Geoscience and Atmospheric Science Students Recognized for Excellence at 37th Annual Student Research Conference

Event Student-Led Since Its Founding in 1988

Each year, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) student volunteers organize and plan the annual EAS Student Research Conference, Alumni and Industry Open House at the University of Houston.

The 2024 Student Research Conference was held in person on April 26 in Science and Research Building 1. The conference included oral presentations in two morning sessions and posters in the afternoon on the second, third, and fourth floors. The event also included visits to the EAS lab facilities, an awards ceremony, and a group photo of the entire EAS department.

The event’s spirit is for the students to come together, share their research with faculty, EAS alumni, and industry experts, and enhance their presentation skills. Additionally, the student committee responsible for the conference gains experience organizing all aspects of a large event.

This year’s event had attendance from members of the EAS department, EAS alumni, and visitors from Houston-based oil and environmental industries. There were 15 oral presentations by EAS M.S. and Ph.D. students. Additionally, there were 26 poster presentations from EAS undergraduate, M.S., and Ph.D. students. A team of 20 EAS faculty, alumni, and industry experts judged the talks and posters.

The 2024 abstracts and conference program, along with some background information on conferences in past years can be viewed here.

Meeting Organizers

A special thank you to our Student Research Conference Committee members and their faculty advisor for their time and efforts in organizing this meeting.

  • Arya Tilak, Conference chair
  • Anshika, Atmospheric Sciences representative
  • Karissa Vermillion, Geology representative
  • Joe McNease, Geophysics representative
  • Morgann Farley, Undergraduate representative
  • Shannon Dixon, Undergraduate representative
  • Dr. Julia Wellner, EAS faculty advisor

Oral Presentation Awards

Oral Presentation Winners
From left: Asmara Lehrmann, Divine Kalu, Joe McNease, and Jumoke Akinpelu.

First Place Tie ($400 prize each)

Asmara Lehrmann
Fingerprinting paleoenvironments offshore Thwaites Glacier with modern foraminifera

Divine Kalu
A tale of mineral exploration, inversion and marvel of invertible neural networks

Second Place Tie ($200 prize each)

Joe McNease
Surface wave workflows for the Texas Gulf Coast

Jumoke Akinpelu
Re-defining the continent-ocean boundary beneath the distal Niger delta and expanding its deepwater, hydrocarbon play fairway based on the wider zone of continental rifts and syn-rift source rocks

Poster Presentation Awards

Poster Presentation Winners
From left: Ruth Beltran, Daniel Maya, and Irfan Karim.

First Place ($400 prize)

Ruth Beltran
Aptian-Albian tectonic evolution of a hyperextended, continental rift system and its transition into oceanic crust in the ultra-deepwater Campos basin, Brazil

Second Place Tie ($300 prize each)

Daniel Maya
Control of crustal thickness of the Uruguayan margin on types of seaward-dipping reflectors and maturation of Cretaceous source rocks.

Irfan Karim
Investigating the anthropogenic sources: Methane and carbon dioxide emissions in Houston, Texas

Organizing Committee and Judging Panel

A special thanks to every student, staff, and faculty member that played a role in making the Student Research Conference possible this year. Your assistance allows our students the opportunity to showcase their work to department colleagues and industry professionals.

Additional thanks to the distinguished panel of 19 EAS faculty and industry judges who volunteered their time and expertise to judge the student oral presentations.

Ten EAS Judges

  • Brandee Carlson
  • Dan Hauptvogel
  • Xun Jiang
  • Minako Righter
  • Jinny Sisson
  • Jagos Radovic
  • Bernhard Rappenglueck
  • Julia Wellner
  • Jose Gorosabel
  • Evgeny Chesnokov

Nine Industry and EAS Alumni Judges

  • Chukwuki Anene (ExxonMobil)
  • Adam Goss (CNOOC)
  • Sophie Broun (Chevron)
  • Antonio Nocioni (Chevron)
  • Ceri Davies (CGG)
  • Jon Rotzien (BasinDynamics, UH adjunct)
  • Eric Williams (Royal Triangle Energy Solutions; EAS B.S., 1983)
  • Luke Walker (Equinor)
  • Juliet Irvin (ExxonMobil)