Steve Portugal

Steve Portugal

Co-opted Member

Steve is a Reader in Animal Behaviour and Physiology at Royal Holloway University of London, where he joined as a Lecturer in 2014. Steve obtained a PhD at the University of Birmingham on the ecophysiological aspects of the annual cycles of birds, focusing on energetics and moult physiology. Steve stayed at Birmingham to undertake his first post-doctoral role studying the evolution of colour and gas exchange in avian eggshells. In 2011, he moved to the Structure and Motion Laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College for a postdoc studying formation flight in the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis.    

Steve’s work at Royal Holloway University of London focuses on ecophysiology. His research is located at the interface of the physiology, sensory ecology and behaviour of vertebrates, focusing in particular on the social dynamics and energetics of flocking in birds (with Prof. Dora Biro and Dr Emily Shepard), and the developmental energetics of avian brood parasites and their hosts (with Prof. Claire Spottiswoode, Dr Christine Riehl and Prof. Mark Hauber). Other recent projects include the physiology and biomechanics of mole rats (with Dr Monica Daley and Dr Chris Faulkes) and visual ecology of collisions in birds (with Dr Alex Bond and the RSPB). Steve’s current work includes traditional laboratory based studies, and fieldwork at sites in South Africa, Panama, Zambia, Czech Republic, USA, Australia and Borneo. Core techniques include the deployment of biologging devices and respirometry, and Steve currently leads a laboratory group of 8 PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher, funded by the Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust.

Contact Details

Dr Steve Portugal
Reader in Animal Behaviour and Physiology
Bourne Laboratories, Department of Biological Sciences
School of Life Sciences and the Environment
Royal Holloway University of London
TW20 0EX
Telephone: +44 1784 443539