Scientific prize

Jacques Balthazart receives the Elliott Coues Award from the American Ornithological Society


Jacques Balthazart, Professor Emeritus in the Neuroendocrinology research group (GIGA/ Faculty of Medicine) of ULiège, has just been awarded the Elliott Coues Prize of the American Ornithological Society (AOS) for his innovative work in the field of behavioural endocrinology. His research focuses on the hormonal mechanisms that control sexual differentiation and the activation of adult sexual behaviours as well as the brain plasticity associated with these effects of hormones on behaviour.


American Ornithological Society (AOS) presents a series of awards each year recognizing individuals and groups for their ornithological research and significant contributions to the science and practice of ornithology, as well as for their service to society. This year's recipients represent outstanding contributions to the scientific study and conservation of birds.

The Elliott Coues Award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research without limitation to geographic area, sub-discipline(s) of ornithology, or the time period during which the work was done. For this 2023 edition, the Elliott Coues Prize was awarded jointly to Jacques Balthazart, Professor Emeritus, Behavioral Neurobiology Research Group, GIGA Neurosciences of the University of Liege and to Gregory F. Ball, Vice President for Research and Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland.

Jacque Balthazart and Gregory F. Ball have collaborated since they published their first paper together in 1989. They are both well known for their groundbreaking work in avian endocrinology and neurobiology. In particular, they have worked on regulating sexual behaviour by steroid hormones in quail and on seasonal neuroplasticity in songbirds. They have also studied sex differences in the avian brain in relation to the control of courtship and other reproductive behaviours. Their seminal work on the chemical neuroanatomy of the avian brain has contributed to the revision of homologies between the avian and mammalian brains. Together they have published more than 150 of their 300 (Ball) and 500 (Balthazart) total research papers and have co-organized numerous symposia at the International Symposium on Avian Endocrinology and the International Ornithological Congress meetings. Jacques Balthazart and Gregory Ball have both served as presidents of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and are both members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr Balthazart received the Farner Medal for outstanding work in avian endocrinology (2016) and has been an honorary member of the AOS since 1985. Dr Ball has been an elective member of the AOS since 1992 and a member of the AOS since 2005.

The winners will receive their awards at the AOS annual conference (AOS & SCO-SOC 2023) in London, Ontario, in August.

J.Balthazart G.Ball AOS

Jacques Balthazart, Ph.D., Director Emeritus, Behavioral Neurobiology Research Group, GIGA Neurosciences; University of Liege and Gregory F. Ball, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland.

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