Dr. Walter Fabricio Silva Martins

Senior Lecturer at Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Brasil & Associate researcher at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine / Wellcome Trust fellow
Department of Biology, CCBS & Department of Vector Biology , LSTM
Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Brazil & Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK.
Brazil and United Kingdom
Journal Associated: Journal of Biology and Medicine Biography:

I am a molecular biologist who specialises in controlling insects that spread deadly or debilitating diseases like malaria, dengue, and zika.  After studying in Brazil, I received my training at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine - LSTM and in 2015 was awarded PhD in Tropical Medicine from the University of Liverpool.  After graduation, I returned to Brazil to set up and lead a research group at the Universidade Estadual da Paraíba - UEPB. Currently, my group focused on identifying genetic mutations that arise when mosquitoes develop resistance to the insecticides we use to control them. This forms part of a country-wide disease management strategy, and the results we generate are used to monitor populations for developing resistance, which directly feeds back to the ministry of health decision-makers. Recently, I re-join the Department Vector Biology at LSTM as associate researcher / Wellcome Trust fellow where now I lead a project, which addresses the impact of insecticide resistance and adaptation of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and how this contributes to their transmission of arboviral diseases in Brazil.

Research Interest: Evolutionary Genetics of insecticide resistance, Vector-borne diseases and integrative approaches for vector control.


A.    Wellcome Trust Fellowship - Training Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine / Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 2018-2022 -Funded: £ 312,914, (PI).

B.    Genômica da resistência a inseticidas químicos: impacto no controle de populações do mosquito Aedes aegypti no estado da Paraíba. 2018-2020. Funding: PROPESQ/UEPB, R$: 15,000.00 - Grant number:, (PI).

C.    Entomologial investigation to access vectorial competence and risk of ZIKV amplification in Pernambuco state. 2016-2018. Funding: FACEPE. R$: 192,000.00, (Co-PI).

D.    Thermal ecology of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae): implication for development and adaptation. PROPESQ/UEPB. 2016-2018. Funded: R$10,000.00, (Co- PI).

E.    Developing a molecular diagnostic method to identify simultaneous infections of Zika, dengue and chikungunya in field-caught Aedes aegypti mosquitoes using qPCR-multiplex. UEPB. 2016-2018. Funded: R$ 350,000.00, (Co-PI).

F.    Personal PhD fellowship. Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). 2012-2015. Funded: £ 163,000.00, (PI).

G.    Spatial-temporal genetic diversity in Aedes aegyptipopulations from Campina Grande, Brazil. PROPESQ/UEPB. 2010-2012. Funded: R$ 15,000.00, (PI).

H.    Effect of temperature in Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicide) populations and Dermestes maculatus DeGeer (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) from three mesoregion of the Paraíba State: Implications for medical and forensic entomology. 2010-2012. PROPESQ/UEPB. Funded: R$ 40,000.00, (Co- PI, 50% ownership).

I.    Georeference and population genetics in Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) resistant to temephos. 2008-2010. PROPESQ/UEPB. Funded: R$ 15,000.00, (Co- PI).

J.    Determinant factors for density and permanence of Aedes(Stegomyia) aegypti in urban environment in Paraíba State. OMS/OPAS. 2005-2008. Grant award to UEPB,__BR/LOA/050008.001/2005; R$ 50.000,00, (Co-PI).

K.    Personal Masters` fellowship. 2004-2006. Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). Funded: R$24,000.00, (PI).

URL:  http://lattes.cnpq.br/5980156167015578

List of Publications:

A.     Martins, W F. S., Pereira, B. N. S., Alves, A. T. V., Murphy, A., Martins, P. G. S., David Weetman, Craig Stephen Wilding6, Martin James Donnelly. (2019) Development and Application of a Tri-allelic PCR Assay for Screening Vgsc-L1014F Kdr Mutations Associated with Pyrethroid and Organochlorine Resistance in the Mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Parasites & Vectors, 201912:232. 

B.       Martins, W. F. S., Wilding, C. S., Isaacs, A. T., Rippon, E. J., Mawejje, H. D., Megy, K., Donnelly. M. J. (2018) Transcriptomic analysis of insecticide resistance in the lymphatic filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus. bioRxiv 589028; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/589028 Scientific Reports, under review.

C.    Martins, W. F. S., Wilding, C. S., Steen, K., Mawejje, H., Antão, T. R., Donnelly, M. J. (2017) Local selection in the presence of high levels of gene flow: Evidence of heterogeneous insecticide selection pressure across Ugandan Culex quinquefasciatus populations. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11(10), p.e0005917.

D.    Martins, W. F. S., Subramaniam, K., Steen, K., Mawejje, H., Liloglou, T., Wilding, C. S., Donnelly, M. J. (2017) Comparative Analysis Methods for Inference of Copy Number Variation in the Voltage-gated Sodium Channel Gene of Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes. Scientific Reports, 7(1), p.5821.

E.    Steffler, L. M., Dolabella, S. S., Ribolla, P. E. M., Dreyer, C. S., Araujo, E. D., Oliveira, R. S., Martins, W. F. S., Santos, R. La. C. S. (2016) Genetic variability and spatial distribution in small geographic scale of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) under different climatic conditions in Northeastern Brazil. Parasites and Vectors, 9:530. DOI 10.1186/s13071-016-1814-9.

F.    Gambarra, W. P. T., Martins, W. F. S., Filho, M. L. De L., Albuquerque, I. M. C. De., Apolinário, O. K. Dos S., Beserra, E. B. (2013) Spatial distribution and esterase activity in populations of Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Culicidae) resistant to temephos. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 46, p. 178-178.

G.    Castro Jr, F. P. De ., Martins, W. F. S.; Filho, M. L. De L., Almeida, R. P. De.; Beserra, E. B. (2013) Ciclos de vida comparados de Aedes aegypti (Diptera, Culicidae) do semiárido da Paraíba. Iheringia. Série Zoologia. 103, p. 118-123.


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