The Applied Research in Ichnology and Sedimentology (ARISE) Group conducts field- and lab-based research investigating sedimentological, ichnological, and stratigraphic aspects of siliciclastic depositional environments. We are particularly interested in resolving the architecture and depositional history of sedimentary strata deposited in shallow-marine environments, and we employ a wide range of qualitative (e.g., core and outcrop descriptions, biostratigraphy) and quantitative (e.g., detrital zircon geochronology, Carbon-13 geochemistry) research methodologies.  Research projects we lead or have led are funded through various government agencies, research foundations, and energy industry companies. We are committed to undergraduate and graduate student mentoring and learning.

Ongoing Projects

Dr. James MacEachern's research integrates ichnology with sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy. He is currently evaluating a number of Cretaceous stratigraphic units in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. At present he is supervising projects focused on the McMurray Formation, Clearwater Formation, Grand Rapids Formation, and Viking Formation. He has also supervised outcrop studies of the Nanaimo Group on Salt Spring Island and the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in the Drumheller area of Alberta.

Dr. Shahin Dashtgard is primarily interested in how silicilastic, shallow-marine environments vary by basin type, climate and with changing physico-chemical stresses. He utlizes sedimentology, ichnology, stratigraphy, sediment geochemistry, and palynology in his work. Dr. Dashtgard is presently leading research in the Georgia Basin on Vancouver Island, Canada, and in the Western Foreland Basin, Taiwan. The latter research program is part of an international research consortium co-founded by Dr. Dashtgard: Paleoclimate Records In Shallow-Marine Strata (PRISMS). He is also supervising projects evaluating the McMurray and Clearwater Formations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Past Research

Dr. Shahin Dashtgard's past research has been conducted in Alberta, B.C., and the Bay of Fundy region (all within Canada), and internationally in Australia, USA, and France. This work has focused on a range of petroleum geology, sedimentology, ichnology, and stratigraphy questions related to understanding shallow-marine sedimentary strata.

Dr. James MacEachern's past research has been conducted in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and B.C. (all within Canada), and internationally in Australia, Norway, USA, and South Africa. This research has centered around developing integrated ichnological-sedimentological facies models for shoreface/strandlines, estuarine incised valleys, and marine deltas. Since 2003, he has focused most of his attention on the physico-chemical conditions affecting trace fossil associations in marine deltaic environments, initially investigating end-member types and progressively addressing mixed process systems.