Dr. Shahin Dashtgard

Dr. Shahin Dashtgard
Professor, Earth Sciences, SFU

Room 7227, Technology and Science Complex (TASC) 1
8888 University Drive, SFU
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Phone: (778) 782-5492
Fax:     (778) 782-4198
Twitter: @sdashtgard
LinkedIn: Shahin Dashtgard

Research Focus

My current research is focused in two subject areas: 1) resolving depositional cyclicity and evolution of convergent-margin basins (CMBs); and, 2) evaluating fluvio-tidal strata through time and space.

My work on CMBs is focused in two areas, the Georgia Basin, Vancouver Island, Canada and the Western Foreland Basin, Taiwan. In the Georgia Basin, my students and I are developing a basin-wide sequence stratigraphic architecture for terrestrial- to shallow-marine strata of the lower Nanaimo Group using outcrop exposures, subsurface cores, and detrital zircon. The sequence stratigraphic model replaces the existing lithostratigraphic model, and provides a detailed record of the evolution of the Georgia Basin and CMBs in general. Using the stratigraphic model, detrital zircon geochronology, and biostratigraphy, we are also evaluating the early evolution of the Georgia Basin to gain additional insights into the tectonic evolution of western North America. In the Western Foreland Basin (WFB), Taiwan we are undertaking highly detailed stratigraphic analysis of Pliocene to Pleistocene, terrestrial- to shallow-marine strata to resolve depositional and climatic cycles. The Taiwan research is focused on determining how CMBs evolve, and the dominant controls on sedimentation therein; this work forms part of the research being conducted by the international research consortium that i co-founded: Paleoclimate Records In Shallow-Marine Strata (PRISMS).

Work on fluvio-tidal deposits is present focused in the rock record, and specifically on the oil sands-hosting McMurray Formation, Alberta, Canada. This work is part of a large research consortium between academia and industry aimed at resolving the architecture of the McMurray Sub-Basin, the end result of which will be a basin-wide sequence stratigraphic model of the Athabasca Oil Sands, and characterization of complex, stacked fluvio-tidal strata. In the modern, I continue to conduct research of the Fraser River and Delta.

My prior research focused largely on characterizing modern analogs for marginal-marine sedimentary strata, with work on fluvio-tidal systems and estuaries (Fraser River, Canada; Gironde Estuary and Arcachon Bay, France; Columbia River, Willapa Bay and Tillamook Bay, USA; Mitchell Delta, Australia) tidal shorefaces (Bay of Fundy and Vancouver Island, Canada), and deep-water asymmetric deltas (Fraser River Delta, Strait of Georgia, Canada). My modern research included both sedimentological and neoichnological characterizations of these environments, and the results were used to construct and refine sedimentological and ichnological facies models that aid in the interpretation of sedimentary rocks in outcrop and in the subsurface.

I have also led projects conducting facies analysis and reservoir quality characterization of CO2-enhanced oil-recovery projects and tight-oil reservoirs, and facies charatcerization of the oilsands-hosting McMurray Fm. All of the sedimentary rocks hosting these petroleum products were deposited in shalllow-marine depositional environments. 

Major Awards

2020 W. W. Hutchison Medal Awarded by the Geological Association of Canada to a young individual for recent exceptional advances in Canadian Earth Science research.
2013 CSPG Link Award Awarded by the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists for the "best oral presentation at the society's technical luncheon meetings."
2012 James Lee Wilson Award Bestowed by the SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) in recognition of "Excellence in Sedimentary Geology by a Young Scientist."


2022 Co-Editor-in-Chief Bulletin of Canadian Energy Geoscience
2022 - 2024 Sedimentology Councillor SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)
2009 - present Associate Editor
Journal of Sedimentary Research
2009 - 2016 Associate Editor Ichnos

Undergraduate Teaching

Graduate Classes Taught

EASC 610 - Petroleum Geology 

EASC 611 - Advanced Sedimentology

EASC 622 - Principles of Ichnology

EASC 707 - Special Topics - Scientific Writing

EASC 711 - Special Topics - Introduction to Sediment Geochemistry