Julio Sepúlveda

Julio Sepúlveda

Assistant Professor

  • Co-Director, Organic Geochemistry Laboratory

Departments / Academic Programs


  • PhD: Marine Geosciences, University of Bremen, Germany, 2008
  • MSc: Oceanography, University of Concepción, Chile, 2005
  • BSc: Marine Biology and Oceanography, University of Concepción, Chile, 2001

Research Programs, Labs, and Groups

Contact Information

(Office) 303 735-6877
(Fax) 303 492-6388
SEEC room S256


Organic and stable isotope biogeochemistry, geobiology, biomarker research, paleoceanography, paleoclimate, extreme climates, mass extinction events.

Research Interests

My research group studies the interplay between microorganisms, biogeochemical processes, and climate in contemporary settings (e.g., continental margins, marine oxygen minimum zones, extreme environments), and paleo-ecosystems across major climatic/biotic transitions in Earth history (e.g., mass extinction events, greenhouse climates, glacial-interglacial transitions). We approach these systems with a focus on the structures, distributions, and stable isotope composition of cell membrane lipids (biomarkers) that can be identified in water bodies, sediments, soils, and their fossilized remains preserved in the rock record.


Go to the Organic Geochemistry Group pages

Julio joined CU in August 2014 as an Assistant Professor in Geological Sciences and Fellow in the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). He comes to CU after having worked as a postdoctoral associate and research scientist in the Geobiology and Astrobiology Group of Prof. Roger Summons in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT.  Originally from Chile, Julio began his career as a marine biologist (BSc) and chemical oceanographer (MSc) at the University of Concepción, Chile under the supervision of Prof. Silvio Pantoja (Marine Organic Geochemistry Group), where the field of organic biogeochemistry fascinated him. After feeling the desire to explore the world and expand his expertise, he moved to Germany and obtained a PhD in Marine Geosciences from the University of Bremen under the supervision of Prof. Kai-Uwe Hinrichs (Organic Geochemistry Group).


  • School of Science Infinitive Kilometer Award, MIT, USA, 2012
  • MARUM Research Prize – Best PhD thesis in Marine Geosciences, University of Bremen, Germany, 2010
  • Best undergraduate thesis in Marine Biology, University of Concepción, Chile, 2000
  • Best student presentation in Biological Oceanography, Chilean Society of Marine Sciences, 1999