Molecular Biologist

Protecting Crops and the Environment


Martin has more than 20 years’ experience of studying the molecular mechanisms that cause insecticide resistance in insect pests. His work includes the identification and analysis of mutations that cause target site resistance within the insect voltage-gated sodium channel (pyrethroids), acetylcholinesterase (OP/carbamates), nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (neonicotinoids) and the ryanodine receptor (diamides). This work has involved several national/international collaborations with colleagues in university and industry, and it has resulted in more than 100 peer reviewed publications. He has laboratory experience of a range of molecular biology techniques, including the design and analysis of next generation sequencing projects, such as transcriptome sequencing. He maintains a close involvement in more applied aspects of these projects, including the design and field application of DNA-based assays for detecting and monitoring the frequency of individual resistance mutations in field populations. Examples include screening for pyrethroid, carbamate and neonicotinoid resistance in UK and European populations of the peach-potato aphid, and testing for pyrethroid resistance in cabbage stem flea beetles on oilseed rape.




    +44 (0) 1582 938 326


      Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ


        Strategic programme

        • Smart Crop Protection (SCP)

        Science project

        • Developing integrated approaches for pest and disease control in horticultural field crops (IAPAD)
        • Neuronal studies of ticks and mites
        • Mitigating new threats from virus yellows:monitoring aphid populations and insecticide resistance to maintain control

        PhD project

        • New opportunities to investigate insecticide and acaricide ion channel targets
        • Investigation and characterisation of diamide insecticide resistance due to target site mutations in the ryanodine receptor of lepidopteran pests
        • Investigating the breakdown of chemical control in brown planthoppers from Asia


        • 1982 - BSc Hons Biochemistry, University of Leeds


        • Present - Editorial board: Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology Journal
        • May 2017 - Co-organiser Royal Entomological Society special interest meeting, 'Insect Genomics'
        • March 2017 - Invited plenary speaker: 42nd Annual Meeting Pesticide Science Society Japan, Ehime University