Victor Gallego

The winner of the 2021 Dayong Gao Young Investigator Award, sponsored by GoldSim has been announced as Dr. Victor Gallego. Victor is a fish researcher who has spent most of his research career at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) in Spain. Currently, Dr. Gallego is the recipient of a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship, leading the CRYO-FISH project at the Centre of Marine Sciences at the University of Algarve (Portugal).

During his research career, Dr. Gallego has contributed to fifty-three peer-reviewed articles, collaborated with national and international groups in the UK, Brazil, Japan, and Portugal, and been involved in sixteen Research and Development projects with an accumulated budget of 1.5 million euros. In addition, he has supplemented his research tasks with intensive teaching activities at the university and in the community.

After obtaining his Bachelor’s in Biology and Master's in aquaculture, Dr. Gallego decided to pursue a doctorate on fish biology and conservation in the Aquaculture and Biodiversity Group (UPV, Spain). Over the PhD period, the main research line focused on controlling the European eel reproduction in captivity. From that research, the team designed the hormonal protocol for inducing the sexual maturation in this species and also developed methods for short, medium, and long-term gamete storage. These protocols are currently used in the most important research centers in Europe (private and publics) and breeding in captivity of this species improves each year.


After finishing his PhD, his research career carried him abroad, expanding his range of techniques, skills, and exposure to various fish species. 
He learned the management of a new freshwater species (cichlids) found in Lake Malawi with the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. A time with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation in Brazil allowed him to focus on the cryopreservation techniques of an Amazonian freshwater species. Finally, he enjoyed two training periods in the Misaki Marine Biological Station in Japan working with the pufferfish to develop gamete cryopreservation protocols for improving the management of breeding in captivity. 

Coming back to his “home lab” at UPV in Spain, Dr. Gallego continued his research career by leading new research lines & projects focused on using cryobiology and biotechnology to conserve threatened freshwater and marine fish. His primary research line focused on the gamete and embryo cryobanking for the conservation of threatened Iberian freshwater fish; his second research line focused on the development and application of assisted reproductive technology in the conservation of sharks, rays, and chimaeras.

Currently, Victor is developing a new project called CRYO-FISH at the Centre of Marine Sciences in the University of Algarve in Portugal thanks to a Marie Curie Fellowship. The project will build on basic knowledge of the reproductive biology of endemic freshwater ichthyofauna of the Iberian Peninsula, assessing for the first time, gamete quality throughout the breeding season, and developing protocols for cryopreservation with the purpose of creating a genetic resource bank for biodiversity preservation.

Dr. Gallego has combined his research career with teaching activities both during his predoctoral and postdoctoral periods. He has taught in several master's and bachelor's programs at the UPV, teaching a wide range of subjects related to biology, ecology, biotechnology, biodiversity, and aquaculture. In addition, he has organized several outreach activities to educate the public on “fish & bird science." He has also contributed to four seminars/conferences about “science & aquaculture”, four outreach days focused on biodiversity preservation, and two practical courses focused on discovering urban biodiversity.


If you want to read more about Dr. Gallego´s research: