-76492011-139
- Limmer, DR., Henstock, TJ., Giosan, L., Ponton, C., Tabrez, AR., Macdonald, D. & Clift, PD. (2012). 'Impacts of sediment supply and local tectonics on clinoform distribution: the seismic stratigraphy of the mid Pleistocene-Holocene Indus Shelf'. Marine Geophysical Researches, vol 33, no. 3, pp. 251-267.
[Online] DOI: 10.1007/s11001-012-9160-6
- Macdonald, D. (in press). 'Source-to-sink study of the Neogene-Recent Amur River and its delta: implications of heavy mineral analysis from the North Sakhalin Basin'. Special Publications of the Geological Society of London.
- Paton, DA., MacDonald, DIM. & Underhill, JR. (2006). 'Applicability of thin or thick skinned structural models in a region of multiple inversion episodes; southern South Africa'. Journal of Structural Geology, vol 28, pp. 1933-1947.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/J.JSG.2006.07.002
- Paton, DA., Macdonald, D. & Underhill, JR. (2006). 'Applicability of thin or thick skinned structural models in a region of multiple inversion episodes: southern South Africa'. Journal of Structural Geology, vol 28, no. 11, pp. 1933-1947.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2006.07.002
- Weaver, R., Roberts, AP., Flecker, R. & MacDonald, DIM. (2004). 'Tertiary geodynamics of Sakhalin (NW Pacific) from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility fabrics and paleomagnetic data'. Tectonophysics, vol 379, no. 1, pp. 25-42.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2003.09.028
- Miller, S. & MacDonald, DIM. (2004). 'Metamorphic and thermal history of a fore-arc basin: the Fossil Bluff Group, Alexander Island, Antartica'. Journal of Petrology, vol 45, no. 7, pp. 1453-1465.
[Online] DOI: 10.1093/petrology/egh025
- O'Leary, N., White, N., Tull, S., Bashilov, V., Kuprin, V., Natapov, L. & MacDonald, DIM. (2004). 'Evolution of the Timan-Pechora and South Barents Sea basins'. Geological Magazine, vol 141, no. 02, pp. 141-160.
[Online] DOI: 10.1017/S0016756804008908
- Franzese, J., Spalletti, LA., Gomez-Perez, I. & MacDonald, DIM. (2003). 'Tectonic and palaeoenvironmental evolution of Mesozoic sedimentary basins along the Andean foothills of Argentina (32°-54°S)'. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, vol 16, no. 1, pp. 81-90.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/S0895-9811(03)00020-8
- MacDonald, DIM., Gomez-Perez, I., Franzese, J., Spalletti, LA., Lawver, LA., Gahagan, L., Dalziel, I., Thomas, CGC., Trewin, NH., Hole, MJ. & Paton, DA. (2003). 'Mesozoic break-up of SW Gondwana: implications for regional hydrocarbon potential of the southern South Atlantic'. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol 20, no. 3-4, pp. 287-308.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/S0264-8172(03)00045-X
- Weaver, R., Roberts, AP., Flecker, R., Macdonald, D. & Fot'yanova, LM. (2003). 'Geodynamic implications of paleomagnetic data from Tertiary sediments in Sakhalin, Russia (NW Pacific)'. Journal of Geophysical Research, vol 108 (B2), no. 2066.
[Online] DOI: 10.1029/2001JB001226
- Trewin, NH., MacDonald, DIM. & Thomas, CBC. (2002). 'Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Permian of the Falkland Islands: Lithostratigraphic and Palaeoenvironmental links with South Africa'. Journal of the Geological Society, vol 159, no. 1, pp. 5-19.
- Crosdale, PJ., Sorokin, AP., Woolfe, KJ. & MacDonald, DIM. (2002). 'Inertinite-rich Tertiary coals from the Zeya-Bureya Basin, Far Eastern Russia'. International Journal Of Coal Geology, vol 51, no. 4, pp. 215-235.
[Online] DOI: 10.1016/S0166-5162(02)00100-3
- Ehrenberg, SN., Pickard, NAH., Henriksen, LB., Svana, TA., Gutteridge, P. & MacDonald, DIM. (2001). 'A depositional and sequence stratigraphic model for cold-water, spiculitic strata based on the Kapp Starostin Formation (Permian) of Spitsbergen and equivalent deposits from the Barents Sea'. AAPG Bulletin, vol 85, pp. 2061-2087.