13 academics named highly cited researchers for 2023

15/11/2023 | 4 mins

Thirteen academics including three women from The University of Western Australia are among  6,849 researchers from institutions in 67 countries and regions to have been recognised on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2023 list from Clarivate.

World-leading agricultural scientist Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique, WA’s Scientist of the Year and Director of The UWA Institute of Agriculture, was again recognised in two fields – agricultural sciences and plant and animal science.

UWA’s other highly cited researchers are: Professors Jacqueline Batley, David Edwards, Hans Lambers, Sergey Shabala and Thomas Wernberg from the School of Biological Sciences; Professor Gerald Watts from the Medical School;  Professor Ryan Lister from the School of Molecular Sciences and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Dr Frank Arfuso and Professor Fiona Bull from the School of Human Sciences, Professor Hongqi Sun from the School of Molecular Sciences; Professor Zed Rengel from the School of Agriculture and Environment and Dr Elisabete da Cunha from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).

Professor Ryan Lister, Dr Elisabete da Cunha, Dr Frank Arfuso, Professor Hongqi Sun, Professor Zed Rengel and Professor Gerald Watts Image: Professor Ryan Lister, Dr Elisabete da Cunha, Dr Frank Arfuso, Professor Hongqi Sun, Professor Zed Rengel and Professor Gerald Watts.

The highly anticipated annual list identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant and broad influence in their chosen field or fields. This small fraction of the researcher population makes a big contribution to extending the frontiers of knowledge and introducing innovations that make the world healthier, more sustainable and more secure.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anna Nowak said she was particularly delighted to see three women recognised at the very top of their fields in a highly competitive global environment.

“Congratulations to all our highly cited researchers for their commitment to solving some of the world’s greatest challenges,” Professor Nowak said.

Professor Siddique’s major contribution to dryland agriculture has been crop improvements in grain legumes, wheat and oilseeds in the fields of crop physiology, production agronomy, farming systems, germplasm development and breeding.

Recently awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship, Professor Batley’s research focuses on crop genetics and genomics to strengthen and improve food security and sustainability, helping develop more disease resistant plants. 

Director of UWA’s Centre for Applied Bioinformatics, Professor Edwards leads a team of researchers who work with industry to carry out bioinformatics research in genetics and genomics, with a focus on wheat, brassica and legume crops.

A biodiversity expert, Professor Lambers’ research has contributed significantly to our understanding of the mineral nutrition of Australian plants and particularly how they obtain phosphorus from the soil and use it efficiently.

A pioneer of world-class technology that measures biological stress in plants, Professor Shabala was appointed Chair in Plant Physiology at UWA earlier this year.

Professor Wernberg’s research uncovers how temperate marine ecosystems, such as kelp forests, respond to climate change, marine heatwaves and other human pressures. In Australia he has worked extensively across the Great Southern Reef.

Professor Watts, Professor of Cardiometabolic and Internal Medicine (Clinical Medicines) and senior consultant physician at Royal Perth Hospital, has published extensively in his principal research areas of lipoprotein metabolism, clinical lipidology, gene silencing therapy and clinical quality registries.

Professor Lister has made understanding and manipulating the information contained in genomes his life’s work. He generated the first maps of the human epigenome, erased epigenetic memory in stem cells, and has developed new synthetic biology tools for precisely controlling plant and human cells.

Dr Arfuso has spent years furthering knowledge in vascular biology as it pertains to tooth development, which has had widespread application to understanding tumour growth, inflammation, wound healing and a variety of diseases where abnormal vascular development is the dominant factor. He has since expanded his collaborative work into the fields of Alzheimer’s disease, Wnt signalling, microencapsulation of drugs, natural products, reproductive biology, and stem cells.

Professor Fiona Bull Image: Professor Fiona Bull.

Professor Bull has more than 20 years’ experience in public health with a focus on prevention of chronic disease and specifically physical inactivity. Her work has impacted global policy and she is currently on leave working at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

Professor Sun, 2023 WA’s Mid-Career Scientist of the Year, recently joined UWA and his research has significantly advanced energy and environmental catalysis by exploring novel nanomaterials. He’s now focused on finding a catalyst that harnesses solar power to drive the hydrogen production process, making it economically competitive.

An internationally renowned expert on plant nutrition, Professor Rengel’s research interests are in nutrient uptake and ion toxicity in the soil-plant-water-microbe continuum.

An astrophysicist and principal research fellow with ICRAR, Dr da Cunha’s research combines observations of galaxies using the world’s largest telescopes with theoretical models to measure the physical properties of the most distant galaxies in the Universe.

Clarivate’s evaluation and selection strategy is complex and determined by combining the inter-related information available to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™. A new list is determined at ISI each year.

Each researcher selected has authored multiple Highly Cited Papers™ which rank in the top 1 per cent by citations for their field(s) and publication year in the Web of Science over the past decade. Citation activity is not the sole selection indicator, with a preliminary list based on citation activity refined using qualitative analysis and expert judgement.

Image at top: Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique, Professors Jacqueline Batley, David Edwards, Hans Lambers, Sergey Shabala and Thomas Wernberg.

Media references

Simone Hewett (UWA Media and PR Manager) 08 6488 3229 / 0432 637 716

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