Alumni Authors

As a celebration of our alumni, each month we will highlight a new book written by one of Oxford's North American-based alumni.
For June 2019, our author is David Reich, Balliol College (1996). 

David Reich, a professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is one of the world’s leading pioneers in analyzing ancient human DNA. In a 2015 article in Nature, he was named one of ten people who matter in all of the sciences for his contribution to transforming ancient DNA data “from niche pursuit to industrial process.” Awards he has received include the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Dan David Prize in Archaeology and Natural Sciences for the computational discovery of intermixing between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.  

David Reich focuses on realizing the potential of ancient DNA to shed light on biology, and his work has established the central role of population mixture in our species. He led the analyses of the Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes proving interbreeding between archaic and modern humans. By implementing a series of technical improvements, his lab has produced more than half of the world’s published ancient genomes. His team’s analyses have highlighted the power of ancient DNA to reveal previously unknown events, for example showing that “whites” are a mixture of four groups as different as Europeans and East Asians; that Europe and South Asia were both impacted by massive migration from the Eurasian Steppe after 5,000 years ago; and that there were equally large population turnovers in East Asia, the Americas and Africa. He also works on using ancient DNA to track how biological traits evolved in the last 50,000 years, and on making ancient DNA technology accessible to all scholars interested in using it.   

David Reich Unearths Human History Etched in Bone, Profiles in Science, The New York Times.

You can purchase Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past here.


Are you an alumni author?

If you have written a book which was published within the last three years, or is due to be released soon, please email us the following information.

Your full name
Alumni number (or college/year of matriculation)
Title of book
Date of publication
Link to purchase the book online

We thank you for sharing your books with us, and will let you know if you are selected for a feature in the coming months.

To look back at previous Alumni Authors, please visit the pages below:  

Alumni Author May 2019

Alumni Author April 2019 

Alumni Author March 2019

Alumni Author February 2019

Alumni Author January 2019

Alumni Author December 2018

Alumni Author November 2018

Alumni Author October 2018

Alumni Author September 2018

Alumni Author August 2018

Alumni Author July 2018

Alumni Author June 2018

Alumni Author May 2018

Alumni Author April 2018

Alumni Author March 2018

Alumni Author February 2018

Overhead view of Radcliffe Camera and adjacent colleges