Nick Martin (scientist)

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Nicholas Gordon (Nick) Martin
Born (1950-02-14) 14 February 1950 (age 69)
Adelaide, Australia
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide, University of Birmingham
Known forApplication of SEM to Behavioral Genetics; Molecular genetics; Genetics of values
Scientific career
FieldsBehavioural genetics
InstitutionsQueensland Institute of Medical Research
Doctoral advisorLindon Eaves
InfluencesRonald Fisher

Nicholas Gordon (Nick) Martin (born 14 February 1950) is a leading behavior geneticist who has published over 1000 peer-reviewed articles on topics as diverse as the heritability of religion and intelligence to medical disorders such as endometriosis.[1] This work has had a broad impact, reflected in the fact that Martin is among the most cited medical scientists in the Southern Hemisphere, with a number of citation classics including "Genes, culture and personality: An empirical approach" [2] that he co-authored with Lindon Eaves and Hans Eysenck (cited over 600 times), "Analysis of the p16 gene (CDKN2) as a candidate for the chromosome 9p melanoma susceptibility locus" (Nature; cited over 460 times), and "Genetic and environmental contributions to alcohol dependence risk in a national twin sample" (cited over 400 times).[3]

Early life[edit]

Martin studied at the University of Adelaide. In 1972 he established a sample of twins in Adelaide while completing his honours thesis.[4]

Academic career[edit]

Martin moved to the United Kingdom to complete a PhD in 1977 under Lindon Eaves at University of Birmingham, the then centre of a remarkably productive period in the history of genetics. After working as a research fellow at the Department of Genetics of the University of Birmingham (1976–1978) and at the Department of Population Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University (1978–1983), he took a post as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics at the Medical College of Virginia (1983–1986). He returned to Australia in 1986, moving to Brisbane where he currently directs the Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). Since 1992, he has been an adjunct professor in the Departments of Pathology (1993), Zoology (1996), and Psychology (2003) at the University of Queensland, and senior principal research fellow at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

Together with J.D. Mathews, he established in 1978 the Australian Twin Registry. QIMR is now home to one of the larger twin studies in the world.[5]

He has supervised over a dozen graduate students, many of whom have professorships in their own right, and is currently supervising a further half dozen.


Martin has twice won the Fulker award for best paper in Behavior Genetics (1999 & 2003), the Dobzhansky Award for Outstanding Contributions to Behavior Genetics (2005),[6] and the James Shields Award of the International Society of Twin Studies for outstanding contributions to twin research (1986), and is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In addition, he has been president of the Behavior Genetics Association (1996-1997), and is editor-in-chief of Twin Research and Human Genetics. He is on the editorial boards of several academic journals and is on the advisory board of the Australian NHMRC Twin Registry. He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (FAHMS) in 2015.[7]


  1. ^ Pubmed
  2. ^ L. J. Eaves, H. J. Eysenck and N. G. Martin. (1989). Genes, culture and personality: An empirical approach. Academic Press, Inc, London.
  3. ^ quad search[not in citation given]
  4. ^ Martin N. G. (1972) The inheritance of scholastic abilities in a sample of twins. University of Adelaide: Department of Genetics, B.Sc. First class Honours in Genetics.
  5. ^ Wright, M, et al. (2001). Genetics of Cognition: Outline of a collaborative Twin Study. Twin Research, 1, 1-9.
  6. ^ Historical table of BGA meetings
  7. ^ "Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences - October 2015" (PDF). Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences. Retrieved 12 October 2018.

External links[edit]

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