Paul Martin Brakefield FRS (born 31 May 1952, Woking) is a British evolutionary biologist and Professor of Zoology at the University of Cambridge, where he is also director of the Museum of Zoology and Fellow of Trinity College. He previously held the Chair in Evolutionary Biology at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and has been President of the Linnean Society of London in 2015-2018. He is best known for his research on butterfly eyespots.
In 1987 Brakefield became a Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Leiden University. In 2010 he left Leiden after serving as a professor for 23 years to become director of the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology. In 2011, Brakefield was elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. On 22 May 2015 Brakefield became President of the Linnean Society of London, serving until May 2018.
Brakefield works mostly with butterflies and insects. Amongst other topics his research focuses on eyespots on butterflies, especially Bicyclus anynana. The butterfly species Bicyclus brakefieldi is named after him.
Brakefield was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010. He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. Brakefield was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2014.
Brakefield is married to Titia Elisabeth van den Abeele. They have two children a daughter, Lucille, and a son, Timothy.