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Recent and Current Graduate Students

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     Martial Morrison (M.Sc., 2017)

M.Sc thesis: Shallow Shear-Wave Seismic Analysis of Point Bar Deposits of False River, Louisiana

Abigail Maxwell (M.Sc., 2017) 

M.Sc thesis:
Microseismic Event Characteristics Associated With The Spatial And Temporal Stages of Hydraulic Fracture Growth in Laboratory Experiments

     Trudy Watkins (M.Sc., 2016)(for release in 2018)

M.Sc thesis: Source mechanism of single-well microseismic data using full-wavefield moment tensor inversion

      Derek Goff (M.Sc., 2016)

M.Sc thesis:  Resistivity and Shear Wave Velocity as a PredictiveTool of Sediment Type in Levee Foundation Soils, Louisiana Gulf Coast Levee System

Abah Omale (M.Sc., 2015)

M.Sc thesis:  Using Fault Kinematics to Evaluate the Relationship Between Cenozoic Fault Activity, Sedimentation Rates and Salt Movement in the Gulf of Mexico - A Comparison Between Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Louisiana

Ali Al Dhamen (M.Sc., 2014) Fault Kinematics Along the Coastal Plain of South Louisiana: Implications for Tectono-Climatic-Induced Deformation Along a Passive Continental Margin 

I graduated with a bachelor of science in Applied Geophysics from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia in 2010. I started in petroleum engineering but shifted my interest to geophysics at the end of my first year in college.

Currently, I am a graduate student with Dr Lorenzo. We are studying the evolution of faults in the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, South of the state of Louisiana. We use a compilation of Digital Elevation Maps (DEM LiDARS) and 2-D Seismic lines to assists us in our study. 
During my undergraduate years, I had the opportunity to work and internship with Saudi Aramco in summer 2009. After my graduation I joined Halliburton Energy Services for about 5 months and then decided to leave and joined LSU’s Geology and Geophysics on January 2012.

Jie Shen (Ph.D., 2015)

Ph.D. dissertation:  Seismic Velocity Characteristics of Partially Saturated Unconsolidated Sediments

I graduated with a bachelor of science in geology from China University of Geosciences (Beijing) in 2010. For my undergraduate thesis, I worked with Dr. Wenlong Ding to interpret and classify the inversion tectonics in Bongor Basin, Chad.

I started my interest in geophysics under the direction of Dr. Juan Lorenzo from 2011. We are working to improve the velocity-predictive model and to build a saturation-predictive model for unconsolidated sand. We also intend to test the models in a lab-scale sand tank by a vibration source and 48 accelerometers.

Chennu Fan (M.Sc. in P.E.,2014)
M.Sc. thesis: Analysis of Microseismic Events Associated with Hydraulic Fracture Propagation

I joined Dr. Lorenzo’s group in 2011 . I study the microseismic events associated with hydraulic fracture propagation from a theoretical model perspective. I am applying seismic  models to seismic data during the hydraulic fracture treatment.

I got a Bachelor degree of Science in geophysics at 2010 from University of Science and Technology of China, which has the top geophysics program in China.

James Crane (Ph.D., 2013)

Ph.D. dissertation: Effects of Stress and Water Saturation on Seismic Velocity and Attenuation in Near Surface Sediments

I received my BS and MS in Chemistry at Mississippi College.  After graduation, I worked in the oil field as a LWD (logging while drilling) field engineer for Pathfinder, a petroleum/drilling service company in Lafayette, LA.  After three years in the field, I decided that there were no good reasons why I shouldn’t be the one in the office telling people where to drill and went back to school to work on my PhD in Geophysics at LSU.  My dissertation work focuses on velocity and attenuation modeling of the near-surface.  Throughout the school years, classwork was balanced with weekend trips for seismic acquisition, conference presentations, and even the Imperial Barrel competition during the spring of 2011.  During the summers, I interned with different petroleum exploration companies.  I enjoyed my first summer as a PhD candidate with Southwestern Energy in Houston, doing regional mapping.  The next two summers, I interned with Chevron, with whom I have accepted a full time position.

Shannon Chollett (M.Sc., P.E., 2012) now at Newfield Exploration Company
M.Sc. thesis : An experimental and theoretical critique of flow model accuracy

I graduated with a bachelor of science in physics from Millsaps College in 2008. I became interested in geophysics late in my career at Millsaps while working with Dr. Jamie Harris and some of his students on several data acquisition and several instrument repair projects.

For my thesis, I  worked under Dr. Juan Lorenzo to develop a high frequency data acquisition system to measure the cone of depression induced by pumping within a slightly larger-than-lab scale environment. I interned with Devon Energy during the summer of 2009 as an exploration geoscientist. I learned the workflow involved in deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico including interperting well logs, tying those to seismic with synthetics seismograms, and then interpreting seismic surveys and creating structure maps. I joined Devon Energy once I completed my
graduate degree.

