MolPopGen : Dr Brian McEvoy
PhD Theses
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Dr Brian McEvoy, Research Fellow


E-mail : brmcevoy [at] tcd [dot] ie
Tel : +353-(0)1-896-1265
Fax : +353-(0)1-679-8558


By examining the genetic variation in present day Irish people we can learn about our origin and history. Previous work in our lab looking at the Y chromosome, which is paternally inherited, suggests that most Irish trace their origin to the initial settlers of Island several thousand years ago. We are now looking at maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA to see if our female history is the same or different to that of our male ancestors.

The paternal inheritance of the Y chromosome is the same pattern typically followed by surnames. In other words, both surname and the Y chromosome are passed from father to son down the male family line. By comparing the Y chromosomes of many different men with the same surname, we are seeking to find out how many men were involved in starting prominent Irish surnames (names under study include McGuinness, Ryan, Kennedy, Murphy, Kelly, O'Neill, Byrne, O'Sullivan and McCarthy amongst others) and how names from the same regions of Ireland relate to each other.


2004 to date : Research Fellow, Trinity College Dublin
Working in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology, Penn State University (PSU)

Summer 2002 : Visiting Research Associate, Instute of Statistical Genetics of North Carolina State University (Hosted by Trinity College Dublin)

Summer 1999 : Visiting Research Associate, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (Supported by America-Ireland fund travel award)


2000 to date : Supervision and direction of 2 postgraduate (M.Sc.) and 5 undergraduate (B.A.) thesis research projects

2005 : Genetics Tutorials, B.A. Human Genetics, Trinity College Dublin

2005 : Guest Lecturer, Diploma in Genealogy, University College Dublin

2003 : Demonstrator, Bioinformatics Practical Course, B.A. Genetics, Trinity College Dublin


2000 - 2004 : Ph.D. Genetics, Trinity College Dublin
Thesis title : Genetic Investigation of Irish Ancestry and Surname History

1996 - 2000 : B.A.(Mod) in Natural Sciences (Class 2:1), Trinity College Dublin
Thesis title : Association of the Norepinephrine Transporter Gene and ADHD


Bauchet M, McEvoy B, Pearson LN, Quillen EE, Sarkisian T, Hovhannesyan K, Deka R, Bradley DG, Shriver MD. Measuring European population stratification with microarray genotype data. Am J Hum Genet. 2007 May;80(5):948-56. Epub 2007 Mar 22. PMID: 17436249

Norton HL, Kittles RA, Parra E, McKeigue P, Mao X, Cheng K, Canfield VA, Bradley DG, McEvoy B, Shriver MD. Genetic evidence for the convergent evolution of light skin in Europeans and East Asians. Mol Biol Evol. 2007 Mar;24(3):710-22. Epub 2006 Dec 20. PMID: 17182896

McEvoy B, Brady C, Moore LT, Bradley DG. The scale and nature of Viking settlement in Ireland from Y-chromosome admixture analysis. Eur J Hum Genet. 2006 Dec;14(12):1228-94. Epub 2006 Sep 6. PMID: 16957681

McEvoy B, Beleza S, Shriver MD. The genetic architecture of normal variation in human pigmentation: an evolutionary perspective and model. Hum Mol Genet. 2006 Oct 15;15 Spec No 2:R176-81. Review. PMID: 16987881

Pereira F, Davis SJ, Pereira L, McEvoy B, Bradley DG, Amorim A. Genetic signatures of a Mediterranean influence in Iberian Peninsula sheep husbandry. Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Jul;23(7):1420-6. Epub 2006 May 3. PMID: 16672283

McEvoy B, Bradley DG. Y-chromosomes and the extent of patrilineal ancestry in Irish surnames. Hum Genet. 2006 Mar;119(1-2):212-9. Epub 2006 Jan 12. PMID: 16408222

Moore LT*, McEvoy B*, Cape E, Simms K, Bradley DG. A y-chromosome signature of hegemony in gaelic ireland. Am J Hum Genet. 2006 Feb;78(2):334-8. Epub 2005 Dec 8. PMID: 16358217 *Joint first-authorship

McEvoy B, Edwards CJ. Human migration: reappraising the Viking image. Heredity. 2005 Aug;95(2):111-2. PMID: 15931243

McEvoy B, Richards M, Forster P, Bradley DG. The Longue Duree of genetic ancestry: multiple genetic marker systems and Celtic origins on the Atlantic facade of Europe. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Oct;75(4):693-702. Epub 2004 Aug 12. PMID: 15309688

McEvoy B, Hawi Z, Fitzgerald M, Gill M. No evidence of linkage or association between the norepinephrine transporter (NET) gene polymorphisms and ADHD in the Irish population. Am J Med Genet. 2002 Aug 8;114(6):665-6. PMID: 12210284


Evolutionary Genetic Architecture of Normal Variation in Human Pigmentation. DNA in Forensics 2006, Innsbruck, Austria, September 2006

SuperAIMS Project : Detecting Inter- and Intra-Continental Population Stratification. Irish Society of Human Genetics, Dublin, Ireland, September 2006

Origin and History of Irish Surnames : Genetic and Geographic Perspectives. Royal Geographical Society, London, UK, August 2006

What's in a Name? Y-Chromosome Investigation of irish Surname History. University of Washington, Seattle, USA, June 2006

Mapping Human Genetic Variation to the Past and Present. University of Maryland, College Park, USA, May 2006

Y-Chromosome Signature of Hegemony in Gaelic Ireland. Institut Pasteur, Paris, France and La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy, April 2006


Fundraising effort for the Temple Street Children Hospital : Brian in at the deep end! (with video and photos)

Elected member of the executive committee of the Trinity Research Staff Association (TRSA)

Supplementary information and data of published journals available at Data and Resources.

Committee member of Genetical Society 1999 - 2002








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