Alberto Perez-Huerta

Alberto Perez-Huerta

Associate Professor


  • PhD, Geology, University of Oregon, 2004
  • BS, Geology, Universidad de Oviedo, 2000
  • Post-doc, Geological Sciences, University of Glasgow, 2006-2009

Research Areas

  • Paleontology, Paleoclimatology, and Paleoecology


My current research interests fall dominantly within the fields of Biomineralization and Paleoecology. Ongoing work using modern and fossil marine invertebrates involves investigation of fundamental questions in Natural Sciences, within several subdisciplines ranging from paleoclimatology to materials science, in a multidisciplinary research framework. Some examples are given as follows:


  1. Climatic and environmental proxies
  2. Biomineral crystal structure, growth and physical properties
  3. Development of microscopy and analytical techniques for biomineral characterization, such as atom probe tomography (APT) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)


  1. Biogeochemistry of fossils
  2. Late Paleozoic paleoecology and paleoclimatology
  3. Fossil brachiopod faunas

Conjugate research interests also include investigating linkages between marine and non-marine ecosystems, carbonate sedimentology, and fossil invertebrate biomechanics.

Current Research Projects

  1. Crystallography (EBSD) of fossils (brachiopods, foraminifera, eggshells, shark teeth) for clumped isotope applications [in collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Texas A&M, and UCLA].
  2. Development of atom probe tomography (APT) for minerals.
  3. Biomineralization in Paleozoic corals [in collaboration with colleagues at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain].
  4. Microstructural characterization of the mineralization in pearls and eggshells [in collaboration with Drs. Jean-Pierre Cuif and Yannicke Dauphin].
  5. Unusual biomineral structures in trilobites [in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Hegna at Western Illinois University].

Selected Publications

  • 2018, Pérez-Huerta, A.& Laiginhas, F. Preliminary data on the nanoscale characterization of the inter-crystalline organic matrix of a calcium carbonate biomineral. Minerals, v. 8, 223; doi: 10.3390/min8060223.
  • 2018, Dauphin, Y., Luquet, G., Pérez-Huerta, A.& Salome, M. Biomineralization in modern avian calcified eggshells: similarity versus diversity. Connective Tissue Research, v.59 (Suppl. 1), 67-73.
  • 2018, Henkes, G.A., Passey, B.H., Grossman, E.L., Shenton, B.J., Yancey, T.E. & Pérez-Huerta, A.Temperature evolution and oxygen isotope composition of Phanerozoic oceans from carbonate clumped isotope thermometry. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, v. 490, 40-50.
  • 2018, Pérez-Huerta, A., Coronado, I. & Hegna, T. Understanding biomineralization in the fossil record. Earth-Science Reviews [Invited Contribution], v. 179, 95-122.