Updated: Feb 20
Clara Abu is a geoscientist. Her career has seen her work in several offshore basins around West Africa, East Africa and the North Sea, as well as across the US, UK and Arabian Gulf.
What or who inspired your spark for science?
I enjoyed mathematics, chemistry and physics, so unsurprisingly I looked for a course that integrated these subjects and enrolled for geology at university. In my second year, an introduction to petroleum geology got me hooked and after that, I sought opportunities that broadened my understanding of processes that created rocks and landforms and the history of how the earth was formed. Since then I’ve been transfixed by the world of geoscience.
For you, what’s most enjoyable about being a geoscientist?
I love learning about the evolution of basins through interpreting seismic reflection data (using the reflection of induced shock waves to study underground properties and rock patterns). Another aspect that I really enjoyed were the field trips - I don’t do these so much anymore though but the spectacular overviews of stratigraphy (rock layers/strata) remind me of why I chose geology.
When you’re not interpreting seismic data or researching, you…
Run. I love to run. Frankly before 2020, I was overweight and slightly embarrassed to get out. I finally found some motivation and started with short runs around the block with my son. Over time I got up to 5K then I challenged myself to do a 10k run at my local park event. I was super chuffed to hang the medal in the house. Running has been an absolute lifeline. I currently run at least 3 times per week and always feel wonderful at the end. I don’t see myself stopping any time soon! My next challenge is a half-marathon and I really look forward to that later this year.
Clara has a BSc (Hons) in Geology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an MSc in Petroleum Geoscience from Imperial College, London, UK. She is now doing a PhD and has had her first publication in the Journal of the Geological Society of London here: https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2021-032