Essex researcher ranked among 2020's most influential scientists

  • Date

    Fri 20 Nov 20

Professor Tracy Lawson

We are proud to announce that Professor Tracy Lawson from our School of Life Sciences has been ranked among 2020’s most influential scientists.

Professor Lawson was among 6,167 researchers around the world recognised by Clarivate as Highly Cited Researchers – a list which identifies global research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated exceptional influence – reflected through their publication of multiple papers ranked in the top 1% by citations during the past decade.

The highly anticipated annual list helps define the “who’s who” of influential researchers based on data and analysis performed by experts at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate. Each citation indicates the value of a contribution to the field.

Professor Lawson is Director of the Essex Plant Innovation Centre at the University. Her research focuses on photosynthesis, stomatal behaviour, and water-use efficiency at the leaf and whole plant level. Her team’s ultimate goal is to understand the impact that the changing environment has on these processes, and how to modify plants to grow more efficiently to feed the world.

“I am grateful to work alongside such talented people who believe in the power of teamwork,” said Professor Lawson. “This spirit of collaboration that is key to advancing our mission of feeding the world, making this achievement a true team effort and accomplishment.”

She is also part of Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE), which is led by the University of Illinois. It is engineering crops to be more productive by improving photosynthesis, the natural process all plants use to convert sunlight into energy, and ultimately yield. The RIPE project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, and UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Essex Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Christine Raines said: “I am delighted to see that Tracy Lawson’s innovative work on stomatal physiology and photosynthesis is recognised as being highly influential to the global plant community.”

Professor Leonard Schalkwyk, Head of our School of Life Sciences, added: “I’m delighted that Professor Lawson’s work is getting this well-deserved recognition, she’s a tremendously talented and energetic researcher.”

David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information, said: “In the race for knowledge, it is human capital that is fundamental and this list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers who are having a great impact on the research community as measured by the rate at which their work is being cited by others.”