John Howell    tel: 55 58 33 91  email:
Originally from Wales, John Howell graduated from the University of Wales in 1988. After working for a year in industry, he read for a PhD at the University of Birmingham on the sedimentology of the Rotliegend gas reservoirs. He moved to Liverpool in 1992 where he spent 10 years, the first four years as a researcher and the rest as a faculty member. During that time he worked on projects from the North Sea, Utah, Namibia, South Africa, South East Asia, Argentina and Chile. In 1999 he spent a sabbatical in Saga Petroleum in Oslo learning to build reservoir models and developing methods for capturing outcrop data for modelling. In 2002 he moved to Norway permanently and started at the University of Bergen were he established the VOG Group. In 2004 he collaborated in the start up of Rocksource, a technology focused, independent E&P company also based in Bergen.

John considers himself to be a field geologist and a bit of a techno geek. He firmly believes that geology should be studied at outcrop, that all this new technology simply allows us to do better the things that we have always done and the old adage that “the best geologist is the one that has seen the most rocks”. He is happiest in the field and wishes that he could spend more time there. His favourite outcrops are the Book Cliffs of Utah and the wildest place he ever worked was the deserts of NW Namibia.
Simon Buckley    tel: 55 58 34 58  email:
Simon Buckley hails from the UK, and studied geomatics at Newcastle University, both as an undergraduate and postgraduate. After completing his PhD in coastal erosion monitoring in 2003, he stuck with the Newcastle theme and worked as a postdoc at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He joined the VOG group in January 2005, and has since been responsible for all things spatially related, principally the development of workflows for using lidar in outcrop geology. Despite being a non-geologist, he has picked up enough knowledge from a host of excellent field geologists to occasionally go undercover. Simon’s broad research interest is improving the use of geomatics in earth science applications, and he enjoys the fieldwork, especially Utah, as well as the development of software for processing and displaying 3D outcrop data. Outside of work time he can be found hiking, skiing, travelling and concocting good food, especially using chilli and cheese.
Nicole Naumann    tel: 55 58 38 32  email:
Nicole has a background in geoecology (specialising in remote sensing and GIS) and did her PhD on hyperspectral remote sensing technologies and soil research at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam and Humboldt-University of Berlin (Germany). She joined the VOG group in June 2009, and is currently responsible for the design and configuration of the SAFARI database and the development of standards for outcrop nomenclature and modern depositional systems. Her main work at present includes extensive data upload to the SAFARI database and improvement of the web pages.

Nicole considers herself as an interdisciplinary researcher, who has the ability to communicate her skills and expertise in different research fields, and collaborate with others of various scientific backgrounds. After work you will find her playing with her kids, choir singing and hiking in the great Norwegian landscape.

Current project: Sedimentary Architecture of Field Analogues for Reservoir Information (SAFARI)

Tobias Kurz    tel: 55 58 36 46  email:
Tobias Kurz graduated in Geology at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (Freiberg, Germany), with specialization in structural geology and remote sensing. During his diploma he evaluated deformation structures and oblique rifting in the Main Ethiopian Rift. After a short period as teaching assistant for statistics and remote sensing he moved to Bergen and started a PhD position in the VOG group in 2006. His PhD project was on combining close range hyperspectral and terrestrial lidar scanning for geological outcrop analysis, and was defended in January 2011. His research interests include spectral analysis, image processing, photogrammetry, virtual outcrop modelling and reservoir geology. After work you will find him enjoying the great Norwegian outdoors, through sea kayaking, cycling, hiking and skiing, or relaxing at a nice jazz concert.

Current project: Ground based hyperspectral imaging for geological outcrop analysis

Aleksandra Sima    tel: 55 58 36 73  email:
Aleksandra Sima holds a MSc Diploma in the field of geomatics, photogrammetry and remote sensing from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow, Poland, and another MSc Diploma in Environmental Engineering from the same University. After completing her studies she worked as a scientific officer in the Control Method Development team in the Joint Research Centre in Italy, focusing on standardization of the testing procedures and validation of performance of GNSS equipment in area measurements. She joined the group as a PhD student in August 2009, to work on continuing the advancement of the use of virtual outcrop data in outcrop analogue studies, with the aim of facilitating the processing methodology.

She fell in love with paragliding several years ago and holds a paragliding license from FIVL in Italy. She also likes travelling and skiing, macro photography, cooking and knitting.

Current project: An improved workflow for image- and laser-based virtual geological outcrop modelling

Christian Haug Eide    tel: 55 58 36 47  email:
Christian Haug Eide grew up outside the small town of Måløy in western Norway. He completed his masters degree in geophysics and geology at the University of Bergen in 2010. The work in the masters degree was a deep seismic transect across the western Barents Sea margin. After completing his masters degree, Christian joined the VOG group as a PhD student, focusing on the controlling factors of shallow marine sedimentary systems.

After he goes home from work, Christian enjoys hiking, photography, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding and concerts.

Current project: Shallow marine facies and virtual outcrop geology

Björn Burr Nyberg    tel: 55 58 36 96  email:
Björn Burr Nyberg studied Environmental Earth Science at James Cook University (Townsville, Australia) specialising within the fields of geoscience, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). He finished his MSc degree in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience at the University of Aberdeen, where his dissertation looked at improved characterization, modeling and simulation of a turbidite reservoir. In October 2011, he joined the VOG group as a PhD student working on the second phase of the SAFARI project, which in part aims to characterize the architectural geometries of modern depositional systems.

Björn has a keen interest in rock climbing, skiing/snowboarding, music and traveling.

Current project: The architectural geometry of modern depositional environments by the application of remote sensing and GIS

Kari Ringdal    tel: 55 58 36 95  email:
Kari studied computer science at the University of Bergen, and completed her MSc degree specialised in visualisation in 2012. After finishing her studies she worked as a summer student at CMR in Bergen. She joined the VOG group in January 2013 as a 3D programmer and is currently working on the SAFARI project, developing a web-based viewer for outcrop data. Before entering computer studies Kari studied art and design in Bergen. She has also been studying photography and worked in the photography business for several years.

Kari is from Voss, a small town with long skiing traditions, and she loves to ski and snowboard. She also enjoys good food, travelling and spending time in nature.

Current project: Sedimentary Architecture of Field Analogues for Reservoir Information (SAFARI)

Past group members:

Andreas Rittersbacher completed his PhD in March 2013. He now works in Statoil in Bergen.

Håvard Enge was a PhD student in the group from 2005 to 2008. His thesis was entitled "Deltaic clinothems - digital data capture, geometries and reservoir implications" (thesis). He now works at Statoil in Bergen.

Tor Even Aas worked on his PhD in turbidite modelling, submitting in late 2008. He is currently making minor revisions to his thesis and waiting for his defence. He works for Statoil in Stavanger.

Christian Carlsson worked as a PhD student from 2006 to 2009, on reservoir modelling of fluvial systems. He is currently writing up his thesis, and works for Schlumberger in Oslo.

Tore Klausen was a MSc student (2010) working on the Lower Ferron as an outcrop and subsurface study (thesis).

Siri Brønlund (MSc 2010) worked on MPS modelling of fluvial systems (thesis).

Rozita Torabi (MSc 2010) worked on fluvial systems in Utah (thesis).