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Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Chair 305 E. 23rd Street • CLA 3.306 • A3100 • Austin, Tx 78712 • 512-232-1595

Francisco L. Pérez

Professor Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley

Professor - Director of Soils Laboratory
Francisco L. Pérez


  • Phone: 512.232.1582
  • Office: CLA 3.708
  • Office Hours: Spring 2014: T 12:30-1:45 p.m.
  • Campus Mail Code: A3100


Professor Francisco L. Pérez with a staggering inflorescence in the Canary Islands.Professor Francisco L. Pérez received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of California at Berkeley, and joined the UT faculty in 1986. His research interests include Mountain Geoecology, Vegetation Ecology, Soils, Alpine Geomorphology, and Biogeomorphology.

Pérez started hiking on mountains when he was 13 years old, and he still enjoys it more than any other field activity. He has worked extensively at high elevations (2500-4600 meters) throughout the South American Andes, the Western USA Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains, the Hawaiian volcanoes of Haleakala and Mauna Kea, Teide volcano in Tenerife (Canary Islands), the Pyrenees, and in various smaller mountains of Texas, Spain, Venezuela, and Italy. Specific recent research interests include the ecology and geomorphology of microbiotic soil crusts and of vagrant cryptogamic organisms, the biogeomorphology of tropical alpine rosette plants, the effects of stone pavements and boulders on soil ecology, the process of evaporation of soil moisture, and the evolution of microrelief and of gnamma soils on granitic domes.
Professor Pérez's research interests dovetail neatly with his classroom activities, and he regularly teaches courses in Physical Geography,  Mountain Geoecology, Process Geomorphology, Vegetation Ecology, and Soils. Dr. Pérez has authored nearly 70 publications, which have appeared in various scientific journals of 20 countries of Europe, North America, and South America.

Selected Recent Publications:

Pérez, F.L. 2009: Phytogeomorphic influence of stone covers and boulders on plant distribution and slope processes in high-mountain areas. Geography Compass 3 (2009): 1-30, 10.1111/j. 1749-8198.2009.00263.x.

Pérez, F.L.
2009: The role of tephra covers on soil moisture conservation at Haleakala’s crater (Maui, Hawai’i). Catena, 76: 191-205.

Pérez, F.L. 2008: Costras microbióticas en el volcán Haleakala. Investigación y Ciencia. [Spanish edition of Scientific American, Barcelona, Spain], 385 (October 2008): 10-11.

Pérez, F.L. 2007: Biogeomorphological influence of the Hawaiian Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense DC.) on soil erosion in Haleakala (Maui, Hawai’i). Catena, 71 (1): 41-55.

Pérez, F.L. 2003: Influence of substrate on the distribution of the Hawaiian silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense DC.) in Haleakala (Maui, HI). Geomorphology 55: 173-202. (Also in: Butler, D.R., Walsh, S.J., Malanson, G.P. (eds.), Mountain Geomorphology. Integrating Earth Systems, pp. 173-202. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Pérez, F.L. 2002: Geobotanical relationship of Draba chionophila (Brassicaceae) rosettes and miniature frost-sorted stripes in the high equatorial Andes. Flora: Morphology, Geobotany, Ecophysiology, 197: 24-36.

Pérez, F.L. 2001: Geoecological alteration of surface soils by the Hawaiian silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense) in Haleakala’s crater, Maui. Plant Ecology, 157 (2): 215-233.

Pérez, F.L. 2001: Matrix granulometry of catastrophic debris flows (December 1999) in central coastal Venezuela. Catena, 45: 163-183.

Pérez, F.L. 2000: The influence of surface volcaniclastic layers from Haleakala (Maui, Hawaii) on soil water conservation. Catena, 38: 301-332.

Pérez, F.L. 1998. Talus morphology, clast fabric, and botanical indicators of slope processes on the Chaos Crags (California Cascades). Géographie physique et Quaternaire, 52: 47-68.

Pérez, F.L.
1997. Microbiotic crusts in the high Equatorial Andes, and their influence on paramo soils. Catena, 31: 173-198.


Mountain Geoecology, Geomorphology, Vegetation Ecology, Soils

GRG 301C • The Natural Environment

37690-37735 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 106
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This course deals with the Natural Environment, and focuses on the Geological Materials, Soils,
and Landforms at the Earth's surface, with emphasis on the various processes that create and modify the
landscapes of continental areas.

GRG 334K • Soils

37490 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm CLA 0.128
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GRG 367K • Vegetation Ecology

37555 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 1230pm-200pm JES A303A
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Vegetation Ecology

GRG 301C • The Natural Environment

36955-37010 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WEL 1.308
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This course is called The Natural Environment, and focuses on the Landforms at
the Earth's surface, with emphasis on the processes that create and modify landscapes of
continental areas. First, we will briefly examine processes of rock formation, rock
weathering, and soil formation. We will then concentrate on the evolution of landforms at
various scales, starting with large-scale landforms (continents, mountain ranges, oceanic
basins), and ending with smaller-scale ones (e.g., slopes, rivers, glaciers, etc.).

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