Bryan Sykes

Professor of Human Genetics
Person Type
Emeritus Fellow

Originally a medical geneticist specialising in inherited bone disease, Professor Brian Sykes has in recent years been researching what DNA can tell us about the human past. His work has encompassed the first recovery of DNA from ancient bone, the colonisation of Polynesia, the fate of the Neanderthals, the early settlement of Britain and the link between genetics and surnames. 

He has published four books on these topics for general readers: The Seven Daughters of Eve (2001), Adam’s Curse (2003), Blood of the Isles (2006) and, most recently, DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America (2012).

Prof Sykes is the founder and chairman of University spin-out, Oxford Ancestors, which helps individuals explore their genetic roots using DNA.