Professor Francisca Oboh-Ikuenobe is a geologist from Ubiaja in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State. She specialises in palynology and sedimentology and is Professor of Geology and Interim Chair in the Department of Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum and Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology.Oboh-Ikuenobe attended St. Maria Goretti Girls Grammar School Benin-city, Nigeria. She gained a first class BSc in Geology in 1983 after which she worked as a Production Geologist for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in Lagos, and Palynologist with Shell at their Geological Laboratory in Warri Delta State, before returning to graduate school for her MSc in Applied Geology in 1987, from the University of Ife Nigeria (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
Following this she held position as an assistant lecturer at Ife University. She was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Award for her doctorate at the Department of Earth Science, University of Cambridge (New Hall, now Murray Edwards College), which was awarded in 1991 with her thesis ‘Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction of the E2.0 Reservoir in the Kolo Creek Field, Niger Delta (Nigeria)’. She joined Missouri S&T, then Department of Geology and Geophysics in 1991 as an assistant professor in Geology. In 1997 Oboh-Ikunobe was appointed associate professor of Geology, in 2005 full professor, and program head in Geology and Geophysics from 2006 to 2014. She became interim department chair in January 2015. In addition to her academic positions she has worked as Shipboard Sedimentologist on the Ocean Drilling Program (Leg 159 Eastern Equatorial Atlantic Transform Margin) January to February 1995.
Amongst other offices she was President Elect, President & Past President of the AASP (The Palynological Society) from 2010 to 2013,Member-at-Large on the Geological Society of America Diversity in the Geosciences Committee from 2012 to 2015, Director of the Association for Women Geoscientists Foundation, 2005–2008 and an Editorial board member of Palynology journal, 1995 to 2009. In 2010 and 2011 she was a workshop leader for ‘On the Cutting Edge’,a professional development program for current and prospective geoscience faculty members, supported by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and funded by the National Science Foundation. Since 2013, she has been a member of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Scientific Board (Global Change Group), which is under the umbrella of UNESCO/International Union of Geological Sciences. Her research falls under the categories of palynology and sedimentology, with the former including studies of pollen and other palynomorphs within sediments and sedimentary rocks as a proxy for biostratigraphic, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. She also integrates palynofacies with organic geochemistry.