Board of directors

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm holds a BSc in geology from Aberystwyth and a PhD from Bristol.  Prior to retiring from industry in early 2021, he had a 48-year career as an explorationist and senior executive in a range of oil and gas exploration companies, working in most parts of the World. During the past 30 years he acted as CEO or Chairman of various small to medium-sized oil companies in North America and the UK and also spent time as a senior investment banking advisor.  In 1994, he was founding Chair of the UK Onshore Geophysical Library (UKOGL), a position he still holds, and he has played a major role in the growth and success of this organization. Since joining the oil industry, he has published on Buchan Field, Gulf of Suez geology and a number of papers on the subsurface geology of the Weald Basin, Wessex Basin and the Midlands Microcraton. He was awarded the Aberconway Medal of the Geological Society in 1994 and was appointed OBE in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to education, research and development with UKOGL.

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Joe Cartwright

Joe Cartwright is a Professor of Earth Sciences and head of the Geoscience Lab at the University of Oxford. His research interests are in understanding process linkages between depositional, diagenetic and deformational processes in sedimentary basins. Joe has primarily used seismic data for this purpose, and has built laboratories at Imperial College, London and Cardiff prior to coming to Oxford. Joe is particularly interested in developing quantitative methods in 3D seismic interpretation to gain a better understanding of basin shaping and filling processes. Current projects include: the development of natural fractures in mudrocks, hydrocarbon migration and leakage, geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, the propagation of tectonic faults, the genesis of polygonal fault systems, the mechanics of sandstone and igneous intrusions, the genesis of giant submarine landslides, mechanisms and controls on highly focused fluid venting, the seismic characterisation of mudrocks as seals, and the seismic analysis of diagenetic reactions.

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Chris Pullan

Following graduation with a geology degree from Imperial College, Chris Pullan pursued a hugely rewarding and enjoyable career as a petroleum geologist in the oil industry. He worked for a number of British and US Independent oil companies, successfully exploring for oil and gas in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Far East.  Particular interests have been the geology of Africa, the UK Onshore and Central Europe. He has held a variety of senior managerial and board positions but his main focus and enjoyment has always been on the technical aspects of the job. He is a fellow of the Geological Society. He has been on the board of UKOGL since 2013.


Chris Kirkham

Chris Kirkham is a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Oxford Geoscience Lab. Chris is an expert in the recognition and interpretation of pressure dynamics within sedimentary basins and in the analysis of fluid flow and mobile media such as mud and salt. Prior to joining the University of Oxford in 2016, Chris undertook a PhD in Cardiff University and produced a thesis entitled ‘A 3D seismic interpretation of mud volcanoes within the western slope of the Nile Cone’. Current interests and active research is in hydrocarbon migration through the subsurface and salt tectonics in seismic reflection data.

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Bruce Levell

Bruce completed a D. Phil at the University of Oxford in 1978 on the sedimentology of Precambrian clastic sediments in Northern Norway. He then joined Royal Dutch Shell, working for them until 2013 when he became a Visiting Professor at Oxford. With Shell he worked as an explorer in Sarawak, Sabah, USA, UK and Oman, and as a researcher on basin modelling seismic stratigraphy and regional geology. He was variously Exploration Manager in Petroleum development Oman VP of New Ventures in Shell Global Exploration, VP Emerging Technologies in Shell Research and Shell Group Chief Scientist for Geology.  He was awarded the Silver Medal of the Petroleum Group, Geological Society of London in 2009. His current research centres on the preservation potential of sedimentary sequences, using a variety of examples, many of which happen to be Neoproterozoic, but also includes linking the offshore seismic to outcrop geology in Northern Oman in order to understand the northern portions of the Oman continental margin.

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Mike Daly

Mike Daly is a geoscientist who has followed a career as an oil explorer, executive and academic. He started working life as a regional geologist in the Geological Survey of Zambia, mapping the remote Muchinga Mountains, and subsequently completing a PhD at Leeds University’s Institute for African geology. He then followed a career with BP in geoscience and exploration and, after a period at Harvard Business School, became BP’s Executive Vice President for Exploration, retiring in 2014. He is now a Visiting Professor at Oxford University with research interests in continental tectonics, continental basins and resource systems. He works mostly in Africa, Latin America and the UK. He also serves as a Board Director of Tullow Oil, the UK’s largest independent oil company, and CGG a French geoscience technology company.

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Martino Foschi

Martino Foschi completed a BS in Geological Sciences and a MS in Exploration and Applied Geophysics from Università of Pisa. After the completion of his Ph.D. in Petroleum Geology at Cardiff University he was appointed as Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) at the University of Oxford. His research is focussed on fluid migration and hydrocarbon plumbing systems in sedimentary basins. He is the manager of the 3D Lab and supervisor of PhD, master and graduate students.

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