Tim Cullen

Tim Cullen


I am a PhD student working with the Basin Structure Group and Stratigraphy Group within the Institute of Applied Geosciences currently investigating sedimentary and structural interactions in syn-rift basin evolution. I also help out with demonstrating on a variety of structural geology, basin evolution and sedimentology modules in MSc and undergraduate courses at Leeds.

I’m currently in the final year of my PhD which is part of a multi-institute consortia project, “Syn-Rift Systems”, which is con-funded by the Norwegian Research Council PETROMAKS2 research project.

In the project, we are using a field area on the Southern Margin fo the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, characterising a suite of mid-Pleistocene deepwater and deltaic syn-rift exposures in the now uplifted hangingwall of a major rift-margin border fault. By combining conventional fieldwork, behind outcrop boreholes and digital outcrop modelling we are aiming to understand the variety of density flow processes and their evolution in response to rift basin floor topography, structural evolution and palaeoclimatic variation. This ultimately has the broader implication of understanding the nature, timing and relative strength of allogenic versus autogenic controls on deepwater and deltaic syn-rift architecture. The field area provides an excellent analogue to subsurface deepwater and deltaic syn-rift depositional systems.

Research interests

My research interests generally focus on the evolution of deepwater and deltaic systems in rift basins, and how various factors (e.g structural evolution, palaeoclimate, global sea level changes) influence the nature of such systems. I also have interests in fault evolution and fault zone architecture and the impact of faults upon fluid flow in the subsurface. 


  • BSc, Geological Sciences, Industrial
  • MSc, Structural Geology with Geophysics

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Sedimentology
  • Basin Structure