Lectures are open to all and there is no charge for admission. However regular attendees are expected to be members of the society.

7:45pm for 8:00pm

Sorby Room, Wager Building, (formerly Geoscience),
The University of Reading,
Whiteknights, Reading.
Use Car Park 8


Monday 4 March 2019

The 'real' Value of Micropaleontology

Dr. Haydon Bailey, Consultant Micropalaeontologist

Micropalaeontology or the study of microfossils may initially seem an esoteric subject for a desk bound academic; but if your thinking is along these lines then you couldn’t be further from the truth. These microscopic sized fossils can be integral to major engineering projects, can result in helicopter flights to oil rigs around the world and also to detailed forensic studies as part of serious criminal investigations or simple art restoration. The information they provide can act as a proxy for past climate change and consequently as an indicator of the changes which may await us in the future.

Microfossils are abundant and diverse in many everyday rock types found worldwide or simply out in the UK countryside; they are attractive, sometimes structurally complex, but rarely dull and boring. Because they’re not the size of a Diplodocus they’re very easy to carry home in your pocket, but they can still have impact – there would be no pyramids without microfossils.

In industry they are used every day to assist in the enhanced recovery of oil and gas on a global scale, providing massive value added in oil production. Optimal placement and steering of production wells within “sweet spots” in the oil reservoir can enhance recovery by 30%. With oil prices on the rise once again, the micropalaeontologist can have a major impact on hydrocarbon production and consequently, company profits. This paper attempts to put a highly estimated figure onto that added value.

In addition they were used to define the foundations of the Thames Barrier and to steer the tunnelling machines which cut the Channel Tunnel. How can you put a value on these? Closer to home, they’re present in pharmaceuticals, in your breakfast cereals and in your supper drinks. Definite food for thought!

Cretaceous specialist initially, with ongoing interests in detailed biostratigraphy of Late Cretaceous sequences throughout North West Europe and North Africa. Specialist in Chalk field studies and high resolution stratigraphy of chalk reservoirs.
From 1980 developed international biostratigraphical interests of Paleoservices Ltd and subsequently Paleo Services. Worked on over 200 wells and field sections in the Mediterranean region (Spain, Italy, Sicily, Turkey, France, Greece, Portugal), North Africa (Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco), West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Togo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Nigeria) and others in East Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique), Near and Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Jordan, Syria), Far East (Pakistan, Korea, China), South America (Colombia, Chile) and Eastern Europe (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine). Specialist in carbonate facies studies, using microfaunal identification in thin sections, both Tethyan and Boreal.
Has worked on well studies throughout the North Sea (over 300 wells), particularly in the Central and Viking Grabens, the Danish, Norwegian and Dutch offshore. Has also undertaken projects in other areas including northern Norway (Troms & Haltenbanken), Svalbard and Irish offshore. Has carried out studies of Carboniferous microfaunas in UK, Ireland, North Norway (Svalbard), Tunisia and Syria. Involved in the integration of high resolution calcareous nannoplankton, microfaunal and microfloral data in well stratigraphy and regional sequence stratigraphic interpretation.
Several projects including comparative stratigraphy of non - marine sections, both Cretaceous and Tertiary. Compiled major non - proprietary report on the Hydrocarbon potential of Tunisia (1988). Offshore wellsite experience in UK, Norway, Holland, Sicily, Liberia, Tunisia and Sierra Leone. Haydon Bailey has rejoined The Micropalaeontology Society committee as Industrial liaison officer with the brief to raise the profile of biostratigraphy training within the oil industry and will be lead foraminifera lecturer on the MSc in Applied Micropalaeontology beginning at the University of Birmingham in the autumn of 2012.

Programme 2019

The programme for 2019 as currently proposed is also available as a pdf document.

Other programmes

Previous years programmes and other programme information can be found on the About us page.