Upcoming Meetings

PROGRAMME for 2021


Monday, 24 May 2021 – 6.30 pm – Steve Portugal – Bird Flight and Co-operative Aerodynamics

Abstract: This talk is about how birds co-operate and the mechanisms they employ to save energy during flight. The distinctive V formation of bird flocks has long intrigued researchers and continues to attract both scientific and popular attention. Through the use of novel biologging technology, and by working with the reintroduction scheme of the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis, studies have been performed on the relative positioning of individuals in a V-formation, and the co-operative aerodynamic interactions that take place, at a level and complexity not previously feasible.

Biography: Dr Steve Portugal is a Reader in Animal Behaviour and Physiology at Royal Holloway University of London. He is a comparative ecophysiologist, who studies how animals adapt their behaviour and ecology to the challenges of their environment. His research has focused on Naked Mole Rats, Siamese Fighting Fish, and the role of vision in the propensity for certain bird species to fly into man-made objects. His main research, however, is bird flight, and what happens when birds come together in flocks. Steve has published over 60 academic papers and has acted as scientific advisor for numerous nature documentaries, including Springwatch, David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities, Conquest of the Skies, Life in the Air, and Nature’s Boldest Thieves.

Register for the event here

Northern Bald Ibis in flight.

The planned evening talk by Professor Jared Diamond, to be held in conjunction with the Linnean Society, on 5 June 2020 unfortunately had to be postponed because of restrictions resulting from the covid pandemic. Hopefully, it may be able to be re-arranged for a date later in 2021.  Details will be announced as soon as available.