Six From ESS Named to Global List of Most Influential Researchers

Tue, 12/11/2018

Croul Hall, home to UCI's Department of Earth System Science 

Picture Credit: 
Tatiana Arizaga

Professors Steven Allison, Michael Goulden, Jim Randerson, Eric Rignot, Isabella Velicogna, and Jasper Vrugt have been named to the 2018 list of the world’s most impactful researchers, based on the number of times their published studies have been cited by other researchers over the past decade. Researchers on the list are in the top 1 percent of all scholars whose work has been cited by others. The prestigious Highly Cited Researchers list is compiled and published annually by Clarivate Analytics.

“This is yet another testament to the phenomenal research and impact of our faculty and UCI’s Department of Earth System Science,” said Ken Janda, Dean of UCI’s School of Physical Sciences. “I congratulate my colleagues and feel great pride in having them as part of our School.”

Steven Allison, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Earth System Science, studies the functional roles of microbes in ecosystems. Microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, contribute to global carbon balance and cycle nutrients required for plant growth. Using theory, experiments, and mathematical models, the Allison Lab analyzes the response of microbial communities to changes in the environment and the consequences for life on Earth. 

Michael Goulden, Professor of Earth System Science, studies how terrestrial ecosystems work, with an emphasis on what controls the exchanges of gases and energy between land surfaces and the atmosphere. This research is relevant to several environmental problems, including understanding changes in climate and global biogeochemistry.

James Randerson, Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Professor of Earth System Science, studies climate change, the carbon cycle and the effects of fire on ecosystem function and atmospheric composition. He is well-known in the scientific community for his expertise in using remote-sensing and in-place data gathering techniques and computer models to study the Earth system, and his work is frequently referenced in policy recommendations and regulations geared toward the effective and sustainable management of the environment.

Eric Rignot, Chair and Donald Bren Professor of Earth System Science, studies the interactions of ice and climate, in particular to determine how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change in the coming century and how they will affect global sea level. He is also a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Rignot travels to some of the most extreme locations on the planet to conduct research and is frequently sought out by media outlets for his insights into glacier and ice sheet changes brought on by global warming.

Isabella Velicogna, Professor of Earth System Science and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Equity and Inclusion, studies the cryospheric components of the water cycle and their response to climate forcing. In particular, the Velicogna Laboratory studies the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, their contribution to sea level rise and the evolution of the Arctic water cycle in response to climate change.

Jasper Vrugt, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science, combines numerical modeling and/or analytic solutions with small and large-scale measurements, and inverse modeling to improve theory, understanding and predictability of complex Earth systems.

See list of Physical Sciences Highly Cited Researchers from previous years here