Julio Sepulveda
Assistant Professor
Geological Sciences • INSTAAR

Offices: SEEC S256 (primary); BESC 246E (teaching)


I am a broadly trained biogeochemist who uses organic and stable isotope geochemical tools to study the co-evolution of biology, biogeochemical cycles and climate. My research studies the interplay between microorganisms, biogeochemical processes, and climate in contemporary settings (e.g., continental margins, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, extreme environments), and paleo-ecosystems across major climatic/biotic transitions in Earth history (e.g., mass extinction events, greenhouse climates, glacial-interglacial transitions). I approach these studies with a focus on the structure, distribution, and stable isotopic composition of cell membrane lipids (biomarkers) that are preserved in modern and ancient depositional systems, and carry taxonomic, metabolic, and environmental information. Notably, these characteristics of biomarkers can be preserved in sedimentary systems for billions of years.


Organic geochemistry, lipidomics, compound-specific stable isotope analysis, geobiology, paleoclimate, paleoceanography

Department Topic Areas

Education and Training

  • Research Scientist, MIT, USA, 2013-2014
  • Postdoctoral Associate, MIT, USA, 2009-2012
  • PhD., Marine Geosciences, Univ. Bremen, Germany, 2008
  • MSc., Oceanography, Univ. Concepción, Chile, 2005
  • BSc., Marine Biology, Univ. Concepción, Chile, 2001