Dr. Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe

Dr. Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe

Info & Affiliations

Professor of Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
College of Engineering and Computing
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T)

Ph.D., Geology, Cambridge University, 1991
M.Sc., Applied Geology, University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University),1987
B.Sc. (Honors), Geology, University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University), 1983

GSA Fellow (2011)
Paleontological Society Fellow (2020)
American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow (2017)

Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe
Dr. Oboh-Ikuenobe is the epitome of resilience. Despite being a Nigerian woman, whose expertise was often not respected early in her career, her unbending resolve led her to achieve great success in both the United Kingdom and in America – it is no surprise she studies rocks as they match her unbelievable toughness. However, she still truly cares about her students and facilitates the best possible learning opportunities for future geoscientists. Her extensive record as a leader in professional and civic committees at her home institution of Missouri S&T, the local Rolla community, and all the way to her home country of Nigeria, has proven that she is deeply interested in improving geoscience education, especially for underrepresented communities. Amazingly, she is also an associate editor for the Journal of African Earth Sciences, a major journal that fosters groundbreaking Earth science research on the continent of Africa. As a palynologist, Dr. Oboh-Ikuenobe uses her expertise on organic-walled microorganisms and organic matter preserved in sedimentary rocks to infer the biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and paleoclimatic conditions of different parts of the world – from Missouri to Australia to Nigeria to Guatemala. Truly, she is uncovering ancient truths all over the Earth. Despite all of this success, she still comes across as extremely humble and personable with an unmistakable joy about her ability to study the planet as a career. For international students trying to traverse the difficult world of gaining credibility in a new nation, her scientific track record and approach to discriminatory voices is a blueprint to admire. Dr. Oboh-Ikuenobe’s career is amazing, not only because of the high-quality science she continues to produce, but also for the doors she has opened for many future black women in the field of geosciences. 


Highlighted works:

 Adojoh, O., Marret-Davies, F., Duller, R., Osterloff, P., Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., Hart, M., and Smart, C., 2020. The biostratigraphy of the offshore Niger Delta during the Late Quaternary: Complexity and progress of dating techniques. Quaternary Science Advances, vol.1, 100003; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.qsa.2020.100003.

Holbrook, J.M., Scott, R.W., and Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., 2006. Base-level buffers and buttresses:a model for upstream versus downstream control on preservation of fluvial geometry and architecture within sequences. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 76, p. 162-174. https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2005.10

Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., Obi, C.G., and Jaramillo, C.A., 2005. Lithofacies, palynofacies, and sequence stratigraphy of Paleogene strata in southeastern Nigeria. Journal of African Earth Sciences, v. 41, p. 79-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2005.02.002

Jaramillo, C.A., and Oboh-Ikuenobe, F.E., 1999. Sequence stratigraphic interpretations from palynofacies, dinocyst and lithological data of Upper Eocene-Lower Oligocene strata in southern Mississippi and Alabama, U.S. Gulf Coast. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 145, p. 259-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-0182(98)00126-6




Podcast: http://www.peoplebehindthescience.com/dr-francisca-ikuenobe/

Missouri S&T - Meet Dr. Franca Oboh - Youtube Spotlight (5:46)

People Behind the Science Podcast - Dr. Francisca Ikuenobe: Unearthing Clues about our Planet’s Past from Tiny Fossils Found in Rock (37:17)


palynology, sedimentology, paleoecology, biostratigraphy, women of geobiology, Black geobiologists, African geobiologists

Bio written by Josh Anadu, June 2020