Two UP professors make Web of Science’s Highly Cited Researchers list for 2018

Posted on December 14, 2018

Two internationally renowned researchers from the University of Pretoria (UP), Prof Mike Wingfield and Prof Bernard Slippers, have been included on the 2018 Web of Science’s list of the world’s most highly cited researchers.

They are among about 4000 global academics recognised by Web of Science, a leading scientific citation indexing service that is managed by Clarivate Analytics. The two UP professors’ listing is specifically in the field of plant and animal science.

The scientists included on the prestigious list are members of an elite group of academics who have been acknowledged for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by their numerous highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year. This distinction comes directly from their peers (rather than Clarivate Analytics), who have credited the influence of their research contributions in their publications and citations.

Prof Mike Wingfield  Prof Bernard Slippers

Prof Wingfield is the founding Director of FABI, and continues to drive his research programme at the institute. He has been elected as a fellow of several scientific societies, including the Royal Society of South Africa, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology and the American Phytopathological Society. An A1-rated NRF researcher, Prof Wingfield is also one of the few honorary members of the Mycological Society of America.

In 2013, he received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award in the Life and Earth Sciences category. Other accolades include the Johanna Westerdijk Award from Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute in the Netherlands, and honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia in 2012 and from North Carolina State University in 2013. He was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for International Scientists for 2016 by his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, and the esteemed Royal Society of South Africa’s John FW Herschel Medal for 2017. That year, Prof Wingfield also received the Chinese government’s Friendship Award.

Prof Slippers is the Director of UP’s flagship Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), the Director of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme and a core team member of the Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology. He is the Acting Director of the Future Africa Institute at UP and has published more than 220 papers, many of which have appeared in high-profile journals such as Science, Trends in Ecology & Evolution and Trends in Plant Science. Prof Slippers has received wide recognition for his research, both nationally and internationally, including a B1 rating from the National Research Foundation, the UP Chancellor’s Award 2016, the British Association Medal (silver) and the JE Vanderplank Award from the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology.

He’s also a founding member of the Global Young Academy (GYA) and the South African Young Academy of Science, and has served in the leadership of both these organisations, including as co-chair of the GYA. Prof Slippers is a Young Affiliate of the Academy of Science of the Developing World and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

The latest Highly Cited Researchers list includes 20 academics from South Africa, 10 of whom reside in the country and publish with a South African university as their primary address. FABI associate Prof Pedro Crous also made the list. He is the Director of the Westerdijk Biodiversity Institute in the Netherlands and holds an adjunct (extraordinary) position at UP. In addition, two other extraordinary professors from UP’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences – Prof Yves van de Peer (Genetics) and Prof Mujahid Abbas (Mathematics and Applied Mathematics) – were included on the list.




- Author Martie Meyer

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