Professor Stephen Martin

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Professor Stephen Martin

Contact Details

Peel Building Room G48


Current positions

Emeritus Professor


I have studied social insects (bees, wasps, termites, and ants) for most of my career. My areas of specialisation are the ‘hornet ecology’, ‘pest and diseases of honeybees’ and ‘chemical ecology of ants’. I hold an Emeritus Chair in SEE at Salford University, Manchester. Prior to that he spent 12 years working at Sheffield University, 7 years with the National Bee Unit and 7 years in Japan conducting research into hornets.

I am best known for my work on the Varroa mite and its association with viruses, especially the Deformed Wing Virus, but more recently his expertise in hornet biology which is in demand, both nationally and internationally. My team of researchers at Salford, funded in part by beekeepers, are using the very latest molecular methods to read the genetic code of the DWV virus. The aim is to understand why some honeybee colonies have become naturally tolerant to Varroa and see if this information can provide beekeepers with a long-term solution to the problem. Since the arrival of the Varroa mite from Asia, millions of honeybee colonies have died. For decades, beekeepers have continued to control Varroa populations using chemicals and other invasive methods. However, throughout Africa and most of South and Central America mite-infested colonies survive without any form of mite-control. This has been linked with poor mite reproduction, although what causes this has remained unknown. Throughout, Europe the USA and Wales an increasing number of naturally evolved, mite-tolerant colonies are being discovered. I work with people and honeybee populations in Brazil, Cuba, Africa, USA and UK since they all appear to have evolved similar ways to combat the Varroa mite. 

Areas of research

Honeybees and other social insects

Areas of supervision

Honeybees and other social insects


I lecture widely both nationally and internationally from researchers, students, stakeholder, to members of the public.

Research Interests

  • Social insects

Qualifications and Memberships


  • Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (FRES)