Charalambos Kyriacou was born in Camden and spent his school years in North London. He went to Birmingham at 17 and read Psychology, where one of his lecturers turned his attention towards behavioural genetics.
His PhD in this subject using Drosophila was carried out jointly in the Departments of Psychology and Genetics in Sheffield. After spending one year in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh as a Demonstrator, he moved to Brandeis University in Boston, where he worked with Jeff Hall on the neurogenetics of sexual and circadian behaviour in flies.
He continued this collaboration into the 1980’s and 1990’s, and was involved in the pioneering molecular analyses of fly behavioural genes, first in Edinburgh, then in the Genetics department at Leicester, where he has worked since 1984.