Professor B. Gilmartin PhD, BSc, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, SFHEA

Emeritus Professor of Optometry

School of Life and Health Sciences

Aston University
B4 7ET

Email:  [email protected]


Research Group

Ophthalmic Research Group (ORG)

Bernard Gilmartin
  • 1968 Honours degree in Optometry (first) City University of London
  • 1969 Fellowship, College of Optometrists (CoO), elected Life Fellow Nov. 2000
  • 1969 General Optical Council (GOC) registration (retired April 2014)
  • 1971-72 City University of London: Lecturer 
  • 1974 PhD (City University of London)
  • 1974 Aston University: Lecturer
  • 1988 Aston University: Senior Lecturer
  • 1995 Aston University: Reader
  • 1998 Aston University: Personal Chair in Optometry
  • 2000 Life Fellow College of Optometrists
  • 2011 Retired from Aston University August 31st 
  • 2011 Continued at Aston University on 0.286FTE  part-time basis (October 3rd 2011  to present)
  • 2016 Doctor of Science DSc (City University of London)
  • 2016 Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • 2018 Emeritus Professor of Optometry

Publications and Grants

  • One hundred and forty research papers (see selection below), four book Chapters and two edited books principally in the areas of near vision function, myopia development, mechanisms of accommodation and ocular biometry. Over 120 Abstracts published at Conferences in Europe, The Far East, USA, Australasia and Canada.
  • Principal grant awarding bodies: College of Optometrists; Department of Transport; DERA; BAe; Wellcome Trust (Travel); Royal Society & Leverhulme Trust (Overseas Visiting Fellowships); West Midlands LORS; Hoya Corporation; Central LOC; Johnson & Johnson, BUPA.

International Standing

  • Editor of the academic journal of the College of Optometrists, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (OPO) 1986-2000. Associate Editor OPO (Feb 2010 - Feb 2013). Topical Editor (Myopia) Optometry and Vision Science (Feb 2011- Feb 2013). International Editorial Board Journal of Optometry (January 2008 -).
  • Reviewer for all the major vision research journals and assessor for projects submitted to Canadian (NSERC), Australian (ARC), New Zealand (AMRC) and Hong Kong funding bodies.
  • Research collaboration with laboratories in USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Germany and Russia.
  • Exchange Fellowships with Japan and Russia (Royal Society) and Australia (Queensland University).
  • Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 1990.
  • Member of Optometric Advisory Boards: Sweden (The Karolinska Institute) and The Netherlands. International Editorial Board Member for Jounal of Optometry.
  • Keynote speaker on Myopia: European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO), Copenhagen, May 2010

National Standing

  • Assessor for project grant proposals to UK funding bodies: Royal Society, London; MRC; EPSRC; BBSRC; Welsh Office; Wellcome Trust; Leverhulme Trust; Nuffield Foundation; Mencap; National Lottery. 
  • Special Invited Lectures: Marton lecture (1987); College Charter Lecture (1998); Gerald Dunn Memorial Lecture (2001); David Pickwell Memorial Lecture (2011). 
  • Research Committee, Institute of Optometry, London. Editorial Board member Optician 1999-. Co-opted member of the College of Optometrist’s Board of Trustees (May 2010-March 2011). Chair of College of Optometrist’s Research Committee (March 2010- March 2011), co-opted member March 2012 -.
  • External examiner (4 year appointments) for BSc Degree in Optometry at Universities of Manchester, Bradford, Glasgow, City and Plymouth (Oct 2011-July 2014).
  • Dedicated Festschrift issue (September 2011) of Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics in recognition of retirement in August 2011.
  • College of Optometrists Research Excellence Awards. A named Award was designated in August 2011: The Bernard Gilmartin OPO Award; an annual Award for the best research paper published in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics during the previous 5 years. 
  • Association of Optometric Practitioners (AOP) ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in recognition of outstanding lifetime contribution to the world of optics - received November 7th 2013.

External Appointments

  • External examiner for 27 PhD theses awarded by Universities of Auckland, Cardiff, Birmingham, Bradford, City, Glasgow, Hong Kong, PolyU, Queensland, Sydney, UMIST.
  • Specialist assessor (teaching) for HEFC(W) '95; GOC Panel of Visitors (educationalist category and Chair) '97-to date; QAA Panel Member for Benchmarking Optometry, 2001; RAE Panel, Special Advisor (Optometry) 2001. Member of C12 RAE 2008 Sub-Panel Allied Health Professions and Studies.
  • Special advisor to School of Optometry, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2009-12) and Member of validation Panel for MSc Optometry 2011.

Aston University Appointments

  • Awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for ‘outstanding and sustained contributions to Aston University’ in July 2009.
  • Research (internal) supervisor and examiner for 25 PhD degrees.
  • The Bernard Gilmartin Optometry Scholarship Award: established 2012. The award is to contribute to travel costs for research presentations at International Conferences by Aston University undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral students.

  • School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS) appointments: Director of Research for School (2001-2005); Senate professorial representative; Chairman of Research Committee (2001-2005); member of School Management Committee and Board (2001-2005).

  • Eye growth in human myopia: structural (e.g. MRI) electrophysiological (e.g. mfERG) and psychophysical correlates. Collaboration: Professor Stephen Anderson (Aston), Dr Nicola Logan (Aston), Dr Manbir Nagra
  • Mapping of mid- and far-peripheral image optical shells to topography of ocular stretch in myopia. The role of sympathetic innervation of ciliary smooth muscle in myopia. Collaboration: Dr E Mallen, Bradford University. 
  • Epidemiology of myopia in the UK child population. Collaboration: Dr Nicola Logan (PI, Aston). See details of The Aston Eye Study at  ; Drs Alicia Rudnicka and Chris Owen, St George's, London University.   
  • The effect of ametropia on the relationship between IOP and sustained accommodation. Collaboration: Dr Gurjeet Rai. 
  • Nutrition and myopia. Collaboration: Dr Hannah Bartlett (PI, Aston)
  • Structural correlates of incipient myopia Collaboration: Dr Leon Davies (PI, Aston)
  • Pupil responses and visual processing. Collaboration: Dr S-I Tsujimura, Kagoshima University Japan.
  • Natural and artificial light and of the onset and development of myopia. Collaboration: Dr E Mallen, Bradford University. 
  • Adrenergic and cholinergic control systems in myopic growth. Collaboration: Dr E Mallen, Bradford University; Professor K Ciuffreda, SUNY USA; Dr Bala Valsudevan, University of Arizona, USA.
  • Corneal reshaping (OrthoK) and myopia progession in children: the Myopia Control with Orthokeratology contact lenses in Spain (MCOS) study. Collaboration: Dr J Santodomingo-Rubido, Menicon Madrid, Spain.   
  • Ocular volume in myopia.Collaboration: Dr S Benavente, SUNY USA  
  • Scleral biomechanics in myopia. Dr N Logan (Aston), Dr R Cubbidge (Aston); Dr Hetal Patel (University of Plymouth).

Recent publications