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Erin Elliott (M.Sc., 20011) now at the Bureau of Ocean Management and Regulation and Enforcement

M.Sc. thesis title:  Soft Sediment Relay Zones: A High Resolution Seismic Survey Livingston Parish, Louisiana

I received by Bachelors of Science Degree from Millsaps College, graduating with honors in May of 2008.  My chosen major was geology with a concentration in geophysics and a minor in physics.  I became interested in geology the first semester that I attended Millsaps through the introductory level class, and we have been inseparable ever since.  While at Millsaps, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jamie Harris on a shallow seismic reflection imaging project, which became my undergraduate honors thesis.  This solidified my love of geophysics, in particular seismology.

            In August 2008, I began graduate school at Louisiana State University working on a shallow seismic project in Livingston Parish, Louisiana under the direction of Dr. Juan Lorenzo.  We are working to create a model of fault propagation in soft sediment systems to better understand how fault systems interact. 

            During the summer of 2009, I was a geophysics intern for Newfield Exploration in Houston, TX.  The summer consisted of interpreting 3D seismic data and working with an intern geologist to produce a viable prospect.    

Jason Hicks (now at Microseismic, Inc.)

Research thesis topic : Investigation into the Cause of Earthen Embankment Instability Along the “V-line” Artificial Levee in Marrero, Louisiana, USA 

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Carrie Cazes  (M.Sc. for 2004), ConocoPhilips summer intern, Alaska, 2003, ExxonMobil 2004, Now at Hess Corporation.

M.Sc. thesis title: Overlap Zones, Growth Faults, and Sedimentation: Using High Resolution Gravity Data, Livingston Parish, LA

I received my master’s in geology from LSU in the Fall of 2004. I also received by BS in geology from LSU in 2001. I started my interest in geophysics by collecting and processing high-resolution seismic and gravity data sets in the sweltering heat of Louisiana summers.

I have had the opportunity to work three internships during my graduate studies:

GEOSCIENCE INTERN: BP, Houston, TX (Fall 2004) US Onshore Tuscoloosa Asset

GEOSCIENCE INTERN, ExxonMobil Development, West Africa Deepwater, Angola, Houston, TX (Summer 2004)

Interpreted various styles of deepwater channel complex sets on 3-D seismic to classify reservoirs on a regional scale. Generated regional environment of deposition (NTG) maps.

GEOPHYSICAL INTERN, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc., Anchorage, AK (Summer 2003)

Interpreted complex horizons on 3-D seismic in a large, submarine slope failure complex. Learned and utilized various seismic volumes: acoustic impedance, waveform classification, spectral decomposition, and seismic attributes.

Former Undergraduate Students

Mike Lorentz (BSc in Geology, LSU 2001)

While an undergraduate student I became very interested in the application of computers in geoscience. I worked with Dr. Lorenzo to develop a JAVA frontend for GMT, a commonly used set of free geophysical data analysis and manipulation tool (Smith and Wessel) in the geoscience community. I also developed a database in Excel for a regional seismic grid.

Since leaving school I have mainly worked in oil and gas sector. I worked 3 years for Hays Information Management and now I work at Apache Oil Corporation as a database analyst supporting their exploration and development group, corporate databases as well as exploration and production record management software. I'm still looking for more opportunities to gain knowledge with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. I enjoy the field because it gives me the chance to advance my skills continually while keeping me flexible to weather the ups and downs of the oil industry.

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Beth Yuvancic Strickland (BSc.,in Geology, LSU 2001)

In 2004

EP Technology, EP Solutions

Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc.

Former Graduate Students

Adeniyi Saanumi (M.Sc., 2006), Texaco, Exxon intern 2000, Scholarship, 2004, ConocoPhillips intern, 2005, Currently employed by Marathon Oil, Houston. SGS

M.Sc. thesis title: Ice Sheet Grounding Zone Deposits on Ross Sea Continental Shelf (Antarctica): Seismic Facies Analysis and P-Wave Reflectivity Attributes

I come from the Western Part of Nigeria, specifically an oil-producing state with a rich cultural background and an inclination for education. I am married to Dayo and we have a lovely daughter (Anjola).

I had my undergraduate degree in Applied Geophysics (Fed. University of Technology, Akure), Nigeria in 1998. Really my goal is to become an exploration geoscientist having had a total of 16 months of internship experience with Exxon Mobil and Texaco Overseas upstream section. Somehow the last 4 years (2000-2003) saw me working as a Credit Analyst in a commercial bank in Nigeria.

