Professor  Simon Underdown, BSc, PhD (Cantab), PCTHE, CSciTeach, FSA, FRSB, FRGS, FRAI, FCPS, SFHEA

Professor of Biological Anthropology

Director, Centre for Environment and Society

Human Origins and Palaeo-Environments 

Research Group (HOPE)

School of Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes University

Headington Campus


OX3 0BP 


Tel  +44 (0)1865 483718

I am Professor of Biological Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University where I teach, research and write on human evolution. My research focusses on the co-evolution of humans and disease and how patterns of human-disease interaction in the past can be used to reconstruct human evolutionary patterns and processes. ​I’m especially interested ​in the role played by diseases in shaping the adaptive environment during human evolution and the impact of disease exchange during contact between hominin species.  I’ve undertaken fieldwork across the world including South America, the Middle East & especially southern Africa. I am passionate about science education (I am a Chartered Science Teacher and Chair of the RAI’s Education Committee) and communication, and have appeared on a large range of radio and television programmes discussing aspects of human evolution and the latest finds and developments in the subject. I have written for the Guardian on a number of contemporary issues in science, including climate change, creationism, religious belief and the use of human remains in research. I am an avid book reviewer and have written reviews for numerous publications, including History Today, JRAI, TREE, and the THES.

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time


TS Eliot