Dr. Kitty L. Milliken

Research Interests

Dr. Kitty Milliken’s research focuses on the chemical and mechanical processes that impact rock property evolution in the subsurface. Her work has examined the genesis of sandstone, limestone, dolomite, chert, and serpentinite, but for the last decade shales (mudstones, mudrocks) have been the primary focus. In addition to diagenesis she takes a keen interest in the microscale biologic components of sedimentary rocks. Her publications include digital educational atlases for the petrography of sandstone, limestone, and modern muds.

• Combining petrographic and geochemical methods to decipher histories of chemical modification in sedimentary rocks.
• Petrographic methods: conventional light microscopy; statistical analysis of detrital and authigenic components, especially in sandstones; electron microbeam imaging techniques.
• Geochemical methods: electron microprobe analysis; stable isotopes.


B.A. Geology, Vanderbilt University, 1975
M.A. Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1977
Ph.D. Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1985

Professional History

Present Position: Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology (May 2008–Present). Various shale projects.
Senior Research Scientist, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2004–May 2008). Microbeam and XRD facilities.
Research Scientist, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin (1999–2004). Microbeam and XRD facilities.
Research Associate, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin (1997–1999). Microbeam and XRD facilities.
Visiting Researcher, Institut Français du Pétrole (1996–1997).
Research Scientist Associate, Department of Geological Sciences (1987 - 1997).
Lecturer, Department of Geological Sciences 1991–1995, 1998–present.
Research Geologist, Exxon Production Research Company (1985–1986).
Research Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (1979–1980).
Teaching Assistant, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin (1975–1979). Also in 1981.
Research Assistant, Geology Department, Vanderbilt University (1971–1975).

Professional Societies

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Geological Society of America
SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)

Awards and Honor Societies

Bronze Award for "Teaching with Technology," IITAP Program, The University of Texas at Austin, 2008

Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2008

AAPG J. Ben Carsey Distinguished Lecturer, 2005–2006

Bronze Award for "Teaching with Technology," IITAP Program, The University of Texas at Austin, 2003

SEPM Excellence in Poster Presentation Award (with co-authors), 2001

Industry-Supported Fellowship, The University of Texas at Austin, 1982–1983

Petrography Award, The University of Texas at Austin, 1982

Second Place, GSA South-Central Section Annual Meeting, Best Presentation, 1977

Scholarships, Vanderbilt University, 1971–1975

Fellowship, National Association of Geology Teachers, 1974

Selected Publications

Pommer, M., and Milliken, K. L., 2015, Pore types and pore-size distributions across thermal maturity, Eagle Ford Formation, southern Texas: AAPG Bulletin, v. 99, p. 1713-1744.

Milliken, K. L., 2014, A compositional classification for grain assemblages in fine-grained sediments and sedimentary rocks: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 84, p. 1185-1199.

Milliken, K. L., Ko, L., Pommer, M., and Marsaglia, K.M., 2014, SEM petrography of eastern Mediterranean sapropels: Analogue data for assessing organic matter in oil and gas shales: Journal of Sedimentary Research: v. 84, p. 961-974.

Milliken, K. L., 2013, SEM-based cathodoluminescence imaging for discriminating quartz types in mudrocks: Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Denver, Colorado, URTeC 1582467, 10 p.

Steel, R. J., and Milliken, K. L., 2013, Major advances in siliciclastic sedimentary geology, 1960-2012, in Bickford, M. E. (ed.), The Web of Geological Sciences: Advances, Impacts, and Interactions: Geological Society of America Special Paper 500, p. 121-167.

Milliken, K. L. and R. J. Day-Stirrat, 2013, Cementation in mudrocks: Brief review with examples from cratonic basin mudrocks: Chapter 8 in Chatellier, J.-Y.and D. Jarvie (eds.), Critical Assessment of Shale Resource Plays, AAPG Memoir 103, p. 133-150.

Milliken, K. L., Rudnicki, M., Awwiller, D.N., Zhang, T., 2013, Organic-matter-hosted pore system, Marcellus Formation (Devonian), Pennsylvania: AAPG Bulletin, v. 97, p. 177-200.

Ji, Liming, Zhang, T., Milliken, K. L., Qu, J.L., and Zhang, X.L. 2012, Experimental investigation of main controls to methane adsorption in clay-rich rocks: Applied Geochemistry, v. 27, p. 2533-2545.

Milliken, K. L., W. L. Esch, R. M. Reed, and T. Zhang, 2012, Grain assemblages and strong diagenetic overprinting in siliceous mudrocks, Barnett Shale (Mississippian), Fort Worth Basin, Texas: AAPG Bulletin, v. 96, p. 1553-1578.

Milliken, K. L., Papazis, P. K., Dohse, C., and Day-Stirrat, R. J., 2012, Carbonate Lithologies of the Mississippian Barnett Shale, Fort Worth Basin, Texas: in Breyer, J. A. (ed.), Shale Reservoirs—Giant Resources for the 21st Century, AAPG Memoir 97, 290-321.

Mackey, G. N., Horton, B. K., Milliken, K. L., 2012, Provenance of Paleocene-Eocene Wilcox Group western Gulf of Mexico basin: Evidence for integrated drainage of the southern Laramide Rocky Mountains and Cordilleran arc: Geological Society of  America Bulletin, v. 124, p. 1007-1024.

Özkan, A., Cumella, S. P., Milliken, K. L, and Laubach, S. E., 2011, Prediction of lithofacies and reservoir quality using well logs, Williams Fork Formation, Mamm Creek Field, Piceance Basin: AAPG Bulletin, v. 95, p. 1699-1723.

Lu, J., Milliken, K.L., Reed, R. M., and Hovorka, S., 2011, Diagenesis and sealing capacity of the Middle Tuscaloosa mudstone at the Cranfield CO2 injection site, Mississippi, USA: AAPG Environmental Geosciences, v. 18, p. 35-53.

Milliken, K. L. and Reed, R. M., 2010, Multiple causes of diagenetic fabric anisotropy in weakly consolidated mud, Nankai Accretionary Prism, IODP Expedition 316: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, p. 1887-1898. 10.1016/j.jsg.2010.03.008.

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