Product has been added to the basket

David Gwyn Roberts Obituary long version

Professor David Gwyn Roberts 1943-2013

We sadly announce the death on 5th July 2013 of Professor David Roberts, quintessential oceanographer, geoscientist, oil explorer, author, teacher and mentor to many in the geoscience community. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Robin), and daughters Suzanne, Nikki, Elizabeth, Ross and Tracie and six grandchildren.

David had a variety of nicknames, Dave, the Prof., DGR, Tiger - reflecting the deep affection, gratitude and respect of his co-workers. He was a world expert in Marine Geology, Tectonophysics and Petroleum Geology with an encyclopaedic knowledge and deep understanding of basins, their processes and evolution. His influence and impact on our thinking and understanding in these areas were profound.

A proud Welshman, David was born in 1943 in Welshpool. He received a BSc in Geology from the University of Manchester. After mapping volcanoes in the East Indies, he joined the National Institute of Oceanography, researching the structural and stratigraphic evolution of Continental Margins. This culminated in the seminal work with Lucien Montadert (IFP) elucidating the origins of Rockall and Biscay and subsequently their new ideas on the stretching of continental crust during rifting. In 1979 David received a Doctorate of Science in recognition of his work on passive margins.

In 1981 David joined BP, who recognised the value his basin knowledge and understanding would bring to their global exploration activities. For the next 22 years he had an enormous impact in helping develop its reputation as a successful leading explorer. His roles included Head of Basin Analysis, Deputy Chief Geologist and ultimately Distinguished Advisor in Exploration, BP’s highest technical leadership role. Perhaps his greatest achievement and lasting legacy will be the generations of geoscientists he trained and inspired – bringing his encyclopaedic knowledge, basin frameworks and insight to every problem.

David continued to publish, promote research and play a leading geological academic role chairing/ co-chairing major conferences; playing an active role in societies (AAPG Regional President for Europe (2001-2003) and Chairman EAGE Petroleum Division (2000-2001). and advisory panels to governments.
He was also Honorary Fellow and Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway College, University of London (2001), Visiting Professor at the IFP and Senior Research Fellow at Southampton’s Oceanography Centre

David authored many scientific articles and books including being founder and editor in chief of the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology. He was internationally recognised through honorary memberships in the AAPG and GSA,. From the AAPG he received Certificates of Merit in 1995 and 1998, Distinguished Service Award (1997) and the R H Dott Memorial award in 1998. He was awarded the Petroleum Medal (1999) and the prestigious Coke Medal by the Geological Society of London in 2005

In 2003 David retired from BP and became a highly successful exploration consultant, working with a range of companies, board roles at Premier Oil, GeTech and Medserv as well as teaching numerous courses. David also continued to work on regional Geology; in 2011 he co-authored 'The Western Alps, from Rift to Passive Margin to Orogenic belt' and more recently his Magnus Opus, ’The Regional Geology and Tectonics of the World’.

David was a great friend and colleague to many, with a deep passion for life, a legendary encyclopaedic knowledge and a love of Geology. His impact and influence will continue through the great works that he has published but more importantly through the hearts, minds and knowledge of the many geologists both young and ‘more mature’ that he has inspired through the years.

Written by: Mike Bowman with contributions from Elizabeth (Robin) and Nikki Roberts & Bob Stephenson