Essex researcher ranked amongst 2023’s most influential scientists

  • Date

    Wed 15 Nov 23

Tracy Lawson using tool to measure leaf structure

One of the world’s most influential scientists has been recognised for their vital work at The University of Essex.

Plant physiologist Professor Tracy Lawson has been revealed as one of the globe’s most cited researchers.

Professor Lawson, from Essex’s School of Life Sciences, is among 6,849 researchers around the world recognised by analytics company Clarivate as Highly Cited Researchers for 2023.

The list identifies global researchers who have demonstrated significant and broad influence in their field of research – 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 the 574 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’m overjoyed to be recognised by Clarivate in this influential and impactful list.

“However, it really is a team effort, and this is only really possible because of all excellent work and dedication of everyone in my lab and my fantastic networks of collaborators.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone and I look forward to working with you all in the future.”

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.

David Pendlebury, Head of Research Analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said: “The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at The University of Essex whose significant and broad influence in their fields translates to impact in their research community and innovations that make the world healthier, more sustainable and more secure.

“Their contributions resonate far beyond their individual achievements, strengthening the foundation of excellence and innovation in research.”