Petroleum geology; tectonics and sedimentology
Career summary: Grant income of £7.4M (majority from industry); 15 PhD students successfully defended, 6 current PhD students; 60 research publications and popular science articles.
1999-present: Professor of Petroleum Geology, University of Aberdeen; 2003-05: Course Director: MSc in Petroleum Geology; 2003-2005: Head of School of Geosciences 2005-2010. Research on reservoir sand quality and deltas (mainly Sakhalin and Russian Far East).
1993-1999: Director and Chief Geologist, Cambridge Arctic Shelf Programme (an independent geological research group, c.30 staff, in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge); industry funded, >£1M p.a. Specialised in field geology of frontier areas: Arctic, Russia, China and South Atlantic.
l984-1993: Senior Sedimentologist & Leader, Fore-arc Basin Dynamics Project, British Antarctic Survey.
l982-1984: Sedimentologist, BP Petroleum Development Ltd, International Division. Took part in field work in Sabah and Irian Jaya.
l980-1982: Postdoctoral demonstrator in Department of Geology, University of Keele.
l977-1980: University of Cambridge, Darwin College: PhD The sedimentology, structure and palaeogeography of the Cumberland Bay Formation, South Georgia.
Active research projects:
I am working on the links between large-scale tectonics and sediment supply. I have a particular interest in deltas at continental margins and plate boundaries witrh current PhD studnets active in Nigeria (Niger-Benue system) and Californis (palaeo-delta of the Colorado River).
My main collaborations are with:
1: With Ian Dalziel and Lawrence Lawver at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (part of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin) I have worked on continental reconstructions using the PLATES Project software.
2: Rachel Flecker (BRIDGE group, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol) and I work together on the palaeo-Amur system as exposed on Sakhalin, Russian Far East. this research also includes collaboration with Dr Uisdean Nicholson of Shell.
3: I continue to associate with my old colleagues at CASP in the University of Cambridge.
Hole, MJ., Ellam, RM., MacDonald, DIM. & Kelley, SP. (2016). ‘Gondwana break-up related magmatism in the Falkland Islands’. Journal of the Geological Society , vol 173, no. 1, pp. 108-126.
Anudu, GK., Stephenson, RA. & Macdonald, DIM. (2014). ‘Using high-resolution aeromagnetic data to recognise and map intra-sedimentary volcanic rocks and geological structures across the Cretaceous middle Benue Trough, Nigeria’. Journal of African Earth Sciences, vol 99, no. 2, pp. 625-636.
Nicholson, U., Poynter, S., Clift, PD. & Macdonald, DIM. (2013). ‘Tying catchment to basin in a giant sediment routing system: a source-to-sink study of the Neogene–Recent Amur River and its delta in the North Sakhalin Basin’. Geological Society Special Publications , vol 386.
Nicholson, U., VanLaningham, S. & Macdonald, DIM. (2013). ‘Quaternary landscape evolution over a strike-slip plate boundary: drainage network response to incipient orogenesis in Sakhalin, Russian far east’. Geosphere, vol 9, no. 3, pp. 588-601.
McGregor, ED., Nielsen, SB., Stephenson, RA., Petersen, KD. & MacDonald, DIM. (2013). ‘Long-term exhumation of a Palaeoproterozoic orogen and the role of pre-existing heterogeneous thermal crustal properties: A fission-track study of SE Baffin Island’. Journal of the Geological Society , vol 170, no. 6, pp. 877-891.