College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Windsor Aguirre

Windsor Aguirre

  • Associate Professor, Evolutionary Biology
  • ​​​​PhD​​​​
  • Biological Sciences
  • ​Evolutionary Biology, Ichthyology

  • (773) 325-8005
  • ​McGowan South, Room 221A       

Classes Taught
  • Concepts in Evolution (BIO 335/435)
  • Molecular Methods in Ecology and Evolution (BIO 321/421)​
  • Evolution (BIO 235)
  • Biostatistics (BIO 206)
  • General Biology II for Science Majors (BIO 192)
  • Evolution and Society (BIO 104) - Part of the Short-Term Study Abroad Program Galapagos: Evolution and Society 
  • Evolution in Health and Medicine (BIO 110)

Research Interests
Aguirre's lab is broadly interested in studying the early stages of evolutionary diversification and how different factors facilitate or constrain evolution. Most of the research in the lab involves fishes, with projects taking place in a variety of geographic locations from tropical (e.g., Ecuador) to temperate (e.g., Alaska, Chicago)  ecosystems. Many different tools are used to tease apart the complexity of biological systems, including geometric morphometrics to study morphological variation and molecular markers to study genetic variation.

Research projects in the lab are quite diverse and include studies of the evolution of body form of closely related fishes adapting to different habitats, the impact of human-mediated habitat transformation on fishes, and the evolutionary history and population genetic structure of Neotropical fish species. A major focus of the lab involves studying how the axial skeleton responds to the evolution of body form as populations adapt to different habitats, the functional significance of these changes, and the underlying developmental mechanisms. The lab is also conducting basic research on the ecology and evolution of freshwater fish species in western Ecuador.

Select Publications
 Alava, J.J., Calle, P., Tirape, A., Biedenbach, G., Alvarado Cadena, O., Maruya, K., Lao, W., Aguirre, W., Jimenez, P.J., Dominguez, G.A., Bossart, G.D., Fair, P.A. 2020. Persistent organic pollutants and mercury in genetically identified inner estuary bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) residents of the Guayaquil Gulf, Ecuador: Ecotoxicological science in support of pollutant management and cetacean conservation. Frontiers in Marine Science 7:122.

Reyes, W.D., and W.E. Aguirre. 2019. Effects of temperature variation on vertebral number and body shape in Astyanax mexicanus (Teleostei: Characidae). PLoS One 14(7): e0219677.
Aguirre, W.E., A. Young, R. Navarrete Amaya, J. Valdiviezo Rivera, P. Jiménez Prado, R. Cucalón Tamayo, T. Borders, F. Nugra Salazar, P. Calle Delgado, and V. Shervette. 2019. Vertebral number covaries with body form and elevation along the Western Slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes in the Neotropical fish genus Rhoadsia (Teleostei: Characidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 126:706-720.
Malato, G., V.R. Shervette, R. Navarrete Amaya, J. Valdiviezo Rivera, F. Nugra Salazar, P. Calle Delgado, K.C. Karpan, and W.E. Aguirre. 2017. Parallel body shape divergence in the Neotropical fish genus Rhoadsia (Teleostei: Characidae) along elevational gradients of the Western Slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. PLoS One 12(6):e0179432.
Aguirre, W.E., S.E. Contreras, K.M. Carlson, A.J. Jagla, and L. Arellano. 2016. Evolutionary diversification of body form and the axial skeleton in the Gasterosteoidei — the sticklebacks and their closest relatives. Evolutionary Ecology Research 17:373-393.

Professional Activities
  • Academic Editor PLoS One
  • Research Associate, Field Museum of Natural History​
  • Chair of the DePaul University IACUC Committee
  • Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Graduate Committee for the Department of Biological Sciences 
  • Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences Web Page Committee
Professional Society Memberships
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London
  • Life Member of the Society for the Study of Evolution
  • Member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists