Kevan Martin is a British citizen, born in Cape Town. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Logic and Metaphysics, Physiology, and Psychology, he obtained a Masters degree in Civil Engineering (cum laude) from the University of Cape Town in 1975. He won a graduate scholarship to Wolfson College, Oxford, where he completed his D.Phil. in Developmental Neurobiology in 1978. He held Junoir Research Fellowships at University College, Oxford, and Linacere College, Oxford, and Senior Research fellowships at University College. He was the Henry Head Research Fellow of the Royal Society from 1990 until 1995, when he left for Zurich to found the Insitute of Neuroinformatics (INI) with his colleague Rodney Douglas. The INI is a joint Institute of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Insitute of Technology (ETH Zurich) whose mission is to discover the key principles by which brains work and to implement these in artificial systems that interact intelligently with the real world. His own research explores the basic microcircuits of the neocortex and their generic functions through a synthesis of experimental and theoretical work.
Since becoming an Emeritus Professor in 2018, he co-founded the Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project with Catriona Bass, based at Long Mead, Swinford.