Alongside 23 Nobel laureates, two Rothamsted staff are named among this year’s global elite

  • 20
  • NOV
  • 2019

Expert in soil and plant nutrition, Professor Steve McGrath has been named on the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list – his eighteenth consecutive appearance in the rankings.

Also back on the list this year is his colleague, Professor Peter Shewry, whose work aims to improve human health by upping the nutritional quality of cereal grains.

Professor McGrath has now been on every single highly-cited list since it was started in 2002 – a rare feat.

The pair’s inclusion comes despite the UK slipping to third place in the rankings behind mainland China, with the USA retaining top spot.

Admission onto the list comes from having your research ranked by your peers in the top 1% world-wide.

This is determined by the number of times the researcher’s academic publications were cited by others during the period 2007-2017.

The Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list is compiled using the top publications from the database Web of Science in 21 fields of study.

The list of more than 6000 names includes 516 from the UK, and the two Rothamsted researchers help make up the 2,491 academics celebrated for working across multiple fields of study.

Professor McGrath (pictured on the right) attributes his success to the collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of his research.

“It is very rewarding to know that working with colleagues I have been able to reach this high international level for sustained period, but on reflection this probably results from that fact that we started doing long-term international research more than twenty years ago,” he said.

“Now, more than ever, we need teams that are specifically tailored to solve the major problems in the world such as food, nutrition and climate change. I am proud to have worked with so many excellent scientists and thank them for their collaboration.”

Director of Rothamsted Research, Professor Achim Dobermann said he was very proud of the researchers’ achievement.

“For two staff from Rothamsted Research to make it onto the list shows the truly international impact Rothamsted’s research is having, and how the Institute is leading the way in sustainable farming research.”

The methodology that determines the "who's who" of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute for Scientific Information at the Web of Science Group.

David Pendlebury, Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information said: “Recognition and support of these exceptional researchers represents an important activity for a nation or an institution's plans for efficient and accelerated advancement. 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.”

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes

About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.