Research Staff

Dr. Michael R. Hudec
Telephone: 512-471-1428

Mike Hudec is a Senior Research Scientist at the BEG and directs AGL. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1990, and spent the next eight years at Exxon Production Research, where he specialized in salt tectonics, extensional tectonics, and seismic interpretation. His current research interests include palinspastic restoration of salt structures, deepwater structural styles, and 3D visualization.

Professional Summary

Dr. Tim Dooley
Telephone: 512-471-8261

Tim Dooley received his BSc from the Trinity College University of Dublin, Ireland, in 1988 and his PhD from the University of London, UK, in 1994. His specialty is physical modeling of a wide variety of tectonic processes. Tim joined the BEG in 2003 to run and manage the modeling facilities and was promoted to Research Scientist in 2005, and to Senior Research Scientist in 2018.

Professional Summary

Dr. Maria Nikolinakou
Telephone: 512-475-9548

Maria is a Civil/Geotechnical Engineer. She earned her ScD from MIT in 2008, her MSc from MIT and her Diploma from NTUA, Greece. She specializes in theoretical soil mechanics and the constitutive modeling of earth materials. She is interested in understanding the stress state within and around salt bodies. Before joining the Bureau, Maria worked as a postdoc for Shell in the Depleted Drilling Group.

Professional Summary

Dr. Oliver Duffy
Telephone: 512-471-0328

Oliver earned a BSc in Geology (2007) and a PhD in Basin Analysis (2012) at the University of Manchester. This was followed by over two years as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the Basins Research Group at Imperial College London. His research centres on using seismic interpretation methods to understand: i) salt tectonic processes; ii)  the structural styles and modes of tectono-stratigraphic evolution in rift basins, and; iii) the geometry and evolution of fault networks.

Professional Summary

Dr. Mahdi Heidari
Telephone: 512-471-1382

Mahdi earned his PhD in Civil-Geotechnical Engineering from UT at Austin in 2013 and his MSc degrees from SUT and UT, Iran. He specializes in reservoir geomechanics, finite element modeling, and mathematical modeling of geomaterials behavior. His current research focuses on the estimation of the stress and pore pressure fields around salt bodies.

Professional Summary

Dr. Naiara Fernandez
Telephone: 512-232-2336

Naiara holds a BSc in Geology from the University of the Basque Country, an MSc from the University of Barcelona and a PhD from the University of Mainz. Before her PhD, she spent four years working at the Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera (Barcelona) involved in industry funded research projects in the Zagros and La Popa Basin. During her PhD, finished in October 2014, she used numerical modelling to study the dynamics of multilayer detachment folding and diapirism.

Professional Summary

Dr. Frank Peel
Telephone: 512-471-1609

Frank is a Senior Research Fellow at the BEG. He holds a MA from the University of Cambridge UK, MSc from Imperial College London, and PhD from The University of Oxford, and holds an honorary professorship at Imperial College London. He worked over 30 years in the oil and gas industry; his roles included Structural Geologist at BP and Chief Geologist at BHP Billiton Petroleum. He is interested in all aspects of salt tectonics and structure, and his current interests at AGL include the deposition of giant salt bodies and the interaction between salt and stratigraphy. Outside AGL he studies the science of prospect risk and fluid flow in low-permeability sediments, and is co-director of Appeel Geosciences Ltd.

Dr. Gillian Apps
Telephone: +44 7879 486649

Gillian is a Research Fellow at the BEG. She holds an MA in Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences) from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Liverpool, where she studied with Professor Trevor Elliott. During 33 years in the oil and gas industry, she worked for Shell, BP and BHPB, and her career spanned basin analysis through exploration to production geophysics. She is a clastic sedimentologist and stratigrapher, with expertise in deepwater reservoirs, salt-sediment interactions, and deepwater fold and thrust belts. Her current research interests focus on deepwater turbidite stratigraphy and reservoir variability in structurally active basins.  Outside her work with AGL, Gillian is co-director of Appeel Geosciences Ltd, and she teaches field classes in Haute Provence, France.

Juan I. Soto received his BSc from the Granada University, Spain, in 1986 and his PhD from the Granada University, Spain, in 1991. Since 1989 he taught different undergraduated and master courses in this university, achieving in 2008 a Full Professor position in Structural Geology and Tectonics. He specializes in structural geology, seismic interpretation, salt and shale tectonic processes, both in orogenic settings and continental margins.

Support Staff

Nancy Cottington
Telephone: 512-471-4335

Areas of Expertise:

  • Program Coordinator
  • Graphics
  • Animations


Dr. Jacob Covault
Telephone: 512-475-9506

The University of Texas at Austin, Sedimentology and stratigraphy of deepwater depositional systems, source-to-sink sediment dispersal

Dr. Peter Flemings
Telephone: 512-475-9520

The University of Texas at Austin, Movement of crustal fluids

Chris Jackson
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7594 7450

Imperial College, London, Basin analysis, structural geology, stratigraphy

Dr. Wonsuck Kim
Telephone: 512-471-4203

The University of Texas at Austin, Stratigraphic response to sediment-transport processes

Dr. David Mohrig
Telephone: 512-471-2282

The University of Texas at Austin, Application of sedimentary deposits and transport processes to landscape evolution

Dr. Karl Mueller
Telephone: 303-492-7336

The University of Colorado, Boulder, Analysis of actively deforming structures and seismicity in compressive mountain belts

Dr. John Snedden
Telephone: 512-471-0452

The University of Texas at Austin, Sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, reservoir development and connectivity, source to sink processes

Dr. Jaume Verges
Telephone: +34934095410

Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Barcelona, Structural geology and tectonics, structure and dynamics of the earth