So in retracing my step back to my goal, I resigned my appointment and joined the graduate program of LSU in order to gain more knowledge and experience in the geo-world. On completion of my Masters program, I intend to work as an exploration geoscientist in the petroleum industry.

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John Londono (Ph.D., 2004), Shell summer intern, 2003, Shell employee

Title of Dissertation: Foreland Basins: Lithospheric Flexure, Plate Strength and Regional Stratigraphy

Dissertation Abstract:

Foreland basin subsidence through time is reproduced in this study, as the flexure of an elastic beam in an inviscid fluid under the vertical stress, caused by discrete-distributed loads. Thus, seismostratigraphic data from the Timor Sea peripheral foreland basin, in northwestern Australia, and the Putumayo retroarc foreland basin in the Colombian Andes, are forward modeled, at chronostratigraphic intervals, to assess the evolving geodynamic conditions of the basins. Results show that the accommodation in foreland basins varies as the depositional basement is vertically adjusted according to the regionally isostatic compensation of the lithosphere. Distributed tectonic (thrust belts) and sedimentary loads that act independently but consecutively during tectono-stratigraphic events, throughout the evolution of foreland basins, control the deflection of the plate that forms the foredeep of these depocenters. Accordingly, the loads limit the amount and distribution of available space for sedimentation. Results also reduce the role of eustasy to only 2 to 6% of the total accommodation, even in marine foreland depocenters. The strength of the plate remains invariable during the evolution of the basin at time scales of 106 to 107 m.y. Asymmetrical flexure, produced by oblique plate convergence, induces diachronuous and local marine cycles at basin scale (100’s of km). Stratigraphic development of non-marine foreland basins is more likely to respond to the evolution of the equilibrium-profile during basin history.

Brief Biography: "John obtains his bachelor’s degree in geology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, in Bogotá, in 1995, after, and in spite of, five years among soccer fanaticism, liberal bohemians and romantic socialists. Soon after his graduation, while working for oil and raw-material companies and as well as a consultant, he begins to map part of the Colombian rain forest and the Caribbean coast. One and a half years of long-walks, multiple and unbearable helicopter flights, nights in the dark jungle, a lot of rain and experiences with bizarre plants, sneaks, tarantulas, monkeys, psychedelic birds and beautiful purple dragonflies, led him to move to a more civilized environment. Using London as a base, he spent one year trying to learn some english and back-packing Europe. Getting back again, to a more rural life, he earns his Master’s degree in applied geophysics from the University of Alabama in 2000. The following year, he enrolls at LSU as doctoral student in geosciences. After this scholastic period, following the advise of his father, he has decided to devote himself (at least for a while) to a more sedentary and contemplative life, dividing his time between exploring  oil, and reading contemporary literature and about the history of geology.

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Kush Tandon (Ph.D., 1998) Geophysicist


Kush currently works as a Bluware Inc. consultant with Shell on research and development for their internal seismic processing system, SIPMAP on 4D time-lapse and seismic absorption techniques and framework.

Kush Tandon completed his doctorate at Louisiana State University working with Juan Lorenzo in 1998. He worked on causes of continental extension in collisional margins (Timor-Tanimbar-Aru Trough and Alboran Sea) using various geophysical techniques such as, computer modeling of the mechanical behavior of the earth’s outer veneer, gravity modeling, reflection seismology, and participating in the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 161, Western Mediterranean (Alboran Sea).

Kush Tandon also has degrees from Cornell University, and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (India). In past, Kush has also worked at Oil and Natural Gas Commission, ARCO International Oil and Gas Company, Oregon State University, and Fugro-Jason.

Publications Related to Graduate Work at LSU

Tandon, K., J. M. Lorenzo, S. Widiyantoro, and G. W. O’Brien, Variations in Inelastic Failure of Subducting Continental Lithosphere and Tectonic Development: Australia-Banda Arc Convergence: American Geophysical Union Geodynamics Series on Plate Boundary Zone, Edited by S. A. Stein and J. T. Freymueller, Vol. 30, 341-357, 2002.

Tandon, K., J. M. Lorenzo, and G. W. O’Brien, Effective Elastic Thickness of the Northern Australian Continental Lithosphere Subducting Beneath the Banda Orogen (Indonesia): Inelastic Failure at the Start of Continental Subduction: Tectonophysics, Vol. 329, 39-60, 2000.

Lorenzo, J. M., G. W. O’Brien, J. Stewart, and K. Tandon, Inelastic Yielding and Forebulge Shape Across a Modern Foreland Basin: North West Shelf of Australia, Timor Sea: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 25, 1455-1458, 1998.

Tandon, K., J. M. Lorenzo, and J. de La Linde Rubio, Timing of Rifting in the Alboran Sea -- Correlation of Borehole (ODP Leg 161 and Andalucia A-1) to Seismic Reflection Data: Implications for Basin Formation: Marine Geology, Vol. 144, 275-294, 1998.

