Tulane scientist wins national geology award

June 11, 2013 9:00 AM

Barri Bronston

Tulane University scientist Kyle Straub has been recognized with a national award for his work in sedimentary geology.

Kyle Straub

Kyle Straub is recognized as a young scientist who has demonstrated excellence in sedimentary geology research. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)

An assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Straub won the James Lee Wilson Award at the annual meeting of the Society for Sedimentary Geology in Pittsburgh. The award is given to a young scientist who has demonstrated excellence in sedimentary geology research.

Sedimentary geology encompasses the study of sediments such as sand, silt and clay and the processes that result in their deposition. Geologists use their observations of sedimentary rocks and structures to interpret geologic history.

Straub’s research focuses on the transport of sediment from land to ocean and into the layers of earth that make up the stratigraphic record. His areas of interest range from the interaction of swiftly flowing water currents with winding rivers to the construction and preservation of river deltas over millions of years.

“A large amount is trying to understand the stratigraphic filter, as rivers move around and deposit sediment, what is being transferred and what’s not,” Straub says.

Straub and his team of scientists conduct much of their research in the sediment dynamics lab at Tulane, where they create miniature river deltas. This work helps predict how and where sediment is deposited in locations like the Mississippi River Delta.

Understanding the movement of sediment can help identify how sea-level rise and subsidence will affect coastal communities and determine where to drill for oil.

The significance of Straub’s work was recognized in 2009 when he was awarded “Outstanding Paper” in the Journal of Sedimentary Research.

“Being recognized by your discipline helps jump-start early careers and will hopefully help me continue to grow my research group as I move into my mid-career here at Tulane,” Straub says.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu