Professor Sarah Davies

Sarah Davies

Professor of Sedimentology

Director of Research 
Course Director: Geology

Direct contact:
T: 0116 252 3624

Research Group: Geophysics, Rock Physics and Borehole and Palaeobiology, Palaeoenvironments and Palaeoclimates

Research Interests

As a clastic sedimentologist, my research seeks to understand the processes that controlled deposition and erosion in non-marine and shallow-marine settings preserved in the geological record. My most recent research has focussed on fine-grained sedimentary successions from these settings and examines how these depositional environments evolve spatially and temporally. Current research awards include a NERC Consortium Grant (2012-2016): research at Leicester is providing insights into the environmental conditions that existed during rebuilding of an early Carboniferous ecosystem and contributed to the preferential preservation of early tetrapods. This work builds on earlier research evaluating the global Carboniferous sedimentary record to elucidate the climate response to glacial events.

I lead the European Petrophysics Consortium for the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Research Associates within the consortium provide expertise in the fields of downhole logging, core petrophysics and core-log integration IODP expeditions for the global research community. I am involved in a number of industry- and NERC-funded projects combining sedimentology and petrophysics for stratigraphic and resource (conventional and unconventional) analysis: ongoing projects at Leicester are funded by NERC’s Oil and Gas Innovation Fund.

Four Recent Publications


  • Clack, J.A., Bennett, C.E., Carpenter, D.K., Davies, S.J., Fraser, N.C., Kearsey, T.I., Marshall, J.E.A., Millward, D., Otoo, B.K.A., Reeves, E.J., Ross, A.J., Ruta, M., Smithson, K.Z., Smithson, T.R. & Walsh, S. 2016. Phylogenetic and Environmental Context of a Tournaisian Tetrapod Fauna. Nature Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1038/s41559-016-0002
  • Bennett, C.E., Kearsey, T.I., Davies, S.J., Millward, D., Clack, J.A., Smithson, T. R. & Marshall, J.EA. 2016. Early Carboniferous sandy siltstones deposited in seasonal flooding episodes preserve rare non-marine fossils. Sedimentology, 63, 1677-1700 doi: 10.1111/sed.12280
  • Fitch, P., Lovell, M.A., Davies, S.J., Pritchard, T. & Harvey, P.K., 2015. An integrated and quantitative approach to petrophysical heterogeneity. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 63, 82–96. doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.02.014
  • Könitzer, S.F., Davies, S.J., Stephenson, M.H. & Leng, M.J., 2014. Depositional controls on mudstone lithofacies in a basinal setting: implications for the delivery of sedimentary organic matter. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 84, 198-214.



  • 1st year Introductory Field Course
  • 2nd year Depositional Processes and Environments
  • 3rd year Controls on Depositional Systems (Module co-ordinator)
  • 1st and 2nd year tutorials
  • Field-based Project Supervisor
  • Masters Research Project Supervisor

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