Research in OGL spans such topics as lipid biomarker identification, the organic molecular characterization of ancient bitumens and modern hydrothermal petroleum formed at mid-oceanic spreading centers, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, oil fingerprinting techniques, rates of biodegradation, and analytical techniques for assessing oil similarity for oil-oil and oil-source correlation.
TRANSFORMATION OF SEDIMENTARY MATTER INTO OIL AND GAS
We are interested in better understanding how sedimentary organic matter is transformed into petroleum-forming hydrocarbons in exotic petroleum systems such as deep-sea and hydrothermal vent systems.
We are developing the capability to detect intact polar lipids in marine sediments to study the deep biosphere. This research is being used to help de-risk offshore petroleum exploration by detecting the lipid signatures of hydrocarbon metabolizing microbes.
GEOCHEMISTRY OF THE JOGGINS FORMATION
We are investigating the molecular fossils (typically called biomarkers) locked within Carboniferous rocks collected from the famous Joggins fossil cliffs of Nova Scotia. We hope to better understand the source and mechanisms of organic matter preservation in these rocks.