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 (in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, and Fall 2012); GEO 355 – Invertebrate Paleontology (in Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, and Fall 2013); GEO 367 – Sedimentology & Stratigraphy (in Spring 2011 and Spring 2014).

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

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


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 [in collaboration with colleagues at Universite Paris XI-Orsay, France].

5) Biomineralization of giant clams [in collaboration with Prof. Aharon, UA] and otoliths [in collaboration with colleagues in Peru].

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

7) Growth and geochemistry of brachiopod shells [in collaboration with Dr. Anthony Aldridge (New Zealand) and Prof. Kazuyoshi Endo (University of Tokyo, Japan)].

Representative Publications

Example of recent publications:

2014, Coronado, I., Pérez-Huerta, A. & Rodríguez, S. Crystallographic orientations of structural elements in skeletons of Syringoporicae (Tabulate corals, Carboniferous): Implications for biomineralization processes in Palaeozoic corals. Palaeontology,

2014, Pérez-Huerta, A., Cuif, J-P., Dauphin, Y. & Cusack, M. Crystallography of calcite in pearls. European Journal of Mineralogy, v. 26, 507-516.

2014, Henkes, G.A., Passey, B.H., Grossman, E.L., Shenton, B., Pérez-Huerta, A. & Yancey, T.E. Temperature-time limits for preservation of primary calcite clumped isotope paleotemperatures. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 139, 362-382.

2014, Pérez-Huerta, A., Aldridge, A.E., Endo, K. & Jeffries, T.E. Brachiopod shell spiral deviations (SSD): Implications for trace element proxies. Chemical Geology, v. 374-375, 13-24.

2013, Coronado, I., Pérez-Huerta, A. & Rodríguez, S. Primary biogenic skeletal structures in Multithecopora (Tabulate, Pennsylvanian).  Palaegeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeocology, v. 386, 286-299

2013, Pérez-Huerta, A., Etayo-Cadavid, M.E., Andrus, C.T.F., Jeffries, T.E., Watkins, C., Street, S.C. & Sandweiss, D.H. El Niño impact on mollusk biomineralization – Implications for trace element proxy reconstructions and the paleo-archeological record. PLoS ONE, v. 8, e54274

2013, Laya, J-C., Tucker, M.E., & Pérez-Huerta, A. Metre-scale cyclicity in Permian ramp carbonates of equatorial Pangea (Venezuelan Andes): Implications for sedimentation under tropical Pangea conditions. Sedimentary Geology, v. 292, 15-35

2013, Pérez-Huerta, A.  Functional morphology and modifications on spine growth in the brachiopod Heteralosia slocomi. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, v. 58, 383-390