Essex researcher amongst 2021's most influential scientists

  • Date

    Tue 16 Nov 21

Professor Tracy Lawson

Top University of Essex plant physiologist Professor Tracy Lawson has been ranked amongst 2021’s most influential scientists.

Professor Lawson is amongst 6,600 researchers around the world recognised by Clarivate as Highly Cited Researchers – a list which identifies global researchers who have demonstrated significant 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 and data scientists at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate.

Professor Lawson, who is Director of the Essex Plant Innovation Centre at the University, is among 492 researchers from the United Kingdom to make it on the list.

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.

Professor Lawson said: “I am delighted to be on the Highly Cited Researchers list for 2021 as it demonstrates the importance of research in plant science to provide long-term solutions for sustainable food security,” said Professor Lawson. “This would not be possible without the contributions from the Essex Plant Productivity group and my colleagues both in Essex and beyond.”

She is also part of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, 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 for Research Professor Chris Greer added: “Essex researchers routinely produce world-leading work that transforms lives, and we want that work to be as widely taken up and highly cited as possible. Tracy Lawson’s innovative studies of stomatal physiology and photosynthesis are an exemplar of high visibility, high impact research, and I am delighted that she has rightly been recognised as one of the most influential plant scientists in the world.”

David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said: “It is increasingly important for nations and institutions to recognize and support the exceptional researchers who are driving the expansion of the world’s knowledge. This list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers. The research they have contributed is fueling the innovation, sustainability, health and security that is key for our society’s future.”