About

My primary research focuses on reconstructing the geologic histories of continental basins. My research involves sedimentary facies and provenance analysis (heavy mineral geochronology), coupled with taphonomy, ichnology and geochronology. I maintain close links with industry on a varitety of projects ranging from diamond exploration, to petroleum geology, to helium exploration, to critical minerals research.

My primary research themes include:

1) geological characterisation, resource exploration and dating of vertebrate records, including dinosaurs and hominins, from rift deposits of the East African Rift System.

2) Geological and palaeontological investigation of Jurassic & Cretaceous basins throughout Gondwana (esp., Australia; Africa; Antarctica).

3) Stratigraphy, palaeontology & high-precision geochronology of Upper Cretaceous strata of Western Interior Basin, North America.

4) Industry-linked research collaboration in economic geology and exploration.

****I am moving back to the USA to take on a new role at Colorado School of Mines. Please email me if you are interested in new projects, collaboration, or Msc/PhD opportunities there (eric.roberts@jcu.edu.au).****

Go to my research group website for more information.  http://www.gravelmonkeys.org

Teaching
  • EA3650: Energy Resources and Basin Analysis (Level 3; TSV)
  • EA5650: Energy Resources and Basin Analysis (Level 5; TSV)
Experience
  • 2001 to 2005 - PhD, University of Utah
  • 1997 to 1999 - MSc, University of Montana
  • 1992 to 1996 - BA, Cornell College
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2017 - James Cook University Excellence Award for Research (awarded to the entire Geosciences Group at JCU)
  • 2015 - James Cook University Excellence Award for Research
Other
  • Associate Editor, GSA Bulletin
  • Editorial Board Member, Scientific Data
  • Associate Editor, Palaios
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Earth Sciences
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 120+ research outputs authored by Prof Eric Roberts from 2004 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Trailblazer Universities Program

Resource Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer

Indicative Funding
$3,800,000 over 4 years (administered by Curtin University), in partnership with Glencore Mount Isa Mines ($5,602,000); Incitec Pivot Ltd ($200,000) and Queensland Pacific Metals ($455,000)
Summary
The Resource Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer is a partnership with Curtin University (Lead), University of Queensland and JCU along with over 25 industry partners. This program has been successful and funded under the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Trailblazer Universities Program. The Trailblazer aims to more effectively commercialise university innovations, accelerate industry technology readiness and open up access to university infrastructure and human resources to support growth of Australian businesses in the field of Resource Technology and Critical Minerals processing.
Investigators
Ioan Sanislav and Eric Roberts (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Resource Technology; Critical Minerals; Innovation; Commercialisation; Transformation; Clean Energy

United Kingdom Falkland Islands Trust - The Shackleton Scholarship Fund

The Wandering Falklands: Insights from New Geologic and Fossil Discoveries

Indicative Funding
$8,757 over 1 year
Summary
This project seeks to shed new light on the enduring geological mystery of where and how the Falkland Islands fit back into the plate-tectonic jig-saw puzzle of ancient Gondwana, while at same time unravelling new information about the evolutionary origins of early jawed fish from the southern hemisphere, whose humble beginnings may be linked to islands. To achieve this, we propose to spend two weeks collecting new Devonian fish fossils and searching for the presence of elusive (unmapped) volcanic rocks along the wave-cut beaches and platforms of Pebble Island and northern end of West Falkland.
Investigators
Eric Roberts (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Falklands; Detrital zircon; Plate Tectonics; Gnathostomes

Noble Helium Limited - Contract Research

Helium prospectivity analysis of the north Rukwa Rift Basin.

Indicative Funding
$199,641 over 1 year
Summary
The goal of the project is to construct a comprehensive database characterising the reservoir and seal properties in the Rukwa succession. This work will involve compilation of legacy results compiled from past literature, theses and unpublished data, along with a focused analytical campaign on targeted samples designed to fill in gaps developing a robust property distribution database. The analytical campaign will be focus on a combination of techniques to analyse prospective reservoir sandstone samples and mudstone and bentonite seal units.
Investigators
Eric Roberts in collaboration with Cassy Mtelela and John McClelland (College of Science & Engineering, University of Dar-es-Salaam and GMEX)
Keywords
Helium; Critical Resources; Exploration; Clean Energy

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

Jurassic Arc? Reconstructing the Lost World of Eastern Australia

Indicative Funding
$284,390 over 6 years
Summary
This project aims to resolve a long-standing enigma about the geological formation of the Great Artesian Basin ? Australia?s most important onshore reservoir for groundwater and hydrocarbon resources. Specifically, the project will integrate sedimentological and geochemical studies to investigate the geodynamic configuration of Eastern Australia during the Jurassic Period of basin formation. The intended outcomes are an improved understanding of the evolution of the Australian continent and better knowledge of the formation of intercontinental sedimentary basins, which includes better assessment of their potential to contain hydrocarbon resources.
Investigators
Carl Spandler, Eric Roberts, Anthony Kemp and Bob Henderson (College of Science & Engineering and University of Western Australia)
Keywords
Jurassic; Great Artesian Basin; Zircon; Tectonics
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Spatial modelling of saucer scallop distributions within the southeast Queensland scallop fishery. (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Investigating Global REE ion adsorption deposits to understand their genesis: Investigating trace element and REE stable isotope systematics. (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Investigation and assessment of groundwater quality and conditions for sustainable management in dry tropical coastal plain aquifer(s) (Masters , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Using experiments to constrain stable isotope fractionation in banded iron formations (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Understanding the geologic connection between Cape York and Zealandia: Insights from the Laura Basin (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Understanding the Genesis and Patterns of Cave Fill across the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Provenance, Sedimentology and Geomorphology of Coastal Dune Fields in Queensland (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Establishing a Tectonic Framework for the Cretaceous break-up of Eastern Gondwana: Insights from Papua New Guinea and Offshore Geology of the Coral and Tasman Seas. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Improving efficacy of Clastic Reservoir charaterisation by Quantitative Hierarchical analysis of Geochemical metrics (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Vertebrate Palaeontology of the Early-Late Triassic Succession in Central Queensland (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Tectono-sedimentary and Taphonomic investigation of the Triassic System, Northern Bowen Basin, Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Refining Tephrostratigraphic approaches in Deep Time through Glass Melt Inclusion and Isotopic Fingerprinting of Heavy Mineral Separates in Heavy Minerals (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
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jcu.me/eric.roberts

Email
Phone
Location
  • 34.149, Earth & Environmental Sciences (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Advisor Mentor
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