Made with Sparkle

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

Human Origins and Palaeo-Environments

Research Group (HOPE)

Dept. of Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes University

Headington Campus


OX3 8XD  


Tel  +44 (0)1865 483718

I am Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University. I teach, research and write on human evolution. I am particularly interested in the co-evolution of humans and disease,  palæoepidemeology, the relationship between biology and culture and the development of evolutionary thought and the Neanderthals. I’ve undertaken fieldwork across the world including South America and the Middle East. I have written numerous scholarly papers and am the co-author of two books. I am passionate about science education 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. I am a member of council of the Royal Anthropological Institute and I was Vice President between 2012-15. I am currently Chair of the Society for the Study of Human Biology, a member of the QAA Anthropology subject bench-marking panel and a Research Associate of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford. In my spare time I am an assistant Krav Maga Instructor with CQC Krav Maga.