Gregory Ventura

Associate Professor
Tier II Canadian Research Chair

Faculty of Science
Geology

Faculty Member Information

Education

Ph.D., Organic Geochemistry, University of Illinois, 2006
M.S., Paleoecology & Geology, Indiana University, 1999
B.S., Geology, Southern Methodist University, 1992

Academic Work Experience

2016 - Present, Associate Professor, Tier II Canadian Research Chair, Saint Mary’s University
2008 - 2010, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford
2006 - 2010, Postdoctoral Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Non-Academic Work Experience

2011 - 2016, Petroleum Geochemist, Senior Scientist I, GNS Science Ltd.
1998 - 1999, Jr. Geophysics, Schlumberger & Geco-Prakla
1997 - 1997, Assistant Field Geologist , Exmin Co.

Honours

Canadian Research Chair, Tier II NSERC - 2016
UIC Departmental Service Award University of Illinois at Chicago - 2002
GSA Scholarship Geological Society of America - 2001
Paleontology Society Research Scholarship Paleontological Society - 1997
Shell Oil Research Scholarship Royal Dutch Shell - 1997
Sigma Xi Research Scholarship Sigma Xi The Scientific Research Honor Society - 1997
ORYX Geology Scholarship ORYX Geoscience Inc. - 1990

Teaching: Course / Program Development

2015/02 - Present, 4826
2015/02 - Present, 6690
2005/02 - 2006/01, 2300
2002/02 - 2006/01, 1200

Scholarly Contributions

Journal Articles

Ventura G., Gall L., Seibert C., Prytulak J., Belshaw N., Szatmari P., Hürlimann M., Halliday A.. "The isotopic composition of vanadium, nickel, and molybdenum in various crude oils using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS)", Applied Geochemistry 59 (Winter - 2014), 104 - 117
Hollis C., Tayler M., Andrew B., Taylor K., Lurcock P., Bijl P., Kulhanek D., Crouch E., Nelson C., Pancost R., Huber M., Wilson G., Ventura G., Crampton J., Schiøler P., Phillips A.. "Organic-rich sedimentation in the South Pacific Ocean associated with Late Paleocene climatic cooling", Earth-Science Reviews 134 (Winter - 2014), 81 - 37
Ventura G., Simoneit B., Nelson R., Reddy C.. "The composition, origin and fate of complex mixtures in the maltene fractions of hydrothermal petroleum assessed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography", Organic Geochemistry 45 (Winter - 2012), 48 - 65
Reddy C., Camilli R., Seewald J., Sylva S., Lemkau K., Nelson R., Carmichael C., McIntrye C., Fenwick J., Ventura G., Mooy B., Arey J.. "Composition and fate of gas and oil released to the water column during the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Winter - 2011)
Ventura G., Hall G., Nelson R., Frysinger G., Gaines R., Reddy C.. "Multi-Molecular Oil Fingerprinting using Multiway Principle Components Analysis (MPCA and Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography (GC×GC)", Journal of Chromatography A. 1218 (18) (Winter - 2011), 2584 - 2592
Lemkau K., Peacock E., Nelson R., Ventura G., Kovecses J., Reddy C.. "The M/V Cosco Busan spill: Source Identification and Short-Term Fate", Marine Pollution Bulletin 60 (11) (Winter - 2010), 2123 - 2129
Pomerantz A., Ventura G., McKenna A., Cañas J., Nelson R., Reddy C., Rodgers R., Marshall A., Peters K., Mullins O.. "The Geochemical Origin of a Viscosity Gradient in a Petroleum Reservoir", Organic Geochemistry 41 (Winter - 2010), 812 - 821
Ventura G., Raghuraman B., Nelson R., Lambertus G., Mullins O., Reddy C.. "Chemical Compound Class Oil Fingerprinting Techniques using Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography (GC×GC)", Organic Geochemistry 41 (Winter - 2010), 1026 - 1035
Schubotz F., Ventura G., Nelson R., Wegener G., Knittel K., Wilhelm T., Zabel M., Kasten S., Boetius A., Reddy C., Hinrichs K.. "Structure and function of a cold seep nurtured by seepage of heavy oil", Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73 (13) (Winter - 2009), A1186 - A1186
Betancourt S., Ventura Gregory, Pomerantz D., Viloria O., Dubost F., Purcell J., Nelson R., Rodgers R., Reddy C., Marshall A., Mullins O.. "Nano-aggregates of Asphaltenes in a Reservoir Crude Oil", Energy and Fuels 23 (Winter - 2008), 1178 -1188
Wardlaw G., Reddy C., Nelson R., Arey J., Ventura G., Valentine D.. "Biodegradation in the subsurface as a selective filter for natural petroleum emissions", Environmental Science and Technology 42 (Winter - 2008), 7166 - 7173
Ventura G., Kenig F., Reddy C., Nelson R., Frysinger G., Van Mooy B., Gaines R.. "The composition and formation of unresolved complex mixtures in Late Archean sediments analyzed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC)", Organic Geochemistry 39 (7) (Winter - 2008), 846 - 867
Mullins O., Ventura G., Nelson R., Betancourt S., Raghuraman B., Reddy C.. "Visible-near-infrared spectroscopy by downhole fluid analysis coupled with two dimensional gas chromatography to address oil reservoir complexity", Energy and Fuels 22 (Winter - 2008), 496 - 503
Kenig F., Reddy C., Nelson R., Schieber S., Ventura Gregory, Frysinger G., Gaines R.. "Molecular evidence of Late Archean archaea and the presence of a subsurface hydrothermal biosphere", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104 (36) (Winter - 2007), 14261 - 14266
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Simons D., Crich D., Cowen J., Rehbein - Khalily T.. "Structure and distribution of branched aliphatic alkanes with quaternary carbon atoms in Cenomanian and Turonian black shales of Pasquia Hills (Saskatchewan, Canada)", Organic Geochemistry 36 (1) (Winter - 2004), 117 - 138
Kenig F., Simons D., Crich D., Cowen J., Ventura G., Brown T., Rehbein - Khalily T., Anderson K.. "Branched aliphatic alkanes with quaternary substituted carbon atoms in modern and ancient geologic samples", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100 (22) (Winter - 2003), 12554 - 12558
Kenig F., Simons D., Crich D., Cowen J., Ventura G., Brown T., Rehbein T.. "Alkanes with a quaternary carbon center: a 2,200 Myr. Record of sulfide oxidizing bacteria", Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 66 (15A) (Winter - 2002), 393

