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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Professor Geoff Clayton

Fellow Emeritus TCD and Visiting Professor in Palynology, University of Sheffield

Tel: + 353 1 896 2002  + 353 872324735
Office: Museum Building, Office 1.3


My research is in the fields of palynology (organic-walled microfossils) and organic petrology  (the study of microscopic organic matter in sedimentary rocks). I am especially interested in the application of palynology for dating and correlating Late Devonian and Carboniferous rocks worldwide, and in interpreting depositional environments, palaeoclimate and palaeogeography. With regard to organic petrology, I am interested in new methods for assessing the organic maturity and thermal history of hydrocarbon source rocks. I also work on the assessment of shale gas potential of Late Palaeozoic sequences. Current research projects mainly focus on Devonian and Mississippian rocks in the eastern USA, Ireland, Portugal, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the Barents Sea.

Selected Publications

LOPES, G., MANGERUD, G., CLAYTON, G. and MORK, A. 2016. New insights on East Finmark platform palyhostratigraphy and paleogeography - A study of three shallow cores from a Mississippian succession in the Barents Sea, Norway. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 450, 60-76.

ROONEY, A., CLAYTON, G. and GOODHUE, R. 2013. The dispersed spore Retusotriletes loboziakii sp. nov., affiliated with the enigmatic Late Devonian alga Protosalvinia Dawson 1884. Palynology, 37, 196-201.

FERNANDES, P., RODRIGUES, B., BORGES, M., MATOS, V. and CLAYTON, G.  2013. Organic maturation of the Algarve Basin (southern Portugal) and its bearing on thermal history and hydrocarbon exploration. Marine & Petroleum Geology, 46, 210-233.

NAYLOR, D., AL-RAWI, M.,  CLAYTON, G., FITZPATRICK, M.J. and GREEN, P. F. 2013. Hydrocarbon potential in Jordan. Journal of Petroleum Geology, 36, 205-236.

FERNANDES, P., MUSGRAVE, J.A., CLAYTON, G., PEREIRA, Z., OLIVEIRA, J.T., GOODHUE, R. and RODRIGUES, B. 2012. New evidence concerning the thermal history of Devonian and Carboniferous rocks in the South Portuguese Zone. Journal of the Geological Society, 169, 647-654.

WICANDER, R., CLAYTON, G., MARSHALL, J.E.A., TROTH, I. and RACEY, A. 2011.Was the latest Devonian glaciation a multiple event? New palynological evidence from Bolivia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 305, 75-83.

GOODHUE, R. and CLAYTON, G. 2010. Palynomorph Darkness Index (PDI) - a new technique for assessing thermal maturity. Palynology, 34, 147-156.

HEAL, S. and CLAYTON, G. 2008. The palynology of the Hannibal Shale (Mississippian) of North Eastern Missouri, U.S.A. and correlation with Western Europe. Palynology, 32, 27-37.

McCORMACK, N., CLAYTON, G. and FERNANDES, P. 2007. The thermal history of the Upper Palaeozoic rocks of southern Portugal. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 24,145-150.

HECKEL, P. and CLAYTON, G. 2006. The Carboniferous System. Use of the new official names for the subsystems, series and stages. Geologica Acta, 4 (3), 7-11.

CLAYTON, G., WICANDER, R. and PEREIRA, Z. 2002. Palynological evidence concerning the relative positions of Northern Gondwana and Southern Laurussia in latest Devonian and Mississippian times. In: Wyse Jackson, P. and Parkes, M.A. (eds). Studies in Palaeozoic palaeontology and biostratigraphy in honour of Charles Hepworth Holland. Special Papers in Palaeontology, 67, 45-56.

CORCORAN, D.V. and CLAYTON, G. 2001. Interpretation of vitrinite reflectance profiles in sedimentary basins, onshore and offshore Ireland. In: Shannon, P.M., Haughton, P.D.W. and Corcoran, D.V. (eds). The petroleum exploration of Ireland's Offshore Basins. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 188, 61-90.

McKERROW, W.S., MacNIOCAILL, C., AHLBERG, P.E., CLAYTON, G., CLEAL, C.J. and EAGAR, R.M.C. 2000. The Late Palaeozoic relations between Gondwana and Laurussia. In: Franke, W., Haak, V., Oncken, O. and Tanner, D. (eds). Orogenic Processes: Quantification and Modelling in the Variscan Belt. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 179, 9-20.

CLAYTON, G. and BAILY, H. 2000. Organic Maturation Levels of Pre-Westphalian Carboniferous Rocks in Ireland and in the Irish Offshore. In: Whiticar, M.J. and Faber, E (eds). The Search for Deep Gas: Selected Papers presented at the IEA / BMFT International Deep Gas Workshop, Hannover. Geologisches Jahrbuch, D 107, 25-41.

CLAYTON, G., FILATOFF, J., AL-HAJRI, S. and OWENS, B. 2000. Latest Devonian and Early Carboniferous miospore assemblages from Saudi Arabia. In: Al-Hajri, S. and Owens, B. (eds). Stratigraphic Palynology of Saudi Arabia. GeoArabia Special Publication No. 1, 146-153.

GOODHUE, R. and CLAYTON, G. 1999. Organic maturation levels, thermal history and hydrocarbon source rock potential of the Namurian rocks of the Clare Basin, Ireland. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 16, 667-675.

CLAYTON, G. and COXON, P. 1999. Spore and pollen biostratigraphy. In: Jones, T.P. and Rowe, N.P. (eds) Fossil plants and spores: modern techniques. Geological Society, London, 225-229.

CLAYTON, G., MANGER, W.L. and OWENS, B. 1998. Mississippian palynofloras from the Cuyahoga and Logan Formations of north eastern Ohio, U.S.A. Journal of Micropalaeontology, 17 (2), 183-91.

CLAYTON, G. 1996. Mississippian miospores. in: Jansonius, J. and McGregor, D.C. (eds) Palynology: principles and applications. American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Foundation, 2, 589-596.

CLAYTON, G. 1995. Carboniferous miospores from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Revue of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 89, 115-123.

CLAYTON, G., HAUGHEY, N., SEVASTOPULO, G.D. and BURNETT, R. 1989. Thermal maturation levels in the Devonian and Carboniferous rocks of Ireland. Geological Survey of Ireland, 36pp.

CLAYTON, G. 1985. Plant miospores and Dinantian inter-continental correlation. Compte Rendu 10e Congrès International de Stratigraphie et de Géologie du Carbonifère (Madrid 1983). 4, 9-23.

NEVES, R., GUEINN, K.J., CLAYTON, G., IOANNIDES, N.S., and NEVILLE, R.S.W. 1972. A scheme of miospore zones for the British Dinantian Compte Rendu 7e Congrès International de Stratigraphie et de Géologie du Carbonifère (Krefeld 1971), 1, 347-353.

CLAYTON, G. 1972. Compression structures in the Lower Carboniferous miospore Dictyotriletes admirabilis Playford. Palaeontology, 1, 121-124.

CLAYTON, G. 1971. A Lower Carboniferous miospore assemblage from the Calciferous Sandstone Measures of the Cockburnspath Region of eastern Scotland. Pollen et Spores, 12, 577-600.