Giovanna Della Porta is an Associate Professor at the University of Milan (Italy), Department of Earth Sciences. Her research interests focus on the facies composition and architecture of carbonate platforms across the Phanerozoic geological record and on non-marine carbonates from lacustrine, fluvial and hydrothermal settings.
One challenging research topic is the investigation of microbial carbonates in various marine and terrestrial depositional environments in terms of facies character and processes of biologically induced and influenced carbonate precipitation in association with microbial mats. Giovanna’s publication record encompasses a wide range of case studies: high-relief carbonate platforms with steep microbial boundstone slopes (Pennsylvanian, Asturias, NW Spain; Triassic of Southern Alps, N Italy; Lower Jurassic, Morocco); carbonate systems with coral-sponge-microbial reefs (Upper Triassic, Austria; Upper Jurassic, Sardinia); non-marine carbonate deposits ranging from hydrothermal travertine to cool water tufa and lacustrine bioherms (Central Italy, North America).
Giovanna graduated in Earth Sciences at the University of Pisa (Italy) in 1998. From 1999 to 2009, Giovanna acquired research and teaching experiences in sedimentology, stratigraphy and basin analysis at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Netherlands), the University of Potsdam (Germany) and as lecturer at Cardiff University (Wales, UK).
V. Paul Wright is an honorary research fellow at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. He was formerly group technical authority and principal consultant sedimentologist at BG Group, after holding a professorship in applied sedimentology at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (Cardiff, UK).
The main focus of Paul Wright’s academic research has been on understanding the completeness of the stratigraphic record including using taphonomy, forward modelling, and paleosols (fossil soils). The taphonomy research with Lesley Cherns in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences (Cardiff University) uses taphonomic windows to investigate the incompleteness of the fossil record. This relates also to how we conduct microfacies analyses of carbonate rocks as well as how ancient marine communities are reconstructed. In collaboration with Peter Burgess (University of Liverpool) forward modelling experiments have been used to test and isolate key controlling factors in creating different carbonate platform geometries and their facies architectures, and how reliably these facies record sea-level changes. Studies with Susan Marriott (Bristol University) have focused on evaluating the complex nature of soil development especially in calcareous paleosols, as an indicator of geomorphic processes and completeness in ancient alluvial successions. In addition, Paul has worked on lacustrine and palustrine carbonates with Nigel Platt and Ana Alonso Zarza. Paul’s applied research has focused on appraisal studies in offshore Brazil, North Africa and India, and Kazakhstan.
Paul has been awarded the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Grover E Murray Distinguished Educator Medal and SEPM’s (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Pettijohn Medal.