Following graduation in Geology from the University of Sheffield in 1976, Jim commenced work with BP London as a geological assistant before returning to Sheffield for Msc studies in Palynology, that included research on the Lower Carboniferous of the North of England, completed with distinction, in 1978. This was directly followed by an invitation to study for a PhD on the Early Cretaceous in London/Aberdeen. On completion of this he took a further step up the geological column in 1981 with employment as a palynologist for a major geological consultancy based in Singapore. This was followed by another consulting group in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1985, servicing all of the Tertiary petroliferous basins of SE Asia, plus Jurassic and Cretaceous of Seram, Irian Jaya & Papua New Guinea. In 1987 he wrote a study of the lacustrine sediments of SE Asia, widely taken up by operators, casting new light on the petroleum systems of the region.
In the late 1980's Jim returned to the UK, to Aberdeen to coordinate a major world bank study on the petroleum geology of the Nile basin, in conjunction with EGPC. In addition he worked on the palynology of numerous wells from the North Sea, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary and commenced work on the Cretaceous of West Africa, offshore Ghana. He also took part in a series of studies on the Carboniferous of the southern North Sea. In 1990 he joined with a small group of other stratigraphers in Aberdeen in developing a new stratigraphical consulting group that concentrated on the Cretaceous of the North Sea and West of Shetlands, co-authoring a series of 6 Cretaceous non-exclusive multi-well studies. In the early 90's Jim took part in one of the first AAPG courses on the then new concept of sequence stratigraphy delivered by the Exxon school and has embraced these ideas and methods in work ever since.
In 1991 Jim was invited to China as informal 'visiting professor' to deliver a 6 part course in palynology to the Riped Institute, Beijing, delivered by simultaneous translater, repeated for geologists at the Daqing Oil Field. Other work at this time involved a series of non-exclusive studies on the Carboniferous of the southern North sea, that led on to the award of a series of multi-well studies in the southern North Sea Late Carboniferous by a major operator in the Netherlands sector. Jim also wrote a major stratigraphical compendium and catalogue of the formational units of all the petroliferous basins of SE Asia, inclusive of pre-Tertiary Eastern Indonesian basins.
In 1995 Jim joined the Geochem Group, Chester and was involved as palynologist and author in a futher series of Jurassic - Tertiary multi-well studies on the West of Shetlands, Rockall Plateau and Porcupine Basin. He was also the main author and palynologist in completion of a 15 well sequence stratigraphical study of offshore Vietnam, plus a multi-well study and sequence stratigraphical analysis of the Tertiary of the Horda Platform and East Shetland Basin. In addition he undertook wellsite palynological biosteering work on the Mid-Late Jurassic, North Sea, wellsite work on the Late Carboniferous in the S. North Sea and the Late Cretaceous of the deep water Helland Hansen Arch of northern Norway. The rig was invaded by greenpeace during the course of the latter work, leading to an international incident. His final project in Chester was as main author and stratigrapher of a major multi-well & field study on the Apsheron Sill, Azerbaijan - Cheleken Peninsula, South Caspian Basin.
In 1999 Jim formed a new consulting company, Tie-Point Geosience from premises in North Wales, including construction of a palynological analysis laboratory, inclusive of a mobile wellsite capability. He has continued as primary Late Carboniferous stratigrahical consultant for the Netherlands sector operator, extending work into the Early Carboniferous / Devonian and Early Permian and including work in the S. North Sea, German sector. He has also undertaken several multi-well palynology/palynofacies and sequence stratigraphy studies in conjunction with chemical stratigraphy and geochemsitry on the Cretaceous of Libya.
Other projects include Tertiary field samples from Borneo and wells from the Java Sea, the Early Palaeozoic of deep Sirte Basin, Libya, mid Cretaceous of Kuwait, wellsite Tertiary biostratigraphy Cheleken Peninsula, Turkmenistan, Tertiary - Cretaceous Krishna-Ghodavari Basin, India, wellsite biosteering in the Early Jurassic, Norne Field, Northern Norway and Cretaceous - Pleistocene of mid Norway. Most recently he has completed with Geoscience Wales Ltd. a major palynological multi-well review study of the Neocomian - Miocene sequence of the Muglad Basin, Sudan.