Zainab Al Rawahi

Zainab Al Rawahi

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Zainab Al Rawahi is undertaking doctoral research into the biostratigraphy of nannofossils and other calcareous microfossils, as well as their paleoceanographic and paleoenvironmental implications, in the Natih Formation from North and South Oman. The project is sponsored by PDO (Petroleum Development Oman). The research focuses on bio-chronostratigraphic revision of the Natih Formation based on nannoplankton biostratigraphy, calibration of the local microfossils biozones to the global zonation, calibration of nannoplankton zonation to local ammonite zones, investigation of the oceanic anoxic events in Natih B and E members, and investigation of possible orbital forcing (Milankovitch) in the cyclic nature of the Natih Formation members. Zainab is mainly using routine nannoplankton biostratigraphy work and carbon isotope techniques in her approach to this project.


  • 2014 - 2015: Master with Distinction in Applied and Petroleum Micropalaeontology at the University of Birmingham, UK.
  • 2009 - 2014: Bachelor of Science, Geology Major at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Oman.


During her Earth Sciences BSc at SQU, Zainab conducted a final year project for Petroleum Development Oman Company of petrographic analysis and correlation of  the Haushi Limestone member (Early Permian), the upper part of the lower Gharif Formation, in North and Central Oman. The methods of investigation included description of the mineralogy, fossils and texture in samples from several petroleum exploration wells using different microscopy methods (LM, XRD, XRF, and SEM). The project yielded new data on the textural and compositional attributes of the Haushi limestone that helped to construct a model for depositional environment and diagenetic evolution of the member through the Early Permian.

Zainab's MSc project was on Upper Cretaceous Calcareous Nannofossils Biostratigraphy and Palaeoceanographic Significance of the Fiqa Formation, from North Oman. The investigation yielded rich and diverse calcareous nannoplankton assemblages that enabled more precise biostratigraphic subdivision of the Formation. It also discussed the changes of nannofossils assemblages throughout the formation and utilised these results for paleobathymetry analysis and palaeoenvironmental interpretation.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Nannoplankton Biostratigraphy, Paleoceanographic and Paleoenvironmental implications of the Natih Formation, Oman
Dr Tom Dunkley Jones and Dr Ian Boomer


Cretaceous biostratigraphy of micro- and nannofossils, palaeoceanography, palaeontology and the evolution of marine life as it is seen in the sedimentary sequences of The Oman Mountains and the Middle East.