Faculty & Staff Directory
A. Alonso Aguirre
- Chair, Environmental Science and Policy
- Planetary Health, One Health, Veterinary Medicine
- PhD, Wildlife Biology & Protected Areas Management, Colorado State University (1990)
- MS, Wildlife Biology and Preventive Medicine, Colorado State University (1987)
- DVM, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (1984)
I am Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Science and Policy and I also serve as Chair of the Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. I head an academic and research program using the One Health/Planetary Health approaches to understanding wildlife diseases and their links to human health. I co-founded the emerging discipline of Conservation Medicine, the journal EcoHealth and the International Association of Ecology and Health, under the tenet “health connects all species in the planet”, developing practical, sustainable and effective solutions understanding local socio-economic factors and a solid grasp of complex national and regional health and environmental policies. During the past three decades, my collaborations highlight transdisciplinarity, integrative research, socio-ecological systems and resilience, while building local capacity in over 25 countries. I am a member of the Board of Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences and was appointed to the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. I have advised governments of countries in the Americas, Asia and Western Europe and briefed the U.S. Congress on many health and ecological issues linked to anthropogenic change.
As an accomplished leader with a clear strategic vision, with an outstanding record of research and educational achievements, I oversee the advancement of environmental science and policy, conservation biology, wildlife management, infectious disease ecology, conservation medicine, veterinary medicine, EcoHealth, One Health and Planetary Health by providing leadership in teaching, research and service with administrative efficiency across disciplines in ESP. My mission is to provide the next generation of environmental science, sustainability and policy leaders with unique educational and research opportunities that are transformational and transdisciplinary in nature within the context of globalization and international markets.
My research spans topics from wildlife management, diseases, anesthesia, and ecology, to the health of ecosystems. My disciplinary expertise is necessarily similarly broad, including microbiology, immunology, biology, biochemistry, veterinary science, wildlife diseases, disease ecology, conservation biology, conservation medicine, ecological health, and One Health. My research has been instrumental in revealing the impact of emerging diseases particularly within marine wildlife populations, such as sea turtles, seals, and manatees. In studies across the globe, I have focused on habitat destruction and degradation, emerging infectious diseases, biodiversity loss, global toxification, and illegal trade as factors affecting the health and disease of wildlife populations and their ecosystems. I cofounded the emerging discipline of Conservation Medicine, building upon the “One Health” approach to animals, people, and the environment, adopted by the CDC, WHO, FAO, OIE, and other organizations. Because diseases know no disciplinary or national boundaries, my work is inherently collaborative, international, and multisectoral.
At Mason, I have developed, implemented and taught undergraduate and graduate courses including EVPP337 Applied Ecology; EVPP 427/527 Disease Ecology and Conservation; EVPP 445/545 Principles of Environmental Toxicology; EVPP 449/549 Marine Ecology, EVPP 460/560 Infectious Diseases of Wildlife; EVPP490 One Health: A Transdisciplinary Approach; and EVVP 745 Environmental Toxicology (Ecotoxicology).
- Aguirre A.A., R. Catherina, H. Frye and L, Shelley. 2020. Illicit wildlife trade, wet markets and COVID-19: Preventing future pandemics. World Medical & Health Policy doi.org/10.1002/wmh3.348
- Aguirre, A. A., and Nichols, W. J. 2020. The conservation mosaic approach to reduce corruption and the illicit sea turtle take and trade. Targeting Natural Resource Corruption Practice Note, April, USAID, WWF, CMI U4 Anti-Corruption, TraCCC and TRAFFIC, Washington, D.C. https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/tnrc-practice-note-the-conservation-mosaic-approach-to-reduce-corruption-and-the-illicit-sea-turtle-take-and-trade
- Aguirre A.A., T. Longcore, M. Barbieri, H. Dabritz, D. Hill, P.N. Klein, C. Lepczyk, E.L. Lilly, R. McLeod, J. Milcarsky, C.E. Murphy, C. Su, E. VanWormer, R. Yolken, and G.C. Sizemore. 2019. The One Health approach to toxoplasmosis: Epidemiology, control and prevention in humans, animals, and ecosystems. EcoHealth https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-019-01405-7
- Wilcox B.A., A.A. Aguirre, N. De Padua, B. Siriaroonrat, and P. Echaubard, 2019. Operationalizing One Heath employing social-ecological systems theory: lessons from the Greater Mekong Subregion. Frontiers in Public Health doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00085
- Aguirre A.A., N. Basu, L.H. Kahn, X.K. Morin, P. Echaubard, B.A. Wilcox, and V.R. Beasley. 2019. Transdisciplinary and social-ecological health frameworks—Novel approaches to emerging parasitic and vector-borne diseases. Parasite Epidemiology and Control 4:e00084.
- Dallas T.A., A.A. Aguirre, S. Budischak, C. Carlson, V.O. Ezenwa, B.A. Han, S. Huang and P.R. Stephens. 2018. Gauging support for macroecological patterns in helminth parasites. Global Ecology and Biogeography doi:10.1111/geb.12819
- 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): https://doi.org/10.1093/ilar/ilx035
- Aguirre, A.A., V.R. Beasley, T. Augspurger, W.H. Benson, J. Whaley and N. Basu. 2016. One Health—Transdisciplinary opportunities for SETAC leadership in integrating and improving the health of people, animals, and the environment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 35:2383-2391.
- Aguirre, A.A., and R. Sukumar (eds.). 2016. Tropical Conservation: Perspectives on Local and Global Priorities. Oxford University Press, New York, 491 pp. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/tropical-conservation-9780199766987?cc=us&lang=en&
- Aguirre A. A., R. S. Ostfeld and P. Daszak (eds.). 2012. New Directions in Conservation Medicine: Applied Cases of Ecological Health, Oxford University Press, New York, 646 pp. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/new-directions-in-conservation-medicine-9780199731473?cc=us&lang=en&
- Appointed to the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
- Appointed to the Board of Biological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences
- Received the Distinguished Alumni Award, Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
- Appointed Executive Member, Global Environmental Change and Human Health Scientific Steering Committee. Earth System Science Partnership: DIVERSITAS, IGBP, IHDP, WCRP
- Appointed Executive Member, NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative National Advisory Panel
- Received the Conservation Achievement Award, State Commission of Parks and Wildlife, Mexico
- Awarded the Harry Jalanka Memorial Medal, Finland, the most prestigious award in zoo and wildlife medicine