College of Science

A. Alonso Aguirre, DVM, PhD

Professor and Department Chair, Environmental Science and Policy

Faculty Directory

Research Focus

I direct an interdisciplinary department spanning the domains of the natural and social sciences, focused on understanding and implementing the science and policy of biodiversity conservation; leadership in water and watersheds; and the application of the one health approach to ecosys- tems and sustainability. I cofounded the emerging discipline of Conservation Medicine under the paradigm “health connects all species in the planet” and as the bedrock of One Health because diseases and toxins know no disciplinary or national boundaries. My research is collaborative, international and multisectoral and has emphasized developing practical, sustainable and effective solutions understanding local socio-economic issues and a solid grasp of complex national and regional health and environmental policies. My collaborations involve transdisci- plinary and socio-ecological and resilience systems, umbrellas of One Health and more recently Planetary Health. My expertise provides novel approaches to define conditions needed to set the targets for Earth’s support systems: land, biodiversity, freshwater and oceans, and how these are linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Current Projects

■ Effects of the illegal consumption of sea turtles on human health and environmental security.

■ A One Health approach to understanding the risks associated with the trade of chelonians.

■ Characterizing bat-borne virus exposure in cave destinations in Southeast Asia.

■ Video games to test risk-taking practices of visitors to national parks.

■ Assessment of health, fitness, parasite loads and the microbiome of endangered Tasmanian devils.

■ Examining the potential impacts of conservation films on human behavior and the components that make them work.

Select Publications

■ Wilcox, B. A., et al. (2019). Operationalizing One Health employing social-ecological systems theory: lessons from the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Frontiers in Public Health, 7, 85.

■ Aguirre, A. A., et al. (2019). The One Health Approach to Toxoplasmosis: Epidemiology, Control, and Prevention Strategies. EcoHealth, 1-13.

■ Aguirre, A. A., et al. (2019). Transdisciplinary and social- ecological health frameworks—Novel approaches to emerging parasitic and vector-borne diseases. Parasite Epidemiology and Control 4.

■ Aguirre, A. A. (2017). Changing patterns of emerging zoonotic diseases in wildlife, domestic animals, and humans linked to biodiversity loss and globalization. ILAR Journal 58(3).



Phone: 703-993-7590