The Thomas Henry Huxley Award and Marsh Prize

This Award is run in partnership with the Zoological Society of London and recognises a postgraduate research student whose thesis has made a significant contribution to a particular scientific field. Nominees are considered from a University of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on the basis of original work, which has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the academic year in which the Award is presented.

The projects are judged by a panel of experts from the ZSL, who then select the winning study.

The Zoological Society of London is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.

(2015 Awards were presented in 2016)

The 2015 winner is David Labonte

David won this Award for his PhD thesis entitled ‘Biomechanics of controllable attachment in insects’, undertaken at the University of Cambridge.

David’s thesis is extraordinarily informative and authoritative, and provides fundamental insight into the function of animal adhesive structures, combining new observations with clever experimentation and ingenious quantitative analyses of the underlying mechanisms. He collected extensive data from 225 species his work has opened up new areas for research in this field. His external examiner, an expert in the field, described the thesis as making a seminal contribution that will lead to a paradigm shift in the field of bio-adhesion. David is a creative and independent scientist, who has come up with many new experimental ideas. During his PhD he has modified and improved complex systems, written his own software for most analyses and developed new mathematical models.

Pictured: David receiving his Award from John Beddington (ZSL President) and Brian Marsh (MCT Chairman)


The Zoological Society of London
Regent's Park