Dr Martin Whiteley

Position: Senior Lecturer in Petroleum Geoscience

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Natural Sciences

Subject area: Geology

Show All


My main teaching responsibilities are with the Applied Petroleum Geoscience MSc course, but I also contribute to a variety of undergraduate modules and supervise independent mapping projects. My current research interests are with the Lower Carboniferous successions in England.

Teaching responsibilities

  • MSc Applied Petroleum Geoscience
  • Fundamental Skills for Geoscientists
  • Imaging Earth's Surface and Subsurface
  • Geological Mapping and Map Interpretation

Professional interests

Earth science education at all levels, involving people whose interests range from a mild curiosity about rocks, landforms and how the Earth works, to geological specialists with academic and oil industry preoccupations.

Research interests

  • Basin analysis, particularly as it pertains to the oil industry.
  • Field-based stratigraphic studies, currently in the Mendip Hills (Carboniferous sequences and unconformities) and Bedfordshire (Tertiary and Quaternary landscape evolution).

Membership of professional bodies

  • Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain
  • Earth Science Teachers' Association (former President and Chairman)
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of London
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Trustee of CASP (a geological research unit based at Cambridge University)


Undergraduate qualifications

  • BA Dual Honours Geology & Geography, University of Sheffield

Postgraduate qualifications

  • MSc Geology, University of Sheffield (Palynology)
  • PhD Geology, University of Exeter (Field mapping and stratigraphic research on Devonian and Carboniferous rocks in mid-Cornwall, UK)

Recent publications

  • Whiteley, M.J. & Browne, M.A.E. (2013) Local geoconservation groups - past achievements and future challenges. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 124, 674-680.
  • Farewell, T.S., Friend, P., & Whiteley, M.J. (2013) Lie of the Land. Geoscientist, 23(2), 14-19.
  • Whiteley, M.J. & Farewell, T.S. (2011) Geology, soils and plant communities in Bedfordshire. In Flora of Bedfordshire by C.R. Boon. Bedfordshire Natural History Society. 11-21.
  • Whiteley, M.J. (2011) A Building Stone Atlas of Bedfordshire. Strategic Stone Study for English Heritage. www.bgs.ac.uk/mineralsuk/mines/stones/eh_project.html
  • Whiteley, M.J. (2009) Tedbury Camp Quarry website. www.esta-uk.net/tedbury_camp_quarry.html

Additional interests and activities

I've been an active geoconservationist for many years and am currently working with The Geology Trusts, an organisation that represents about 10 county-based geoconservation groups in England, and the English Geodiversity Forum. My main interests revolve around how geological sites can be used for educational purposes; this involves the identification of suitable sites, ensuring that they remain safe and accessible, and explaining their significance to others.

Current activities/links with industry

Students on the MSc Applied Petroleum Geoscience course undertake an Independent Study that is commonly based on oil company data. 

Experience in industry

Twenty years spent working in the oil industry with BP and Murphy Oil Corporation, followed by a period as a industry consultant with Barrisdale Ltd.

International experience

I have worked as a petroleum geoscientist in many different countries, but principally in North Africa and the Far East.

In the media

Radio interview on BBC Radio Derby to discuss the pros and cons of shale gas extraction (July 2013)

Public lecture at the University of Derby on the topic of shale gas exploitation (November 2013)

Find out how to update your staff profile

Edit your staff profile