RAU researchers once again ranked among the very best in the world

16 November 2023

Senior researchers from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) have once again been included in prestigious worldwide lists recognising the world’s leading scientists at the very top of their profession.

For a second year, Dr David O’Connor, Associate Professor of sustainable land management at the Cirencester based university, has been named as a Highly Cited Researcher in Clarivate’s 2023 listings of the top 1% of the world’s most influential researchers.

The highly-respected Clarivate list, which is published annually, recognises those who have demonstrated significant and broad influence reflected in their publication of multiple highly cited papers over the last decade.

Dr O’Connor, who joined the RAU in 2020, said: “Being named a Clarivate 'Highly Cited Researcher' is a welcome acknowledgment of a huge collaborative effort in the field of sustainable soil management, with a special focus on reducing soil pollution.

“This demonstrates our commitment to research excellence in addressing global agricultural challenges, and aligns with the RAU’s vision to become the global university for sustainable farming and land management.”

Dr O’Connor, who has recently been elected to the leadership of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Network on Soil Pollution for a two-year term, is also recognised in this year’s Stanford University list of the top 2% of influential scientists in the world.

In the Stanford list, he is joined by Professor David Main, the RAU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Planning and Resources, who has made the list for the second consecutive year, and Professor Olivier Sparagano, the RAU’s newly appointed Dean of Agricultural Sciences and Practice, who is in the list for the third year running.

Professor Main said: “It is pleasing to see that our applied research is widely recognised and cited by other scientists globally. This demonstrates the importance of research informed teaching. 

“Our farmer-led research working with industry and Government is helping our graduates to respond to the important global challenges such as animal welfare and food security.”

Professor Sparagano, who joined the RAU earlier this month from City University in Hong Kong, said: “It is very exciting and humbling to be on such a list again! This should also highlight the need to develop international collaborations, and multiple co-authorships, helping all of us to be known and to promote our joint publications. This is a group effort and I am thankful to my collaborators all over the world.”

RAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter McCaffery added: “To have three of our academics recognised in this way bears testament to the world class research undertaken here at the RAU and to our standing as the leading specialist university for research in England. I am delighted for my colleagues that they have been personally recognised in these extremely prestigious rankings.”