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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Christopher Junium

Junium portrait

Associate Professor: Geobiology, Astrobiology, Paleoclimate, Paleoceanography

Earth and Environmental Sciences

322 Heroy Geology Laboratory


News Articles

Back to the Future of Climate Change

(Aug. 9, 2018)

Professor Christopher K. Junium uses ancient marine sediment as benchmark for present, future climate models

Geochemist Breathes New Life into ‘Great Oxidation Event’

(Feb. 8, 2017)

Christopher Junium helps detect traces of oxygen, nitrogen in 2.3 billion-year-old rock

Professors Look to Geologic Past to Predict Future Environmental Conditions

(June 22, 2016)

Earth scientists use NSF grant to study link between elevated temperatures, precipitation in ancient Antarctica

Syracuse Geologist Chris Junium Awarded Prestigious CAREER Grant

(Jan. 30, 2015)

Christopher Junium uses NSF grant to study link between marine life, global warming

Research and Teaching Interests

I am a sedimentary and organic geochemist. I focus on the redox evolution of the Earth, specializing in biogeochemical cycling. I use a range of geochemical tools, but focus on the stable isotopes of nitrogen, carbon and sulfur, with a particular interest in compound-specific, stable isotope techniques. My research interests span the spectrum of geologic time from the Archean to modern systems. Current I am working principally on the Cretaceous and Neoproterozoic with and eye toward understanding future global change.


  • Global Change: The Geologic Record
  • Stable Isotope Geochemistry


Shibajyoti Das (PhD Dtudent)

Ben Uveges (PhD Student)


Renovations for the new stable isotope lab are complete and will house lab space for preparation and instrumentation for compound-specific carbon, nitrogen and sulfur isotope analyses.

Sample preparation facilities will be housed in a class 10000 clean lab with HEPA-filtered air supply. Two large HEPA-filtered laminar flow exhaust Isolation Cabinets (Patent Pending) capable of class 10 chemistry will be used for acid digestions (kerogen and pyrite), organic extractions, and preparative chromatography.

Instrumentation space includes a new Isoprime 100 continuous flow stable isotope mass spectrometer with Isoprime Trace Gas module as well as an Elementar varioIsotope elemental analyzer for N2, CO2, and SO2.

High-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) will be the focus of our organic geochemistry endeavors. I will be identifying a vendor for the liquid chromatography instrumentation and will be seeking outside funding for an ion-trap, multi-stage mass spectrometer in the near future.

Selected Publications

DeMott, LM, Napieralski, SA, Junium, CK, Teece, M, and Scholz, CA, 2019, Microbially influenced lacustrine carbonates: A comparison of late Quaternary Lahontan tufa and modern thrombolite from Fayetteville Green Lake, NY, Geobiology, 00:1–20,

DeMott LM, Scholz CA and Junium CK, 2019, 8200-year growth history of a Lahontan-age lacustrine tufa deposit, Sedimentology, v. 66, pp. 2169–2190,

Kump, L., Junium, C., Arthur, M., Fallick, A., Melezhik, V., Lepland, A., Črne, A., Luo, G., and the FARDEEP Drilling Team, Isotopic Evidence for the First Massive Oxidation of Organic Matter in Earth History, Science (in revision)

Cui, Y., Kump, L.R., Ridgwell A., Junium, C.K., Diefendorf, A.F., Freeman K.H, Urban, N., Charles, A., Harding, I.C., and the WUN pACE Group, Reconstruction of the rates and total quantity of carbon addition during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Nature Geoscience.

Junium, C.K., B.J., Keely, K.H., Arthur, M.A., Freeman, (2011) Chlorins in mid-Cretaceous black shales of the Demerara Rise: the oldest known occurrence, Organic Geochemistry.

Polissar, P.J., Fulton, J.F., Junium, C.K., Turich, C.T., Freeman, K.H., (2009) Measurement of 13C and 15N isotopic composition on nanomolar quantities of C and N, Analytic Chemistry, 81, 755-763.

Junium, C.K., Mawson, D.H., Arthur, M.A., Freeman, K.H., Keely, B.J., (2008) Unexpected occurrence and significance of zinc alkyl porphyrins in Cenomanian-Turonian black shales of the Demerara Rise, Organic Geochemistry, 39, 1081-1087.

Zerkle, A.L., Junium, C.K., Canfield, D.E., House, C.H., (2008) Production of 15N depleted biomass during cyanobacterial N2-fixation at high Fe concentrations, Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 113, G03014, doi:10.1029/2007JG000651.

Junium, C.K., Arthur, M.A., (2007) Nitrogen cycling during the Cretaceous, Cenomanian-Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event II, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 8, 3, doi:10.1029/2006GC001328.

Erbacher, J., D. Mosher, M. Malone, and the ODP Leg 207 Scientific Party, (2004) Drilling probes past carbon cycle perturbations on the Demerara Rise, Eos, 85, 57-63.

Erbacher, J., Mosher, D.C., Malone, M.J., Berti, D., Bice, K.L., Bostock, H., Brumsack, H.-J., Danelian, T., Forster, A., Glatz, C., Heidersdorf, F., Henderiks, J., Janecek, T.R., Junium, C., Le Callonnec, L., MacLeod, K., Meyers, P.A., Mutterlose, H.J., Nishi, H., Norris, R.D., Ogg, J.G., O'Regan, M.A., Rea, B., Sexton, P., Sturt, H., Suganuma, Y., Thurow, J.W., Wilson, P.A., Wise, S.W., Jr., (2004). Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program; Demerara Rise; Equatorial Cretaceous and Paleogene Paleoceanographic Transect, Western Atlantic; Covering Leg 207 of the cruises of the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution; Bridgetown, Barbados, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sites 1257-1261; 11 January-6 March 2003, Ocean Drilling Program,College Station, TX.