Conference Proceedings

Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Reddy C., Nelson R., Schieber S., Frysinger G., Gaines R.. "Molecular Evidence of Late Archean Archaea and an Ancient Deep Biosphere", AGU Conference (2006 - None)
Field B., Hines B., Clowes C., Rechden R., Ventura G., Hollis C., Sykes R.. "Milankovitch cyclicity – Markers for stratigraphic correlation and prediction of petroleum generative potential in the Waipawa Formation, East Coast Basin. New Zealand Advantage Conference", New Zealand Advantage Conference (2016 - 2016)
Duncan B., McKay R., Bendle J., Naish T., Ventura G., Levy R., Moossen H., Krishna S., Pagani M.. "Late Oligocene to Late Miocene Antarctic climate reconstructions using molecular and isotopic biomarker proxies", AGU Conference (2015 - 2015)
Ventura G., McKay R., Duncan B., Stucker V., Vandergoes M., Baisden W., Phillips A., Sim M.. "The new organic geochemistry laboratory of GNS Science and Victoria University of Wellington, NZ ", NZ Geosciences Conference (2015 - 2015)
Hines B., Galley M., Collins K., Crampton J., Ventura G., Bland K., Seward D.. "Crossing the strait: Reconciling Palaeocene stratigraphic linkages between Wairarapa and Marlborough", NZ Geosciences Conference (2015 - 2015)
Ventura G., Hines B., Field B., Bland K., Strogen D., Clowes C., Sykes R.. "Paleoenvironmental and diagenetic controls on the petroleum generation characteristics of the Late Paleocene Waipawa formation of the East Coast Basin, New Zealand", NZ Geosciences Conference (2015 - 2015)
Duncan B., McKay R., Bendle J., Naish T., Ventura G., Levy R., Moossen H., Krishna S., Pagani M.. "Late Oligocene to Late Miocene Antarctic climate reconstructions using molecular and isotopic biomarker proxies", NZ Geosciences Conference (2015 - 2015)
Stagpoole V., Browne G., Mortimer N., Sutherland R., Lawrence M., Clowes C., Morgans H., Ventura G., Hollis C.. "The Petroleum Prospectivity of Reinga Basin, NW New Zealand", New Zealand Advantage Conference (2015 - 2015)
Hines B., Ventura G., Gazley M., Bland K., Crampton J., Collins K.. "Chemostratigraphic Framework for Changing Depositional Conditions of Prospective Late Cretaceous – Paleogene Marine Source Rocks of the East Coast Basin, New Zealand", A.A.P.G (2015 - 2015)
Ventura Gregory, Baisden T., Phillips A., Field B., Hollis C., Sykes R.. "Evidence for the selective preservation of organic matter by sulphurisation within the Late Paleocene Waipawa Formation of the East Coast Basin, New Zealand", Advantage NZ: Geotechnical Petroleum Forum (2014 - 2014)
Hollis C., Crouch E., Kulhanek D., Ventura Gregory, Tayler M.. "How regional transgression and short-lived climatic cooling created the Late Paleocene Waipawa Formation: implications for petroleum exploration throughout the SW Pacific", Advantage NZ: Geotechnical Petroleum Forum (2014 - 2014)
Ventura Gregory, Field B., Skyes R.. "High-resolution bulk pyrolysis of Mid Cretaceous to Eocene rocks in the Rere-1 well, East Coast Basin: Evaluation of source rock potential and maturity", New Zealand Geosciences Conference. Christchurch (2013 - 2013)
Ventura Gregory, Field B., Gehlen M., Hollis C., Schiøler P., Sykes R., Tayler M.. "Marine source rocks of the East Coast region", NZ Petroleum Conference (2013 - 2013)
Ventura Gregory, Hall C., Nelson R., Frysinger G., Raghuraman B., Mullins O., Reddy C.. "The determination of petroleum compositional similarity using multiway principal components analysis (MPCA) of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatographic data: AAPG 2012 ", International Conference & Exhibition (2012 - 2012)
Ventura Gregory, Simoneit B., Nelson R., Reddy C.. "Resolving the Unresolved Complex Mixture of Hydrothermal Petroleum using Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography – Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry", 24th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (2009 - 2009)
Schubotz F., Nelson R., Ventura Gregory, Reddy C., Henrichs K.. "Deciphering mechanistic details of asphalt degradation and weathering at the ocean floor by GC×GC", 24th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (2009 - 2009)
Ventura Gregory, Hall G., Nelson R., Frysinger G., Gaines R., Reddy C.. "Multi-Molecular Oil Fingerprinting using Multiway Principle Components Analysis (MPCA and Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography (GC×GC", 24th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (2009 - 2009)
