School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Sanem Acikalin Cartigny

Lecturer in Geology



I obtained my BSc degree in Geological Engineering from Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey) in 2003. This was followed by MSc and PhD studies in Osmangazi University (Eskisehir, Turkey), focusing on the evolution of sedimentary basins and their infills. These studies mainly focused on Neogene terrestrial infill of graben systems in western Anatolia (MSc) and Late Cretaceous deep-marine sediments of NW Turkey (PhD). The latter has also incorporated the control of sea-level fluctuations and palaeoceanography conditions on sedimentation. 

In 2012, I have moved to Lincoln, UK to join an oil and gas consultancy company (Badley Ashton), where my work has focused on evolution of pore systems in clastic petroleum reservoirs. Here, my main research interest diverted to post depositional evolution of pore systems of clastic reservoirs with an emphasis on authigenic clay formation

Current PhD students

  • Alison Hendry - Interaction between solid, liquid and biological components of the natural porous media
  • supervised by; Dr. Sanem Acikalin, Dr. Cees van der Land, Dr. Sven Lahme and Prof. Ian Head (Newcasle Uni

  • Claire McGhee - How depositional properties dictate the early diagenetic pathways and reservoir quality of sandstones?
  • supervised by; Dr. Sanem Acikalin (NCL), Prof. Richard Worden (Liverpool Uni) and Dr. Cees van der Land (NCL)

  • Stephen Gundu - The impact of hydrocarbon emplacement on carbonate diagenesis
  • supervised by; Dr. Cees van der Land, Dr. Sanem Acikalin (Newcastle Uni)

  • Dimitrios Charlaftis - Assessing HPHT sandstone reservoir quality: identifying the reality
  • supervised by; Dr. Stuart Jones (Durham Uni), Dr. Philip Dyer (Durham Uni), Dr. Pablo Cubillas (Durham Uni), Dr. Sanem Acikalin (Newcastle Uni), Dr. Mark Osborne (BP)

  • Bello Abdulwahab - Evaluationg Reservoir Quality of Turbidite Channels
  • supervised by; Dr. Stuart Jones (Durham Uni), Jon Gluyas (Durham Uni), Sanem Acikalin (Newcastle Uni)


International Association of Sedimentologist – IAS

American Association of Petroleum Geologist – AAPG

Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain - PESGB

Chamber of Geological Engineers of Turkey  – TJK


As a geologist, I am interested in the various aspects and the evolution of clastic sedimentary systems - including their depositional processes, interaction with the depositional environment and ecology as well as the post depositional diagenetic alterations. Following bullet points summarise the ongoing and current research interests.

Sedimentary structures, like bedforms, are key palaeo-environmental indicators, therefore recognition of these bedforms from sedimentary cores taken from hydrocarbon wells yield important information about the structure of the reservoirs.

  • Recently, I have worked on recognising supercritical-flow bedforms in sediment cores. My research focusses on the question whether texture is the key for the recognition?  

Clays (both detrital and authigenic) often form a dominant control on the quality of hydrocarbon reservoirs (on porosity and permeability).

  • My recent work has focussed on; What are the key parameters for early diagenetic chlorite formation in siliciclastic hydrocarbon reservoirs?  This is important to understand as early chlorite often preserves pore space and hence the storage capacity of the reservoir.
As clay minerals can be formed and transformed in soil profiles, they are expected to reflect the environment conditions (such as humidity) to a certain level. However, it is not clear that how quickly they can respond to drastic environmental changes
  • Recently I am working on a case study investigating the changes in weathering conditions following the end-Cretaceous mass extinction which was caused by a massive meteorite impact.

Previously Involved Research Projects

2009-2011: Palaeoclimatic investigation of Sunnet Lake lacustrine archives in NW Anatolia with sedimentological, geochemical and palaeoecological tools. – Funded by Scientific Research Council - Eskisehir Osmangazi University

2007-2009: Investigation of Cretaceous – Tertiary succession at Central Sakarya Region in terms of source area and palaeoclimatology - Funded by Scientific Research Council - Eskisehir Osmangazi University

2007-2010: Desertification, mitigation and remediation of land – DESIRE / EU- FP6

2005-2007: Sequence stratigraphy of the Late Cretaceous – Palaeogene deposits at the Central Sakarya region (NW Anatolia) – Funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)

2004-2006: Stratigraphic, sedimentologic and tectonic evolution of the Karacasu and Bozdogan Cross Grabens (West Anatolia) - Funded by Scientific Research Council - Eskisehir Osmangazi University


Undergraduate Teaching

CEG1603 – Introduction to the Sedimentary Record

CEG2603 – Structural Geology (Module Leader)

CEG2608 – Geological Field Mapping

CEG0000 - Engineering Geology