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Fourteen scientists from Exeter, and a further three who are affiliated to the University, feature in an authoritative new list of the most highly cited researchers worldwide.

University experts feature in prestigious ranking of world’s most influential scientists

Leading climate, environment and health academics from the University of Exeter have been recognised as being amongst the world’s most influential researchers, according to a prestigious new ranking.

Fourteen scientists from Exeter, and a further three who are affiliated to the University, feature in an authoritative new list of the most highly cited researchers worldwide, produced by Clarivate Analytics today (19th November 2019).

Now in its sixth year, the ranking identifies researchers selected for their “exceptional influence and performance in one or more of 21 fields in Clarivate’s Web of Science database, over the period 2008-2018.        

To qualify, the papers must rank in the top one per cent of the most cited works in their field and year of publication. For the second successive year, the rankings have also included a ‘Cross-field” category to recognise researchers with substantial influence across several fields.

Exeter’s cohort, which has increased from last year, includes some of world’s leading experts on the climate and environment, microplastics pollution and health.

They include Professor Pierre Friedlingstein from Mathematics and Professor Stephen Sitch from Geography who feature in the Geosciences category, while Professor Patrick Devine- Wright (Geography) features in the Social Sciences category.

Professor Tamara Galloway, one of the world’s foremost experts on plastics pollution, Professor Kevin Gaston of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the Penryn Campus, and Professor Friedlingstein again, are all included in the Environment/Ecology category of the report.

The Cross-Field category features Professor Charles Abraham, Professor Jonathan Mill, Professor Rod Taylor from the College of Medicine and Health; Professor Michael Depledge from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health; Professor James Screen and Professor Peter Cox from the Mathematics department; Professor Sarah Gurr, Professor Stuart Bearhop from Biosciences; And Professor Tim Lenton from Geography and Director of the Global Systems Institute.

Professor Adam Scaife (Mathematics) and Professor Richard Betts (Geography) are also included in the rankings, but under their affiliation with the Met Office, while Professor Chris Huntingford (Mathematics) appears primarily for his association with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Professor Neil Gow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact), said: “This year’s Highly Cited Researchers 2019 is testament to the incredible work of our research community. We are thrilled that this year, even more of our world leading academics have been acknowledged, across ecology, climate science, food security genetics and psychology.”

David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information said: “The Highly Cited Researchers list contributes to the identification of that small fraction of the researcher population that significantly extends the frontiers of knowledge. These researchers create gains for society, innovation and knowledge that make the world healthier, richer, more sustainable and more secure.”

Date: 19 November 2019

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