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Julia Tejada
Credit: R. Mickens@AMNH

Julia Tejada

Assistant Professor of Geobiology - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences

Affiliated faculty - Division of Biology and Biological Engineering

I am a paleobiologist that applies stable isotope methods to answer an array of ecological, physiological, and evolutionary questions. My research program lies at the intersection of paleontology, organismal biology, systematics, and geochemistry, and integrates laboratory experiments and expeditionary fieldwork in understudied settings, like western Amazonia, Central Andes, and coastal areas of Peru.

Currently, my main interests involve the characterization of the ecological evolution of vertebrates and ecosystems in the Neotropics (with a special focus on the Amazon rainforest), and understanding the physiological processes underlying stable isotope variation across organisms. A protagonist organism in my research are sloths, whose morphological and physiological oddities make them an interesting study system to test some of the truisms established on other more "traditional" mammals.

I started my academic life as a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru (my country of origin). As not uncommon in academia, after completion of my undergraduate studies in Peru, I starting a nomadic life that took me to Florida (University of Florida in Gainesville), New York (Columbia University/AMNH), France (University of Montpellier), the UK (University of Cambridge), and now back in the US, this time to sunny and beautiful California!