School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Student Profiles

Jack Walker
Jack Walker

  • PhD student
  • Email:
  • Address: School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Room 2.01 Drummond Building, Newcastle University NE1 7RU

Project title

The Geochemistry of Carboniferous Maximum Flooding Surfaces

Project description

Modern shale gas exploitation is achieved with reliable well correlation and accurate palaeoenvironmental analyses. However, unexplored basins with apparent lithological homogeneity - typical of shale gas wells – come with geological uncertainty. To petroleum companies, this warns increased financial and environmental risk.

Geochemistry and sub-disciplines such as chemostratigraphy, biogeochemistry and mineralogy are successfully integrated in this study to correlate key stratigraphic layers in Carboniferous source rocks. This project introduces organic and inorganic geochemistry to the development of Carboniferous biostratigraphic well correlation, using the Bowland Basin shale gas target as a case study.

This study proves how complex but underrated skills such as Geochemistry have real-world benefits. For example, we use analyses that can be used at well-site (e.g. X-ray Fluorescence and logging) and others that can be applied to enhance oil recovery in older fields (e.g. scanning electron microscopy and organic geochemistry).

This project works closely with oil and gas companies, the British Geological Survey (BGS) and myriad universities. I am in my fourth and final year, funded by the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) Oil and Gas and the BGS.



Petroleum geoscience, geochemistry, fieldwork, integrated geoscience and applied STEM subjects.


  • MeSci (Hons) Geology (University of Liverpool, UK, 2011 - 2015)