Alberto Perez-Huerta

Associate Professor

  • (205) 348-8382
  • 2018 Bevill


BS, Geology, Universidad de Oviedo, 2000

PhD, Geology, University of Oregon, 2004

Post-Doctoral, Geological Sciences, Univ. of Glasgow, 2006- 2009

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses: GEO 101 – Physical Geology (2009-2012); GEO 355 – Invertebrate Paleontology (2009-2018); GEO 367 – Sedimentology & Stratigraphy (in Spring 2011 and 2014); GEO 424/525 - Dinosaur Paleobiology (in Fall 2016 and 2018)

Graduate Courses: GEO 513 – Sedimentary Petrography (in Fall 2011) and GEO 525 – Introduction to Biomineralization (in Spring 2013 and Fall 2014).

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests

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].

6) Unusual biomineral structures in trilobites [in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Hegna at Western Illinois University].

Representative Publications

Example of recent 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.