Pere Alberch

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Not to be confused with the composer Pere Alberch Vila.
Pere Alberch Vie
Born (1954-11-02)2 November 1954
Badalona, Cataluña
Died 13 March 1998(1998-03-13) (aged 43)
Badalona, Cataluña
Nationality  Spain
Fields Embryology
Alma mater University of Kansas
University of California
Influences Stephen Jay Gould
Conrad Hal Waddington

Pere Alberch (2 November 1954, Badalona – 13 March 1998, Madrid) was a Spanish naturalist, biologist and embryologist. He was a professor of at Harvard University from 1980 to 1989, and director of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid. He studied in the United States, earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas (1976) and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley (1980).


Alberch was born on November 2, 1954 in Badalona (Barcelona). In 1976 he graduated after studying Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Kansas. Four years later he obtained a PhD in Zoology at the University of California. Between 1980 and 1989 he worked as both a biology professor at Harvard University and as a curator of herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He worked as an editor for magazines such as Trends in Ecology and Evolution (since 1993), Biodiversity Letters (since 1992), Journal of Theoretical Biology (since 1985) and Journal of Evolutionary Biology (1986-1991). In 1989 he returned to Spain as a research professor for the Spanish National Research Council and carried out an important role as director of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales. In 1998 the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutional Biology, a new research center located in Valencia, was interested in including Alberch to its staff. He died on March 13, 1998 at the age of 43.


  • Alberch, P., Gould, S. J., Oster, G. F. and Wake, D. B. 1979. Size and shape in ontogeny and phylogeny. Paleobiology, 5(3): 296-317.
  • Alberch, P. & Alberch, J.1981. Heterochronic mechanisms of morphological diversification and evolutionary change in the neotropical salamander, Bolitoglossa occidentalis (Amphibia; Plethodontidae). J. Morphol., 167: 249-264.
  • Odell, G., Oster, G. F., Alberch, P. & Burnside, B.1981. The mechanical basis of morphogenesis. I. A mechanical model of epithelial tissue folding and certain gastrulation patterns. J. Develop. Biol., 85: 446-462.
  • Oster, G. F. & Alberch, P. 1982. Evolution and bifurcation of developmental programs. Evolution, 36: 444-459.
  • Alberch, P. & Gale, E. 1985. A developmental analysis of an evolutionary trend: Digital reductions in amphibians. Evolution, 39: 8-23.
  • Alberch, P. 1985. Problems with the interpretation of developmental sequences. Systematic Zool., 34: 46-58.
  • Maynard Smith, J., Burian, R., Kauffman, S., Alberch, P., Campbell, J., Goodwin, B., Lande, R., Raup, D. & Wolpert, L. 1985. Developmental constraints and evolution. Quarterly Rev. Biol., 60: 265-287.
  • Shubin, N.H. & Alberch, P. 1986. A Morphogenetic Approach To The Origin And Basic Organization Of The Tetrapod Limb. J. Evolutionary Biology 20: 319-387.
  • Oster, G. F., Shubin, N., Murray, J. D, & Alberch, P. 1988. Evolution and morphogenetic rules. The shape of the vertebrate limb in ontogeny and phylogeny. Evolution, 42: 862-884.