Dr. Bob Goldstein

Robert Goldstein
  • Haas Distinguished Professor of Geology
  • Geology

Contact Info

Department Phone:
Ritchie Hall, Room 354D
1414 Naismith Dr
Lawrence, KS 66045


Robert H. Goldstein is the Haas Distinguished Professor of Geology at the University of Kansas and has been on the faculty since 1985. He received the BS in 1979 from Juniata College and received the MS in 1981 and Ph.D. in 1986, both from the University of Wisconsin. In his administrative roles, he served as Associate Chairperson, Chairperson, Associate Dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Provost’s Special Advisor on Campus Development. He co-leads the Kansas Interdisciplinary Carbonates Consortium, an industry-funded research consortium concentrating on carbonate rocks and oil and gas reservoirs. His research integrates large-scale fieldwork and microscopic and geochemical analyses of mineral precipitates in pore systems. In particular, Goldstein has pioneered the fluid inclusion technique for determining the pressure, temperature, and fluid chemistry of mineral precipitation. His research addresses fundamental scientific questions as well as applications to fossil fuel and carbon sequestration industries.


Goldstein's research specialties include sequence stratigraphy of carbonates, diagenesis, and fluid-inclusion research. Current research focuses on the following: (1) sea-level, paleotopographic, oceanographic, and climate controls on depositional sequence architecture of the Spanish Miocene; (2) modeling reservoir-analog architecture in deep-water and shallow water carbonates; (3) predicting porosity in reservoirs from new conceptual models of carbonate diagenesis; (4) effect of hydrothermal fluids on carbonate and sandstone reservoir rocks; (5) origin and distribution of early and late dolomite; (6) new fluid inclusion techniques for constraining thermal evolution of sedimentary systems; and (7) new fluid inclusion techniques for evaluating history of fluid composition. Currently, he and his students are working on a variety of projects dealing with upstream fossil fuel energy supply including both conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources.

Research interests:

  • fluid inclusions
  • diagenesis
  • sequence stratigraphy
  • Sea-level, paleotopographic, oceanographic
  • Modeling reservoir-analog architecture in deep-water and shallow water carbonates
  • Predicting porosity in reservoirs from new conceptual models of carbonate diagenesis
  • Effect of hydrothermal fluids on carbonate and sandstone reservoir rocks
  • Origin and distribution of early and late dolomite
  • New fluid inclusion techniques for evaluating history of fluid composition
  • upstream fossil fuel energy supply


At KU, Goldstein teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level for Geologists and for Petroleum Engineers. The courses span a range of disciplines and teaching styles, all tailored to enhance student learning and engagement. He teaches undergraduate petroleum engineers a course focused on Stratigraphy and Sedimentology for Engineers; various field courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, and a graduate course on fluid inclusion geochemistry. He is involved with the general public through multiple outreach activities. His teaching extends beyond KU to include multiple short courses and workshops offered to university and industry partners. Goldstein supervises graduate students in Masters and PhD programs.

Teaching interests:

  • stratigraphy
  • carbonate sedimentology
  • geology
  • energy
  • diagenesis
  • geochemistry
  • field geology

Selected Publications

Prather, B., Goldstein, R., Kopaska-Merkel, D., Heydari, E., Gill, K., Minzoni, M. (2023). Dolomitization of the Smackover Formation, Southeastern Gulf Coast, U.S.A. Earth Science Reviews.
Goldstein, R., Fowle, D., Stotler, R. (2021). Paleozoic Brine Reflux: Its Impact on Diagenesis and Basin-Brine Composition in Major Onshore Oil-and-Gas Basins of the United States. Kansas Geological Survey Technical Series - Volume 24. https://doi.org/ISBN 978-1-58806-337-2.
Hollenbach, A., Mohammadi, S., Goldstein, R., Moller, A. (2021). Hydrothermal Fluid Flow and Burial History in the STACK Play of North-Central Oklahoma. Kansas Geological Survey Technical Series - Volume 24. https://doi.org/ISBN 978-1-58806-337-2.
Mohammadi, S., Hollenbach, A., Goldstein, R., Moller, A. (2021). Timing of Hydrothermal Fluid Flow Events in Kansas and Tri-State Mineral District . Kansas Geological Survey Technical Series - Volume 24. https://doi.org/ISBN 978-1-58806-337-2.
Dobber, A., Goldstein, R. (2020). Diagenetic Controls on Reservoir Character of the Lower Permian Wolfcamp and Bone Spring Formations in the Delaware Basin, West Texas URTeC. Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC). https://doi.org/DOI 10.15530/urtec-2020-3181.
Franseen, E., Goldstein, R. (2019). Carbonate Play Models From Miocene Outcrops, Western Mediterranean: Part 1-Setting and Stratigraphy. Search and Discovery Article - Volume #51630 (2019) .

Selected Presentations

Re-examination of Dolomitization in the Upper Jurassic Smackover, S.E. Gulf Coast, U.S.A - Mountjoy III Conference. Location: Banff. (8-15-2022).


Goldstein currently serves the Department of Geology, University and profession in a variety of capacities. In the Department of Geology, he Chairs the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and supervises the rock prep and microscopy labs. At the University level he serves on various high level review and search committees. He serves the profession as a reviewer and frequent contributor to professional societies. His past roles as an administrator have been impactful. As Chairperson, Goldstein was responsible for managing the budget and endowment, alumni engagement, fundraising, supervising faculty and staff, and providing a valuable educational experience to students. As Chairperson, Goldstein’s initiatives improved Department function, enhanced student recruiting, grew the faculty and support staff, improved research funding, improved diversity, and funded new initiatives to enhance the Department infrastructure. As Associate Dean of the division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Goldstein led a unit of up to 212 faculty members, consisting of the Departments of Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Molecular Biosciences, and Physics and Astronomy, as well as programs in Undergraduate Biology, Computational Biology, and STEM Learning. The Division contributed up to 133,000 student-credit-hours per year to the University and had up to a $40 million budget. In addition, faculty and staff expended up to $34 million annually from research grants. The Division served 2,664 undergraduate and graduate majors. Goldstein took a leadership role in implementing mechanisms for improving student learning and engagement in the sciences through the Course Transformation Initiative and Center for STEM Learning. Goldstein has implemented major interdisciplinary faculty hiring initiatives. As the Provost’s Special Advisor on Campus Development, Goldstein was responsible for advising the Provost and senior leadership on space, buildings, and all teaching and research facilities for the Lawrence campus. Responsible for management of the $78.5 million Earth Energy and Environment Center project and co-management of the $180 million Integrated Science Building project. This major interdisciplinary campus development broke new ground in terms of funding model, integration, and management structure, and included fundraising activities. The Special Advisor also played a major role in directing an inclusive campus master planning process for the University of Kansas.