Ventura Gregory, Simoneit B., Nelson R., Reddy C.. "Resolving the Unresolved Complex Mixture of Hydrothermal Petroleum using Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography – Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry", Gordon Research Conference (2008 - 2008)
Nelson R., Summons R., Hürlimann M., Ventura Gregory, Reddy C.. "Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatographic Analysis (GC×GC) of Bicadinanes in Crude Oil - A Comparison of Oils from the Ardjuna Basin, Northwest Java; The Seria Oil Field, Brunei; and Two Oils from South Texas, USA", Gordon Research Conference (2008 - 2008)
Schubotz F., Nelson R., Ventura Gregory, Reddy C., Henrichs K.. "Comparative Analysis of Asphaltene-Rich Oils from the Campeche Knolls, Deciphered by Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography", Gordon Research Conference (2008 - 2008)
Reddy C., Nelson R., Ventura Gregory, Arey J., Wardlaw G., Valentine D.. "Disentangling oil weathering at a marine seep using GC×GC: applications from environmental forensics", Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North American Annual Meeting (2008 - 2008)
Lemkau K., Peacock E., Nelson R., Ventura Gregory, Kovecses J., Kovecses C.. "An initial look at a No. 6 fuel oil spill: M/V Cosco Busan", American Geophysical Union Meeting (2008 - 2008)
Ventura Gregory, Simoneit B., Nelson R., Reddy C.. "Resolving the unresolved complex mixture of hydrothermal petroleum using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography – time of flight mass spectrometry", ALSO (2008 - 2008)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Reddy C., Nelson R., Schieber S., Frysinger G., Gaines R.. "Molecular Evidence of Late Archean Archaea and an Ancient Deep Biosphere", Geological Society of America (2007 - 2007)
Valentine D., Reddy C., Ventura Gregory, Nelson R.. "Discovery and Description of Extinct Asphalt Volcanoes along the Southern California Margin", AGU Conference (2007 - 2007)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Reddy C., Nelson R., Schieber S., Frysinger G., Gaines R.. "Late Archean Archaea", Astrobiology Science Conference (2006 - 2006)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Grosjean E., Summons R.. "Biomarker Analysis of Solvent Extractable Organic Matter from the Late Neoproterozoic Kwagunt Formation, Chuar Group (~800-742 Ma), Grand Canyon", 22nd International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (2005 - 2005)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Schieber J., Reddy C., Nelson R., Frysinger G., Gaines R., Summons R.. "Biomarker Record From the upper Tisdale (2707 – 2705 Ma) and Porcupine Assemblage (2685 – 2673 Ma) of the late Archaean Abitibi Subprovidence, Timmins, Ontario, Canada", 22nd International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (2005 - 2005)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Schieber J., Reddy C., Nelson R., Frysinger G., Gaines R., Summons R.. "Molecular evidence for archaea during the late Archean", NASA Exobiology PI Meeting, Aims (2005 - 2005)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F.. "Biomarker Record from the Tisdale Group (2707 – 2705 Ma) and Porcupine Group (2685 – 2673 Ma) of the Abitibi Subprovidence, Timmins, Ontario, Canada", Gordon Research Conference (2004 - 2004)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F., Grosjean E., Summons R.. "Biomarker Analysis of Solvent Extractable Organic Matter from the Late Neoproterozoic Kwagunt Formation, Chuar Group (~800-742 Ma), Grand Canyon", Geologic Society of America (2004 - 2004)
Ventura Gregory, Kenig F.. "Biomarker Record from the Tisdale Group (2707 – 2705 Ma) and Porcupine Group (2685 – 2673 Ma) of the Abitibi Subprovidence, Timmins, Ontario, Canada", AGU Conference (2004 - 2004)
Kenig F., Ventura Gregory, Simons D., Crich D., Cowen J., Brown T., Anderson K.. "Branched aliphatic alkanes with quaternary substituted carbon atoms in modern and very ancient geologic samples", NASA Exobiology PI Meeting (2003 - 2003)
Kenig F., Simons D., Crich D., Cowen J., Ventura Gregory, Brown T., Rehbein - Khalili T.. "Structure, distribution, origin and significance of branched-alkanes with quaternary carbon atoms in the geological record", 21st International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry (2003 - 2003)

