Dr Steve Portugal, from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, has received the prestigious Bicentenary Medal in recognition of his excellent work in animal behaviour and physiology.
Dr Portugal receives his medal
The Bicentenary Medal is a scientific award given by the Linnean Society, the world’s oldest existing biology society, and is awarded annually to a biologist under the age of 40 years who has contributed greatly to their field of work.
Dr Portugal is an internationally recognised zoologist and was nominated by others in the field for his superb work in animal behaviour and physiology, including his many contributions to the outreach of novel zoology and natural history findings that accompany his research and the many research papers he has had published.
This is reflected in the score of invitations to present departmental seminars, keynote presentations in symposia, and plenaries, as well as his work featuring in many high profile news outlets globally.
Dr Portugal’s love for natural history has often led to him working with unusual animals that had been of interest since childhood, yielding fascinating results.
In 2016, a paper he published in the journal Current Biology measured, for the first time, the force that Secretary birds can kick with a style of a ‘ninja eagle on stilts’. This story became an international hit.
Similarly, a paper he published in 2013 detailed the etiquette by which male Siamese fighting fish referee their own fights, and how physiology and size dictate an individual’s fighting approach.
Dr Steve Portugal, said: “I am honoured to have received the Bicentenary Medal from an organisation I admire so much. I am very grateful to all my colleagues and collaborators who I have worked with over the years to make this research possible.”