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Ricky Boehme (M.Sc., 1996) now at CHEVRON TEXACO in the Lafayette Offices

THESIS TITLE: Stratigraphic response to Neogene tectonism on the Australian Northwest Shelf

"  I'm enjoying working for a major
energy company, looking for oil and gas on the Gulf of Mexico shelf. The coolest thing about the job is being the first person to see something
nobody else has seen before, whether it's a well log or a new 3-D seismic data set. It's also great fun to test your interpretation by drilling a well. "


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Sidney Egnew 

Eunice, New Mexico was my home town for the first sixteen years of my life. My family moved to Louisiana in 1971 and I now reside in Springfield. I am married to Catherine and we have two boys, Nathan and Russell.

I was the outstanding graduating senior in physics at Southeastern Louisiana University in 1975. In 1976 and 1977, I was a graduate teaching assistant in Computer Science at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. From 1978 to 1986, I taught Computer Science at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. I have worked as a consultant and software developer since 1980 and am currently employed by Indigo Systems Corporation as I work on my Ph.D. at Louisiana State University.

In 2004, I was recognized as a Distinguished Mentor by the Roy J. Shlemon Program in Applied Geosciences of the Geological Society of America. I am also a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the Seismological Society of America.

My interests include Geophysics, Geomorphology, Geosciences Education, and image processing. I am especially interested in growth fault systems, fracture patterns and jointing, fault reactivation, and seismic tomography.

This summer, I wrote a program which processes Lidar imagery for detection of geological features. The program has successfully identified locations of possible fault activations and will soon be tested for fault detection using Texas Lidar imagery. Development of the program is continuing and additional research opportunities have resulted from its use.

The most ambitious project I am working on is the Seismeauxgraph project proposed by Dr. Lorenzo. This project involves the creation of a seismic network to obtain data for seismic tomography of Louisiana. Its implementation will require a partnership involving industry, government, education, and the university. I am currently building the necessary relationships and working on funding for the project.

My outside interests include mineral and gem collection, skiing, cycling, ice skating, soaring, and flying. I am a military veteran, flight instructor, scoutmaster, and farmer.

My interest in Geology and Geophysics at LSU was brought about by my attendance at a lecture by one of the LSU professors. Subsequent visits to the department impressed me with the quality of the faculty and program. Joining the Geology and Geophysics at LSU has proven to be an excellent choice. I am quite pleased with the educational and research opportunities here.

Clay Westbrook , ExxonMobil intern 2005, now at ExxonMobil

" I graduated from Louisiana Tech in 2001 with a degree in Physics.  While at LA Tech, I worked on several research projects, but the one that was most interesting was a passive seismic experiment in conjunction with The LIGO(Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory).  The experiment is a joint is a joint project between scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This project combined field work with experiment design and data processing.  It was the first time I had been able to work outside as a physicist and I immediately fell in love with geophysics.  After visiting several schools throughout the nation, I decided that LSU could give me the best opportunity to do what I wanted to do."

Ricardo Zapata (now at ENAP, Petroleos, Chile)


M.S. in Geophysics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, 2001

Thesis called Bathymetric Study of Chilean Margin (financed by the National Geology and Mining Service of Chile, Santiago, Chile).

B.S. in Physics, University of Chile, Chile, 1995

Employment History

May 2002 – June 2003 Catholic University of Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile. University of Chile, Santiago, Chile


Participated in Gas Hydrates project. Performed processing of multibeam bathymetry and compilation
of mutibeam and other sources of bathymetry for the entire Chilean margin, using bathymetric software MB-system on Unix environment. Participated in the first Chilean cruise on AGOR Vidal Gormaz at Chile offshore between Valparaiso and Chiloe Island.

November 2000 – March 2002 PGW S.A. Geophysics Consultants, Santiago, Chile.


Performed processing and compilation of magnetic and radiometric data, and developing of applications for Oasis Montajge and Arcview Softwares. Participated in geophysical interpretation projects. Also, performed ER-Mapper and Oasis Montaj support.

March – June 2000 Geodatos S.A.I.C. Geophysics Consultants, Santiago, Chile. (Part time)

Performed data processing of sidescan sonar data, using Matlab and C programming languages.

1998 – 1999 National Geology and Mining Service of Chile, Santiago, Chile

M.S. Candidate

Performed research on the thesis Bathymetric Study of Chilean Margin, using GMT and MB-System software, and C programming on Unix environment.

1996 – 1997 Department of Geophysics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Research Assistant

Performed research on bathymetry of southern Chile, trying to improve world bathymetric database with seismic profiles. Participated in CTJ cruise on R/V L’Atlante at Taitao Triple Joint, Chile.