Biography

<p>I am an organic geochemist/biogeochemist who investigates how sedimentary organic matter becomes transformed and preserved in the Earth&rsquo;s subsurface. Various types of hydrocarbons (termed biomarkers) contain enough geochemical information that it is possible to assess what organisms they came from and hence what types of creatures were living during the time of sediment deposition. In this way, it is also possible to establish the chemical conditions present in the paleoenvironment that enabled these organisms to survive. Such paleoecologic reconstructions require comparing various biomarkers with the carbon isotopic compositions of the bulk organic matter. These techniques were successfully used for my PhD to discover a complex array of hydrocarbon in Late Archean sediments that are exclusively derived from the lipid membranes of an ancient domain of life known as Archaea.&nbsp; These and other lipids were the remains of archaeal and bacterial communities that were likely thriving in subsurface hydrothermal vents during this time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These aspects follow on with my current research goals.&nbsp; One of the driving questions still to be constrained is how the presence of the subsurface microbial life (i.e. the deep biosphere) impacts the composition of sedimentary organic matter through time. Microbes live kilometres below the Earth&rsquo;s surface. It is estimated this ecosystem consist of 90 billion tons of living microbes with sub-seafloor sediments harbouring over half of all prokaryotic cells on Earth. Yet, how component of life becomes mixed with the organic matter sourced from the Earth&rsquo;s surface is almost entirely disregarded.&nbsp; I am working to develop techniques that will make it possible to resolve the complete contribution of lipid biomarkers derived from the ancient subsurface (i.e. the ancient deep biosphere) from that of biomarkers formed by the burial of sedimentary organic matter.&nbsp; To accomplish this, I am developing the analytical framework to detect secondary inputs of microbial remains using &ldquo;whole-chromatogram&rdquo; chemometric approaches with multi-dimensional gas chromatographic (GCxGC) data that has the capacity to accurately and quantitatively detect thousands of compounds in a sample mixture.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Supporting this approach has been the experience I have gained from completing two postdoctoral appointments. My first appointment at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution involved characterizing the formation, migration, and transformation of individual organic compound that together make-up complex petroleum mixtures, which are formed by the exposure of sedimentary organic matter to hydrothermal vent fluids at mid-ocean spreading ridges.&nbsp; Additional collaborations with the petroleum service company Schlumberger have been used to develop novel oil fingerprinting techniques for source-rock assessments, oil-oil correlation, as well as for the analysis of physical and biological weathering processes of oils. My second postdoctoral research appointment at the University of Oxford involved the determination of the stable isotopic composition of vanadium in oils and other biological materials.&nbsp; This work marks the first time that the isotopic composition of vanadium has been accurately determined for a variety of crude oils.&nbsp; The stable isotopic analysis of vanadium will provide information about the kinetic reactions involved in the biogeochemical cycling of this element.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These experiences have made me versed in a number of analytical techniques including solvent extraction and separation, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, GC-FID, GC-MS, GC-MS-MS, and GC-iRMS.&nbsp; However, for molecular analyses, my specialty is comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC-FID and GCxGC-ToFMS). I also have experience in ion exchange chromatography, using metal-free clean laboratories, and running single and multi-collector ICP-MS instruments. My aim is to continue to expand my research directions through the creation of an externally funded research group and by providing a teaching curriculum that will train students to have the geological background and analytical skills necessary to perform such research.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>