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Sepúlveda, Julio Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Dr. Sepúlveda is a broadly trained geobiologist who uses organic and stable isotope geochemical tools to study the co-evolution of biology, biogeochemical cycles and climate. His research focuses on elucidating how microbial and biogeochemical processes respond to environmental perturbations in both contemporary (e.g., continental margins, marine oxygen minimum zones, soils, lakes, extreme environments) and ancient (glacial-interglacial transitions, greenhouse climates, extinction events) settings. More specifically, he achieves this by studying and validating the biogeochemical and isotopic information encoded in organic molecules (biomarkers) present in modern environments, and in their fossilized counterparts preserved in sedimentary records.

keywords

  • Organic and isotope biogeochemistry, lipid biomarkers as tracers for microbial processes and biogeochemical cycles, paleoenvironmental sciences, geobiology, CO2 forcing and climate change, co-evolution of climate and biology

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • GEOL 1060 - Global Change: An Earth Science Perspective
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    Focuses on evidence for planetary warming, climate change, glacier and ice-sheet melting and sea level rise both now and in the recent past. Attempts to develop understanding of the interactions within the coupled Earth system that regulate such changes. Utilizes examples from the geological and instrumental records, and evaluates the global warming forecast. Degree credit not granted for this course and ATOC 1060.
  • GEOL 3040 - Global Change: The Recent Geological Record
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021
    Geological records in lakes, oceans, deserts, and around glaciers indicate the significant changes in the global systems that have taken place over the last few hundred or thousand years. Explores the timing and nature of these changes. Department enforced prerequisites: any two-course sequence of natural science core courses.
  • GEOL 4611 - Organic Geochemistry
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Explores the 'biomarker concept' as a tool to elucidate microbial, biogeochemical, and climatic processes in natural systems through three fundamental goals: a) characterization and classification of organic molecules in complex, natural mixtures; b) biosynthesis, transport, transformation, preservation and destruction of organic matter in nature; c) application of lipid biomarkers and their stable isotope composition to study biological, biogeochemical, and climatic processes in modern and ancient systems. Recommended prerequisite: GEOL 3320 or GEOL 4270.
  • GEOL 4700 - Special Geological Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Studies in selected geological subjects of special current interest (for undergraduates). May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours within a term.
  • GEOL 5612 - Techniques in Organic Geochemistry
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Explores the techniques in analytical chemistry and organic geochemistry for the study of lipid biomarkers in the environment, which include the following topics: a) Extraction of environmental samples and separation of lipid classes; b) Analysis of apolar lipids using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS); c) Determine the stable isotope composition of lipids using GC-isotope ratio-MS (GC-IR-MS); d) Analysis of polar lipids using high performance liquid chromatography-MS (HPLC-MS). Requires previous coursework in general chemistry and Organic Geochemistry. Recommended prerequisites: Introductory or advanced courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, biogeochemistry, geochemistry, geomicrobiology, paleoclimate, or geology.
  • GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.

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