BA in Zoology, University of Oxford 1976; Ph. D in Population Genetics, University of London 1980; Research Demonstrator in Genetics, University College of Swansea 1979-1981; Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Genetics, The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina 1981-1983; Lecturer in Genetics, University of Leicester 1983-1986; Lecturer (1987), Reader (1997) and Professor of Evolutionary Genetics (2004) University of Nottingham. Managing Editor, Heredity (2000-2003). Vice-President (External Affairs), Genetics Society 2008-2012, Appointed Fellow of the Institute of Biology, 2009. Member RAE Biological Sciences Panel and Sub-Panel, 2001 and 2008. Deputy Head, School of Life Sciences (2016-18). Retired and Professor Emeritus 2020
Population and evolutionary genetics, mathematical biology
Dr Brookfield's teaching concerned evolutionary and population genetics, statistics, including advanced Bayesian statistics. He stopped teaching on retirement in June 2020.
I have been interested in a variety of projects concerned with how the genome evolves. We have focused on the evolution of mobile repetitive DNA sequences.
My interests are in the application of evolutionary theory to problems in molecular genetics. Currently, my research includes
Evolution of Interspersed Repetitive DNAs
I have been interested in the evolutionary processes underlying the spread and diversification of mobile genetic elements and their inactive descendants in animal genomes. We have demonstrated that the common ancestry of mammalian Class II mobile elements (moving as DNA rather than through RNA intermediates) from a given mammalian genome is almost as old as the initial invasion of the ancestral genome by the element family, suggesting that there has been little turnover in these element families since their initial proliferation (Hellen and Brookfield 2011, 2013a, 2013b). In studies of the primate Alu sequence family, we have characterised new subfamilies of elements (Styles and Brookfield 2009), and have demonstrated that there is preferential loss of Alu elements from the most gene-rich areas of ape and human genomes, rather than the preferential retention that was supported by earlier data analyses (Hellen and Brookfield 2013c).
Styles, P. and Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2009) Source gene composition and gene conversion of the AluYh and AluYi lineages of retrotransposons. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 102
Hellen, E. H. B. and Brookfield, J.F. (2011) Investigation of the Origin and Spread of a Mammalian Transposable Element Based on Current Sequence Diversity Journal of Molecular Evolution 73: 287-296
Brookfield John F.Y. (2011) Host-parasite relationships in the genome. BMC Biology 9: 67
Hellen, E.H.B., and Brookfield, J.F.Y., (2013a) The diversity of Class II transposable elements in mammalian genomes has arisen from ancestral phylogenetic splits during ancient waves of proliferation through the genome. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30: 100-108
Hellen, E.B.H. and Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2013b) Transposable element invasions. Mobile Genetic Elements 3: 1-4.
Hellen, E.H.B, and Brookfield (2013c) Alu elements in primates are preferentially lost from areas of high GC content. PeerJ 1:e78
Adaptive and Neutral Evolutionary Change
I have a general interest in the process of evolution and the contribution of adaptive and neutral changes to this evolution. One study has investigated population genetic variation in host preference in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. The population genetic variation underlying human disease has been another interest, as has been the rate of morphological evolution.
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2009) Evolution and Evolvability: Celebrating Darwin 200. Biology Letters 5: 44-46.
Stanczyk, N., Brookfield, J.F.Y., Ignell, R., Logan, J.G., and Field, L.M. (2010) Behavioural insensitivity to DEET in Aedes aegypti: A genetically determined trait residing in changes in sensillum function. PNAS 107: 8575-8580
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2010) Experimental Evolution: The Rate of Adaptive Evolution. Current Biology 20: R23-25.
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2010) Q & A: Promise and pitfalls of genome-wide association studies. BMC Biology 8: 41
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2011) Dangers of "Adaptation". Heredity108:260
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2012) Quick Guide: Heritability. Current Biology 22: R217-R219
Phinchongsakuldit, J, Chaipakdee, P., Collins, J.F., Haroensutasinee, M, and Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2013) Population genetics of cobia (Rachycentron canadum) in The Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea: Fisheries management implications Aquaculture International 21:197-217
Stanczyk, N.M., Brookfield J.F.Y., Field L. M., and Logan J.G. (2013) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes exhibit decreased repellency by DEET following previous exposure. PLoS ONE 8: e54438
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2013) Quantitative Genetics: Heritability is Not Always Missing. Current Biology 23: R276-278
Brookfield, J.F.Y (2016) Why are estimates of the strength and direction of natural selection from wild populations not congruent with observed rates of phenotypic change? Bioessays 38: 927-934
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2018) Mutation rates: simpler than we thought? Current Biology 28: R1149-1151
Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2020) Genetic variation: Harmful recessive mutations have unexpected effects on variation. Current Biology 30: R16-R18
Hundertmark, A., Goodacre, S.L., and Brookfield, J.F.Y. (2020) Alternative evolutionary outcomes following endosymbiont-mediated selection on male mating preference alleles. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 33: 653-667
STANCZYK, N.M., BROOKFIELD, J.F.Y., IGNELL, R., LOGAN, J.G. and FIELD, L.M., 2010. Behavioral insensitivity to DEET in Aedes aegypti is a genetically determined trait residing in changes in sensillum function Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107(19), 8575-8580
COOPER, MAX B, LOOSE, MATTHEW and BROOKFIELD, JOHN F Y, 2008. Evolutionary modelling of feed forward loops in gene regulatory networks. Biosystems. 91(1), 231-44