A NOBEL Prize winning zoologist who was held in a Nazi prison camp during World War Two is to be honoured with a blue plaque in Oxford.

The plaque for Niko Tinbergen will be unveiled at his former home in Lonsdale Road, Summertown.

Mr Tinbergen is considered one of the founders of ethology, the study of animal behaviour, with his work earning him a Nobel Prize in 1973.

He came to Oxford from the Netherlands in 1949, as a lecturer and fellow of Merton College – later becoming reader, then professor of animal behaviour.

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He lived with his family in Lonsdale Road from 1956 until his death in 1988.

The Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board, alongside the University of Oxford’s Department of Biology, will unveil the plaque at his home later today.

Richard Dawkins, a former student of Mr Tinbergen, said: “Niko Tinbergen’s influence within zoology and wider biology cannot be overstated.

“Alongside colleagues he is credited with establishing and refining the study of ethology on the continent, and he then played the major role in exporting the subject to the wider world. He richly deserves this commemoration.”

thisisoxfordshire: Niko Tinbergen was a professor of animal behaviour at Merton College. Picture: Cliff HideNiko Tinbergen was a professor of animal behaviour at Merton College. Picture: Cliff Hide

During World War Two, Mr Tinbergen was held in a prison camp for refusing to co-operate with the Nazis, and protesting at the removal of Jewish academics.

In 1973, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his work in animal behaviour.

Later in life, he became interested in applying his findings to human conditions, such as stress and child development, and worked with his wife on autism studies.

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

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