Jump to content Jump to navigation

Jesus Aguirre Gutierrez

PhD. J. (Jesús) Aguirre Gutiérrez - Biodiversity Dynamics


Email: Jesus.AguirreGutierrez@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71 751 9268
Room number: Vondellaan 55, 3d floor
“No better place to be than in the forest...”

I come from Mexico where I obtained my License degree in Biology from the University of Guadalajara. Since 2008 I have been part of the University of Amsterdam -UvA IBED, where I studied my master degree in Ecology and Evolution -Tropical Ecology. In 2011 I started my PhD in Ecology at UvA obtaining my degree in October 2015. Now I work as a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Natural History Museum of the Netherlands -Naturalis Biodiversity Center and I am still part of the Computational Geo-ecology group of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics of the UvA.


I am interested in how biodiversity responds to environmental changes. I enjoy carrying out spatial analysis and the use of remote sensing techniques for biodiversity conservation. Now as a Postoc at Naturalis I am investigating how the vegetation structure in the landscape, extracted by means of LiDAR remote sensing data, may drive the spatial distribtuion of pollinators at the country level (for the Netherlands).

During my PhD. I worked with Species Distribution Models, also called Ecological Niche Models. As part of my PhD I wanted to understand the why of the differences between the outputs of different modelling algorithms. The different predictions of species distributions may have a direct impact on our decisitons for biodiversity conservation. I have applied my results of this research in order to investigate the past and present species distributions and their main environmental drivers focusing on pollinators and pine species. The fact is that if we know how species have responded to past environmental changes then we are better prepared when predicting their future responses to climate and land-use changes. Moreover, I have also investigated if and how pollinator species have shifted their areal and latitudinal/longitudinal ranges given climate and land use changes and how the species traits may help unravel why certain species may be better prepared to environmental modifications. On the last part of my PhD research I have also investigated how landscape composition and fragmentation affect species richness changes across time and space.

Before my PhD I obtained my MSc. degree in Ecology and Evolution- Tropical Ecology at the University of Amsterdam-IBED (2010). During my master degree I applied species distribution modelling techniques in order to unravel how protected is the genus Pinus in protected areas in Mexico. After this I analysed how landscape fragmentation and land-use/cover chnages impact the species richness and diversity of a coniferous forest ecosystem, doing field work in northern Mexico. I also carried out extensive work in the fields of GIS and Remote Sensing.


LiDAR derived 3D model of vegetation structure in Brazil November 2016


Research interest

My main interest is on how biodiversity responds to environmental changes and the mesuares we can take in order to protect it and the ecosystem services they provide. I work mostly with pollinators (bees, butterflies, hoverflies) and the genus Pinus (pine trees)I investigate their responses to environmental changes by applying spatial analysis with distribution modelling techniques and new technologies as remote sensing and geographic information systems. 


gis, spatial analysis, remote sensing, pines, landscape composition, landscape fragmentation, pollinators, climate change

Current research topics

Past and present responses of pollinators to climate and land-use change

Using record collections of bees, butterflies and hoverflies in the Netherlands this projects aims to understand how these pollinator groups have responded to climatic and land-use conditions across time and space. At this moment I am analysing if different groups respond in diffeent ways to these drivers of change and with what intensity. This may render insights into which are the more resilient species which may not suffer much from future climatic and land-use changes and the ones that are may dissapear given chnages in the current conditions.

Ecological niche comparison across closely-related Mexican white pines

In the face of global environmental change, identifying the factors that shape the ecological niches of species and understanding the mechanisms behind them can help draft effective conservation plans. The differences in the ecological factors that shape species distributions may also then help highlight differences between closely related taxa. We investigate the applicability of ecological niche modelling and the comparison of the species distribution in ecological niche space for detecting areas with priority for biodiversity conservation and for analysing differences in the ecological niche spaces used by closely related taxa.


For the Pines project we are collaborating with Dr. Alma R. Villalobos Arámbula and Dr. Jorge A. Pérez de la Rosa from the Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias.



Supervision MSc Students

2016 Co-supervisor of master student Kim Renkens -Leiden University
2016 Co-supervisor of master student Koen Stam -Leiden University
2016 Co-supervisor of master student Robbert Poldermans -Leiden University
2015 Co-Supervisor of master student Jolien Morren -Leiden University
2015 Co-Supervisor of master student Bastiaen Boekelo -Wageningen University
2014 Co-Supervisor of master student Andoni Santander -Leiden University

Supervision BSc Students

2017 Mapping the hazard of agricultural chemicals on the distribution of pollinators in the Netherlands
Available student projects



Chapters in books

Raes N., Aguirre-Gutiérrez J. 2018. A Modeling Framework to Estimate and Project Species Distributions in Space and Time. C. Hoorn, A. Perrigo and A. Antonelli 309-320: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.,


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Roger N., Moerman R., Carvalheiro L.G., Aguirre‐Guitiérrez J., Jacquemart A.L., Kleijn D., Lognay G., Moquet L., Quinet M., Rasmont P., Richel A., Vanderplanck M., Michez D. 2017. Impact of pollen resources drift on common bumble bees in NW Europe. Global Change Biology 23: 68-76.
Go to website (DOI)

Wicaksono C.Y., Aguirre-Guiterrez J., Nouhra E., Pastor N., Raes N., Pacheco S., Geml J. 2017. Contracting montane cloud forests: a case study of the Andean alder (Alnus acuminata) and associated fungi in the Yungas. Biotropica 49: 141–152.
Go to website (DOI)

Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Kissling W.D., Biesmeijer J.C.,WallisDeVries M.F.,Reemer M., Carvalheiro L.G. 2017. Historical changes in the importance of climate and land use as determinants of Dutch pollinator distributions. Journal of Biogeography 44: 696–707.
Go to website (URI)

Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Treuren R. van, Hoekstra R., Hintum T.J.L. van 2017. Crop wild relatives range shifts and conservation in Europe under climate change. Diversity and Distributions 23: 739–750.
Go to website (DOI)

Amaral A.G., Munhoz C.B.R., Walter B.M.T., Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Raes, N. 2017. Richness pattern and phytogeography of the Cerrado herb–shrub flora and implications for conservation. Journal of Vegetation Science 28: 848-858.
Go to website (DOI)

Gama R., Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Stech M. 2017. Ecological niche comparison and molecular phylogeny segregate the invasive moss species Campylopus introflexus (Leucobryaceae, Bryophyta) from its closest relatives. Ecology and Evolution 7: 8017-8031.
Go to website (DOI)

Aguirre-Gutierrez J., WallisDeVries M.F., Marshall L., Zelfde M. van’t, Villalobos-Arambula A.R., Boekelo B., Bartholomeus H., Franzen M., Biesmeijer J.C. 2017. Butterflies show different functional and species diversity in relationship to vegetation structure and land use. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 1126–1137.
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Kissling W.D., Carvalheiro .G., WallisDevries M.F.; Franzén M., Biesmeijer J.C. 2016. Functional traits help to explain half-century long shifts in pollinator distributions. Scientific Reports 6: 24451.
Go to website (DOI)

Gomes S.I.F., Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Bidartondo M.I., Merckx V.S.F.T. 2016. Arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions of mycoheterotrophic Thismia are more specialized than in autotrophic plants. New Phytologist 213: 1418–1427.
Go to website (URI)

Lens F., Vos R., Charrier G., Niet T. van der, Merckx V., Baas P., Aguirre Gutierrez J., Jacobs B., Chacon Doria L., Smets E., Delzon S., Janssens S. 2016. Scalariform-to-simple transition in vessel perforation plates triggered by differences in climate during the evolution of Adoxaceae. Annals of Botany 118: 1043-1056.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre-Gutiérrez J., Serna-Chavez H.M., Villalobos-Arámbula A.R., Pérez de la Rosa J.A., Raes N. 2015. Similar but not equivalent: ecological niche comparison across closely related Mexican white pines. Diversity and Distributions 21: 245-257.
Go to website (DOI)

Marshall L., Carvalheiro L.G., Aguirre-Gutierrez J., Bos M., Groot G.A. de, Kleijn D., Potts S.G., Reemer M., Roberts S., Scheper J., Biesmeijer J.C. 2015. Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type. Ecology and Evolution 5: 4426-4436.
Go to website (DOI)

Aguirre-Gutierrez J., Biesmeijer J.C., Loon E.E. van, Reemer M., WallisDeVries M.F., Carvalheiro L.G. 2015. Susceptibility of pollinators to ongoing landscape changes depends on landscape history. Diversity and Distributions 21: 1129-1140.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Buckland S., Cole N.C., Aguirre Gutierrez J., Gallagher L.E., Henshaw S.M., Besnard A., Tucker R.M., Bachraz V., Ruhomaun K., Harris S. 2014. Ecological effects of the invasive Giant Madagascar Day Gecko on endemic Mauritian Geckos: applications of binomial-mixture and species distribution models. PLOS ONE 9: e88798.
Go to website (DOI)

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre Gutierrez J. 2014. Are plant species’ richness and diversity influenced by fragmentation at a microscale?. International Journal of Biodiversity 2014: art. 384698, p. 1-9.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre Gutierrez J., Carvalheiro L.G., Polce C., Loon E.E. van, Raes N., Reemer M., Biesmeijer J.C. 2013. Fit-for-Purpose: Species Distribution Model Performance Depends on Evaluation Criteria - Dutch Hoverflies as a Case Study. PLOS ONE 8: e63708.
Go to website (DOI)

Carvalheiro L.G., Kunin W.E., Keil P., Aguirre Gutierrez J., Ellis W.N., Fox R., Groom Q., Hennekens S., Landuyt W. van, Maes D., Meutter F. van de, Michez D., Rasmont P., Ode B., Potts S.G., Reemer M., Roberts S.P.M., Schaminee J., Wallis-DeVries M.F., Biesmeijer J.C. 2013. Species richness declines and biotic homogenisation have slowed down for NW-European pollinators and plants. Ecology Letters 16: 870-878.
Go to website (DOI)

Polce C., Termansen M., Aguirre Gutierrez J., Boatman N.D., Budge G.E., Crowe A., Garratt M.P., Pietravalle S., Potts S.G., Ramirez J.A., Somerwill K.E., Biesmeijer J.C. 2013. Species distribution models for crop pollination: a modelling framework applied to Great Britain. PLOS ONE 8: e76308.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre Gutierrez J., Seijmonsbergen A.C., Duivenvoorden J.F. 2012. Optimizing land cover classification accuracy for change detection, a combined pixel-based and object-based approach in a mountainous area in Mexico. Applied Geography 34: 29-37.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aguirre Gutierrez J., Duivenvoorden J.F. 2010. Can we expect to protect threatened species in protected areas? A case study of the genus Pinus in Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 81: 875-882.