Best Refereed Paper in Coal and Organic Petrology

A TSOP award for the best refereed paper in coal and organic petrology was approved by Council in early 2009. With the permission of the Gray family, the award was named after Ralph Gray (1923-2009), a petrologist with wide-ranging experience and interests, particularly well-known for his work in industrial applications.

For any given year, the papers considered would have been published in the previous year, ie: for the 2009 award, papers published within the 2008 calendar year can be considered. The committee started the process with evaluations of the abstracts of prospective papers. Papers authored by any of the committee members were not considered.
Final evaluation was made of the full papers of the top six selections of the committee. On rare occasions, a second award for an outstanding publication in a non-refereed venue can be considered, such as the 2008 Academic Press publication of “Applied Coal Petrology.”


Silurian wildfire proxies and atmospheric oxygen by I. Glasspol, and R.A. Gastaldo. Geology 50 (9),


Elemental composition of dispersed vitrinite in marine Jurassic source rocks of the Vulcan Sub-basin, Australia: Implications for vitrinite reflectance suppression by M. Faiz, N. Sherwood, R.W.T. Wilkings
Marine and Petroleum Geology 133 (2021) 105278,


Genesis of solid bitumen
by H. Sanei
Scientific Reports. Nature Research 2020,


Effect of organic matter composition on source rock porosity during confined anhydrous thermal maturition: Example of Kimmerige-clay mudstones
by A. Cavelan, M. Boussafir, C. Le Milbeau, O. Rozenbaum, and F. Laggoun-Défarge
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2019, 212, p.103236.


Optical characteristics of graptolite-bearing sediments and its implication for thermal maturity assessment
by Q. Luo, J. Hao, C.B. Skovsted, Y. Xu, Y. Liu, J. Wu, S. Zhang, and W. Wang
International Journal of Coal Geology, 195, pp.386-401

Understanding and distinguishing eflectance measurements of solid bitumen and vitrinite using hydrous pyrolysis: Implications to petroleum assessment

by Paul Hackley, and Michael Lewan
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 2017, Volume 102 (6), p. 1119–1140


Impact of thermal maturation on nano-scale elastic properties of organic matter in shales by Simon Emmanuel,  Moshe Eliyahu,  Ruarri J. Day-Stirrat, Ronny Hofmann, and Calum I. Macaulay.
Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2016, Volume 70, p. 175-184


Dolomite fluorescence Red/Green quotient: A potential new thermal maturity indicator by Omid Haeri-Ardahani and Hamed Sanai.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2015, Volume 137, p. 165-171


Paleoenvironment of the Eocene coal seam in the Fushun Basin (NE China): Implications from petrography and organic geochemistry by Susanne Strobl, Reinhard Sachsenhofer, Achim Bechtel, and Qingtao Meng.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2014, Volume 134-135, p. 24-37.


Palynofacies changes and their reflection on preservation of peat accumulation stages in the Late Permian coal measures of the Bowen Basin, Australia: A new system for coal palynofacies characterization by Nikola A. Van de Wetering, João G. Mendonça Filho, and Joan A. Esterle.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2013, Volume 120, p. 57-70.


The nature of porosity in organic-rich mudstones of the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation, North Sea, offshore United Kingdom by Neil S. Fishman, Paul C. Hackley, Heather A. Lowers, Ronald J. Hill, Sven O. Egenhoff, Dennis D. Eberl, and Alex E. Blum.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2012, Volume 103, p. 32-50.


Coal facies in a Cenozoic paralic lignite bed, Krabi Basin, southern Thailand: Changing peat-forming conditions related to relative sea-level controlled watertable variations by H.I. Petersen and B. Ratanasthien.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2011, Volume 87, p. 2-12.


Occurrence of non-mineral inorganic elements in macerals of low-rank coals by Z. Li, C.R. Ward, and L.W. Gurba.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2010, Volume 81, p. 242-250.


Characteristics of type III kerogen in coal-bearing strata from the Pennsylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) in the Ruhr Basin, Western Germany: Comparison of coals, dispersed organic matter, kerogen concentrates and coal–mineral mixtures by K. Jasper, B.M. Krooss, G. Flajs, Chr. Hartkopf-Fröder, and R. Littke.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2009, Volume 80, p. 1-19.


Genesis and rank distribution of Upper Carboniferous coal basins in the Cantabrian Mountains, Northern Spain by Juan Ramón Colmenero, Isabel Suárez-Ruiz , Javier Fernández-Suárez, Pedro Barba, and Teresa Llorens.
International Journal of Coal Geology, 2008, Volume 76, p. 187-204.


Applied Coal Petrology
edited by Isabel Suárez-Ruiz and John C. Crelling, with chapters authored or co-authored by Joan S. Esterle, Robert B. Finkelman, Stephen F. Greb, Gareth D. Mitchell, Jack C. Pashin, Nicola J. Wagner, Colin R. Ward, M. Coertzen, R.H. Matjie, J.C. van Dyk
Academic Press, 2008.