Faculty and Staff

Francisco Javier Aguirre González, PhD

Francisco Javier Aguirre González, PhD

Resident lecturer of Earth System and Climate Science
Puerto Natales, Chile
Ph.D. in Antarctic and Subantarctic sciences
Universidad de Magallanes (Punta Arenas, Chile)
Civil engineer, geographer
SFS 3601 Earth System and Climate Science
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Faculty Profile

Dr. Aguirre is a civil engineer, geographer, and mountain climber who is passionate about science in Patagonia, focusing on the interactions between the atmosphere and cryosphere geosystems and their impacts on environments and communities. Much of his research examines questions of glaciology and hydroclimatology in a variety of environmental contexts. He also likes to review and validate new methods and their implementation to evaluate hydroclimatic variability and impacts on atmosphere-cryosphere interactions. Dr. Aguirre grew up in Central Chile, between the high Andes and agricultural fields, and his professional experience includes private companies, government agencies and research groups. He has worked in Patagonia in collaboration with different interdisciplinary researchers and government institutions, examining the cryosphere and climate change.

Prior to joining SFS, Dr. Aguirre implemented a Long-Term Ecologic Network measuring greenhouse gases (GHG) as a member of the Cape Horn International Centre (CHIC) of the Universidad de Magallanes (UMAG). These stations evaluate ongoing changes in the region’s hydroclimatic systems as well as Patagonian environmental responses. Dr. Aguirre also is part of the Centro de Investigación Gaia Antártica (CIGA) of UMAG, working as postdoctoral researcher in the project “Development of a prototype alert system to reduce the impact of glacier-related flood events (SAGAZ)”.

Dr. Aguirre received his doctorate from the Universidad de Magallanes, where he studied in an interdisciplinary program in Antarctic and Subantarctic Science, in which he focused on glaciology and climatology, and their interactions with terrestrial ecosystems in southern Patagonia. One goal of his studies was to give tools and answers to regional decision-makers about future climate change scenarios, and he continues with institutional collaborations, such as with the Dirección General de Aguas (DGA) and the Antarctic Chilean Institute (INACH).

Academics & Research

Research Interests

  • Glaciology and hydroclimatic modelling
  • Climatology and climate modelling
  • Data science and GIS
  • Remote sensing

Professional Activities

Centro de Investigación Gaia Antártica (CIGA) of Universidad de Magallanes (2017 – to present)

Cape Horn International Centre (CHIC) (2020-2022)

Scientific Department, Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) (2017-2022)

Ecology and Biodiversity Institute (IEB) (2019-2022)



South American Mountain Ecosystems and Global Change – a Case Study for Integrating Theory and Field Observations for Land Surface Modelling and Ecosystem Management.

Nagy, L.; Eller, C.B.; Mercado, L.M.; Cuesta, F.; Llambí, L.D.; Buscardo, E.; Aragão, L.E.O.C.; García-Núñez, C.; Oliveira, R.S.; Barbosa, M.; et al. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2023.2196966 2023, doi:10.1080/17550874.2023.2196966.

The extreme rainfall gradient of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve and its impact on forest bird richness.

Quilodrán, C. S., Sandvig, E. M., Aguirre, F., de Aguilar, J. R., Barroso, O., Vásquez, R. A., & Rozzi, R. (2022). Biodiversity and Conservation, 1-15.

Gradientes Climáticos y su alta influencia en los ecosistemas terrestres de la Reserva de la Biosfera Cabo de Hornos, Chile.

Aguirre, F., Squeo, F. A., López, D., Grego, R. D., Buma, B., Carvajal, D., … & Rozzi, R. (2021). In Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia (Vol. 49).

Catalogue of lichens (and some related fungi) of Navarino Island, Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile.

Etayo, J., Sancho, L. G., Gómez-Bolea, A., Sochting, U., Aguirre, F., & Rozzi, R. (2021). Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia, 2021, vol. 49, p. 1-110.

Patrones de distribución de la avifauna de los bosques de la Reserva de la Biosfera Cabo de Hornos: Un antecedente básico para la planificación del aviturismo sustentable.

Sandvig, E., Quilodrán, C. S., Aguirre, F., de Aguilar, J. R., Barroso, O., Vásquez, R. A., & Rozzi, R. (2020). In Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia (Vol. 48, No. 3, pp. 169-183). Universidad de Magallanes.

Snow cover change as a climate indicator in Brunswick Peninsula, Patagonia.

Aguirre, F., Carrasco, J., Sauter, T., Schneider, C., Gaete, K., Garín, E., … & Casassa, G. (2018). Frontiers in Earth Science, 6, 130.

Grants and Awards

2020 – Monitoring network for carbon, methane and other greenhouse gas in the southernmost forests and peatlands in the world.

Chilean National Agency of Research and Development (ANID)


Snow cover variability in Brunswick Peninsula, Patagonia, derived from a combination of spectral fusion, mixture analysis and temporal interpolation of MODIS data.

Aguirre F., Vera C., Gonzalez I., Jaña R., and Casassa G. (2022). Oral Presentation, III Congreso de la Sociedad Chilena de la Criósfera, May 25 of 2022, Pucón, Chile.

Snow variability in southernmost Patagonia by a combination of spectral fusion and mixture analysis with machine learning approach using the Google Engine platform.

Aguirre, F., Tobias, S., Schneider, C., Jaña, R., & Casassa Sr, G. (2019). S AGUFM, 2019, C24A-04.

Evolución de la cubierta nival en Patagonia suroccidental y su relación con cambios y variabilidad climática pasada, presente y futura.

Aguirre F., Sauter T., Schneider C., Boskurt D., Delgado R., Carrasco J., Gaete K, Jaña R y Casassa G., 2019. II Congreso de la Sociedad Chilena de la Criósfera, May 9-10 of 2019, La Serena, Chile.

Snow cover change as a climate indicator in Brunswick Peninsula, Patagonia.

Aguirre F., Carrasco J., Sauter T., Schneider C., Gaete K., Garín E., Adaros R., Jaña R., Casassa G. 2018. I Congreso de la Sociedad Chilena de la Criósfera, March 8-9 of 2018, Valdivia, Chile.

Snow variability in Southwestern Patagonia from MODIS satellite data.

Aguirre, F., Gaete, K., Jaña, R. y Casassa, G. 2017. Conference and Workshop Climate Impacts on glaciers and biosphere in Fuego-Patagonia, 14-18 julio 2017, Humboldt Universität, Berlín, Alemania, https://www.geographie.hu-deberlin.de/en/professorships/climate_geography/gabyvasa_abstractbook_berlin2017-v04.pdf.

Cambios en la cobertura de nieve como indicador climático en Patagonia Suroccidental.

Aguirre, F., Gaete, K., Sauter, T., Schneider, C., Jaña, R. and Casassa, G. 2017. XI Congreso de Iniciación Científica y Profesional de Estudiantes: CICYPE 2017: Ciencia e Innovación en Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego y Antártica. Universidad de Magallanes, November 30 and December 1 of 2017.