Dr. Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe is a Professor of Geology and Biological Science, and former Program Head of Geology and Geophysics and Interim Chair in the Department of Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Geology, and her master’s degree in Applied Geology, from the University of Ife Nigeria, now called Obafemi Awolowo University. Between undergraduate and graduate school, she spent a year working for Shell Corporation in Nigeria. She received her Ph.D. in the Department of Earth Science at the University of Cambridge, and was a member of New Hall, now called Murray Edwards College. She joined the faculty at Missouri University of Science and Technology soon afterward.
As a palynologist and sedimentologist, she studies deposits of pollen, spores, dinoflagellates, and other microscopic fossils lacking mineralized exoskeletons, and the rock layers they are found in. These offer insights into ancient climates and environments, and the ages of the deposits. She learned of palynology, and began her studies in it, as an undergraduate student. Her Master’s thesis was a comprehensive study on the biostratigraphy of the Niger Delta, using sediments and fossils, and her Ph.D. thesis was titled “Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction of the E2.0 Reservoir in the Kolo Creek Field, Niger Delta (Nigeria).” In 2011 and 2017, respectively, she was named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and American Association for the Advancement of Science, honoring her contributions to palynology and her work as an educator.