Staff profile

Dr Stephen Lokier

Senior Lecturer in Applied Sedimentology and GeoEnergy

Stephen Lokier teaching sedimentology in the Abu Dhabi Sabkha


Environmental Science, Geology, Geoscience, Mineral Products, Research


College of Science and Engineering


School of Built and Natural Environment, School of Environmental Sciences




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an academic at the University of Derby with more than 25 years of practical applied experience in the fields of sedimentary geology, reservoir characterisation, palaeontology, sequence stratigraphy and environmental geology, working with academia, industry, local government and NGO’s.

After receiving my undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences from Oxford Brookes University I moved to Royal Holloway, University of London where my PhD looked at the development of Miocene age carbonate systems in a volcanic island arc setting, particularly focusing on the interactions between carbonates and siliciclastic sediments.

On completing my PhD, I spent four years in industry working on a wide range of petroleum reservoir systems throughout the Middle East. In 2004 I joined the recently-formed Petroleum Institute (now Khalifa University) in Abu Dhabi where I taught a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and led numerous research projects looking at recent and ancient sedimentary systems. One of the long-term topics of my research has been the sedimentary systems of the Abu Dhabi sabkha where three projects are currently active focusing on the effects of sea level rise, early diagenetic systems, and facies mapping. 

I am passionate about public outreach and societal engagement, speaking at a range of public and societal events in the UK and internationally.

In 2020 I initiated Seds Online - an Open Access online community for sedimentologists globally. Between 2014-2024 I was a member of the Bureau of the International Association of Sedimentologists (Vice President 2014-18, General Secretary (2018-2024).

I currently supervise two PhD students.

Teaching responsibilities

I am the Programme Leader for the MSc in GeoEnergy.

I teach on numerous modules in years five, six and seven including;

I coordinate and supervise the online course - Bridge to GeoEnergy.

I supervise undergraduate students during their third-year Independent Research Projects as well as numerous Masters Projects and PhDs.

Professional interests

My current roles and responsibilities

Research interests

I study a broad range of recent sediments and ancient sedimentary rocks in order to understand depositional processes and apply this understanding to interpreting ancient depositional environments. A particular focus of my research has been the study of carbonate deposition in stressed environments including settings under the influence of volcanic activity and arid high-salinity settings such as those found in the Arabian Gulf. My research has academic, industrial and societal applications.

Current PhD Students

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

My research has been disseminated in over 140 presentations at national and international conferences. For the sake of brevity, only the five most recent presentations are listed here:

Experience in industry

For several years I was directly employed in industry working on a wide range of sedimentary systems throughout the Middle East. I have over 20 years of research collaboration with industry - working on a range of projects to better characterise and understand the sub-surface. More recently, I have undertaken consultancy work for both the energy sector, governmental organisations and educational institutions.

International experience

My research has taken me all over the world studying, describing, interpreting and explaining recent and ancient sedimentary systems in a global context. I have lived in the Middle East for over 16 years and have spent extended periods in Southeast Asia and Europe. I have taught field courses in the UK, Spain, Italy, Oman and the UAE.

In the media

My research on microbial communities and sea level rise has been featured in news articles.

I have advised on numerous documentaries including the BBC’s Wild Arabia. I have also contributed to the design and development of the Earth Sciences Galleries of the soon to be opened Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi. 

Recent publications

Below are some of my most recent publications: For a more complete overview of my research, please see my ResearchGate and Google Scholar profiles.