Dr. Robert M. Reed

Robert Reed
Research Scientist Associate V

I have always been interested in the small details without which there would be no “big picture.” My research is focused on the microstructures of rocks including pores, microfractures, cements and other diagenetic features. In pursuit of this, I am making extensive use of both the scanning electron microscope and the light microscope. Imaging techniques include cathodoluminescence, energy dispersive spectroscopic element mapping and secondary and backscattered electron imaging. Collaboration with colleagues emphasizes attempts to scale up my observations to larger areas; for example, attempting to correlate pore system studies with chemo- and lithostratigraphy. Much of my current research effort involves studies of mudrocks (shales) from a variety of locales. However, special interest is given to studies from within the state of Texas.

Research Interests

Microstructural analysis of sedimentary and volcanic rocks

Diagenesis of sandstones and shales

Microscopic reservoir properties of rocks

Cathodoluminescence of geological materials


B.S Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, December 1985

M.S. Geology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, February 1993

Ph.D. Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, August 1999

Selected Publications

Ramiro-Ramirez, S., Bhandari, A. R., Reed, R. M., and Flemings, P. B., 2024, Permeability of upper Wolfcamp lithofacies in the Delaware Basin: the role of stratigraphic heterogeneity in the production of unconventional reservoirs: AAPG Bulletin, v. 108, no. 2, p. 293–326, http://doi.org/10.1306/12202222033.

Loucks, R. G., and Reed, R. M., 2023, Volcanic origin and significance of glauconite grains in the Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk Formation in the Balcones Igneous Province, South and Central Texas: GCAGS Journal, v. 12, p. 1–12, http://doi.org/10.62371/IIWU2066.

Reed, R. M., and Loucks, R. G., 2022, Textures, mineralogy, and reservoir properties of an altered mafic tuff core from the Upper Cretaceous (Lower Campanian) of Central Texas: GCAGS Journal, v. 11, 15 p.

Reed, R. M., Loucks, R. G., and Ko, L. T., 2020, Scanning electron microscope petrographic differentiation among different types of pores associated with organic matter in mudrocks: GCAGS Journal, v. 9, p. 17–27.


Energy Minerals Division Best Poster Award (with Robert Loucks) for poster titled: Imaging nanoscale pores in the Mississippian Barnett Shale of the northern Fort Worth Basin. Annual Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 2007.

Outstanding Student Research Award, Geological Society of America, 1994

Graduate Student Petrography Award, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 1992

National Merit Scholarship, The University of Texas at Austin, 1981

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