Justin Birdwell

My USGS research involves the following energy-related issues: estimating undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources from U.S. petroleum systems; assessing development potential of oil shale deposits; examining environmental impacts of energy development; applying new methods to the characterization of source rocks and petroleum; and developing geochemical reference materials.



Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, 2007, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Advisor: Louis J. Thibodeaux) 

B.S., Chemical Engineering, 2002, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 


Professional Experience 

11/2011-Present, Research Engineer, USGS 

10/2009-10/2011, Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Engineer, USGS 

1/2008-9/2009, Research Associate, LSU 

8/2002-12/2007, Graduate Student/Research & Teaching Assistant, LSU 


Justin Birdwell is the Denver project chief for the USGS Energy Resources Program’s Gulf Coast Petroleum Systems Research project, and his research focuses on unconventional petroleum resource assessment in Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Alaskan basins, geochemical characterization of source rocks and petroleum, and development of geochemical reference materials. Justin is chair of AAPG Energy Minerals Division (EMD) commodity committee on tight oil & gas resources, an Assoc. Editor of AAPG Bulletin & The Mountain Geologist, a member of the AAPG House of Delegates representing Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, and president-elect of AAPG EMD for 2020-2021.