AAPG Session

AAPG: Advancing the World of Petroleum Geosciences

At the Forefront of Exploration and Critical Thinking: American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) 2019 Distinguished Lecturers (AAPG; GSA Energy Geology Division)

Session Co-chairs: Robbie Gries; Russell Stands-Over-Bull
Tuesday, 24 September, 1:30–5:30 p.m., Room 127ABC, North Building

Session Description

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Distinguished Lecturers are selected over a two year process rewarding speakers for innovation in geoscience thinking or geoscience career development. Similar to GSA's James B. Thompson, Jr. Distinguished International Lectureship, the lecturers are selected from a global list of stellar geoscience professionals. The AAPG Distinguished Lecturers travel throughout the globe presenting to societies and universities over a two-year period.


In alphabetical order:

Irene Arango

Dr. Irene Arango is a senior geochemist with Chevron’s Energy Technology Company, where she has worked for the past 12 years as an internal geochemical consultant on exploration and development projects worldwide. Dr. Arango has served as principal investigator in research projects on topics including pre-drill risk assessment of non-hydrocarbon gases in reservoirs (e.g., CO2, H2S) and geochemistry of unconventional plays. She has worked on identification of geochemical indicators of core areas and sweet spots in tight reservoirs, on the evaluation of processes controlling unconventional reservoir properties such as organic porosity and retention capacity, and on the assessment of oil fingerprints for improved unconventional field development. Dr. Arango has presented some of her work at AAPG, URTeC, and IMOG conferences and recently co-authored a review paper in Organic Geochemistry on organic porosity from a geochemical perspective. She was the recipient of AAPG’s Gabriel Dengo Memorial Award in 2014 in recognition of the best AAPG paper presented during the 2013 AAPG International Conference (Evaluating hydrocarbon expulsion efficiency from shale reservoirs).

Dr. Arango is the coordinator of Chevron’s Hydrocarbon Charge Training Program and has presented classes for AAPG and at universities. Prior to her work at Chevron, she worked for Ecopetrol as a development geologist in the Llanos Basin (Colombia). Dr. Arango received her Ph.D. in Geology with emphasis in geochemistry from Indiana University (2006), an M.S. of Science (Geology with minor in Biology) from Indiana State University (2002), and an undergraduate degree in Geology from the National University of Colombia (1998). She is an active member of AAPG, serving as session chair and judge of poster and oral sessions at various AAPG conferences, acting as co-chair of the Geochemistry, Basin Modeling, and Petroleum Systems Theme of the 2017 Annual AAPG Conference, and being co-convener for the AAPG-sponsored, 2019 Hedberg Conference on the evolution of petroleum systems analysis. Dr. Arango is technical reviewer for peer-review journals and serves as head of the Houston Organic Geochemistry Society, a group of petroleum system specialists that meets in Houston for technical talks and discussion. She enjoys spending time with her family and loves to travel.

Susan Cunningham

Susan M. Cunningham is an advisor for Darcy Partners, a research company connecting oil and gas companies with emerging technologies. She retired from Noble Energy in 2017, where she was most recently Executive Vice President of EHSR (Environment, Health, Safety and Regulatory), global exploration and business innovation, after about 35 years of industry experience.

Before joining Noble Energy, Susan served as Texaco’s vice president of core worldwide exploration from April 2000 to March 2001. Employed by Statoil from 1997 through 1999, she was responsible for West Africa exploration as well as vice president of deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration. She began her career in 1980 in Calgary as a geologist at Amoco Canada. She moved to Houston in 1981 to join Amoco’s International Region and held various exploration and development positions including managing director of Denmark, based in Copenhagen, and deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration manager.

Active in the industry and the community, Susan served as chairman of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in 2010 and 2011, representing the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). She served on the board of Cliffs Natural Resources, an iron ore and metallurgical coal mining company from 2005 to 2014. She is currently serving on the board of Oil Search, an oil and gas company. She also served on the boards of the Houston Area Women's Center and the Houston Geological Society.

Susan holds a bachelor's degree in geology and physical geography from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. She also completed a management program through Rice University's Office of Executive Development.

Michael Hudec

Michael Hudec is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology and directs the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory (AGL), an industry-sponsored research consortium studying salt tectonics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1990, and spent the next eight years at Exxon Production Research, where he specialized in salt tectonics, extensional tectonics, and seismic interpretation. His current research interests include palinspastic restoration of salt structures, deepwater structural styles, and evolution of the Gulf of Mexico Basin.

Lisa Stright

Lisa Stright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Colorado State University. She has five years of industry experience as a reservoir engineer with (RC)2/VeritasDG and Denver-based consulting company, MHA Petroleum Consultants. Her research and teaching interests are in bridging the gap between sedimentology, reservoir characterization and modeling, geophysics and reservoir engineering.

Stright received a bachelor’s degree in civil/environmental engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a master’s degree in geological engineering from Michigan Technological University, a master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Geosciences, both from Stanford University.

Sophie Warny

Sophie Warny is an Associate Professor and the AASP Chair in Palynology in the department of Geology and Geophysics, and a Curator at the Museum of Natural Science (MNS), both at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She grew up in Belgium and France where she received two bachelors degrees (one in geology and one in oceanography), and a Ph.D. from the Université Catholique de Louvain (in Belgium) in marine geology working under the direction of Dr. Jean-Pierre Suc. She is the director of the AASP-The Palynological Society Center for Excellence in Palynology (CENEX) and served in 2016 as the Vice President of the GCSSEPM society. Her center, CENEX, focuses on various aspects of palynological research including the use of pollen, spores and algae in biostratigraphic studies in collaboration with the industry to the use of pollen in forensic applications. The bulk of her research focuses on palaeoceanography and paleoclimate reconstruction, including investigation of the palynological record to decipher past sudden warming events and climate variability in the Antarctic to help constrain their triggering mechanisms. She received a NSF CAREER award in 2011 and has published in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Geoscience, PNAS, Geology and Gondwana Research. Warny has supervised 19 theses and dissertations since starting in 2008 at LSU.