LSU Researcher Listed Among Most Highly Cited in 2019


LSU science faculty members continue to rise in the world of research.

Among those in the recently released Highly Cited Researchers list was assistant professor of biological sciences Brant Faircloth. Faircloth was cited a total of 8,149 times during 2019 and appeared in more than 85 publications.

“It’s really exciting and also pretty darn humbling to be in the company of the other researchers who made the list,” said Faircloth. “And I’m still wrapping my head around making the list (two years in a row). It basically boils down to the fact that it is incredibly rewarding to find out that other scientists value and are using research results and techniques developed by my group and our collaborators.”

The Highly Cited Researchers (HCRs) list identifies global research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated exceptional influence in their fields. These highly cited papers rank in the top one percent by citations for a chosen field or fields and year in Web of Science. Of the world’s population of scientists and social scientists, the listed researchers are one in 1,000, according to the Web of Science Group.

This year, the list included 6,216 researchers in various fields from nearly 60 nations, and the U.S. is home to the highest number of HCRs, with 2,737 authors, representing 44 percent of the researchers on the list.

Faircloth falls into the “Cross-Field” category, which identifies researchers with substantial influence across several fields during the data consensus period. The category was newly generated in 2018 when the researcher made his first appearance on the list.

Faircloth’s research investigates how evolutionary history shapes the genetic variation within species and populations. Much of his work integrates aspects of different fields, including evolutionary biology, genomics, computational biology, ecology, and field biology.

In April, Faircloth co-authored a paper detailing the reconstruction of the tree of life for all major lineages of perching birds, which includes more than half of all bird species.

“At a very high level, we’re interested in studying vertebrate biodiversity and those historical and genetic factors responsible for the formation of species,” he said. “At the moment, we are working on five or six projects, but some of the biggest focus on trying to understand the evolutionary relationships among all bird species, while we are also trying to understand those genetic factors that have produced the variety of body plans among scaled reptiles.”

The Web of Science Group has the full 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list, methodology and downloadable executive summary on their website.

Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, organizes the world’s research information to enable academia, corporations, publishers and governments to accelerate the pace of research. It is powered by Web of Science, the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform.