• Post category:2023 / News
  • Reading time:3 mins read
28 November 2023 | By Dr Alec Basson (Corporate Communication & Marketing, Stellenbosch University)

Eminent scientist Prof Dave Richardson from the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University (SU) is one of only 10 persons from South African institutions who have made it onto the Clarivate global list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2023. The list was released recently.

Richardson, a distinguished professor and former director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) at SU, is among the world’s most cited researchers in the cross-field category – individuals who have demonstrated significant research influence across fields. Richardson has been named a Highly Cited Researcher since 2014 – in the ecology/environment category from 2014–2021 and the cross-field category from 2022–2023.

The highly anticipated list identifies scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication in the Web of Science over the past decade, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers. This year’s list contains 7,125 Highly Cited Researchers from 67 countries and regions in 20 fields of the sciences and social sciences, as well as across fields.

Richardson says he is flattered to be featured on the list.

“Being on the list shows that one’s work is widely cited and, therefore, hopefully influential in one’s field. Being in the ‘cross-field’ category shows that one’s work straddles traditional disciplines. My work on the ecology and management of biological invasions has increasingly strayed beyond my own specialist field (ecology) to borrow insights, concepts and tools from other fields, such as economics, computer science, history, philosophy and sociology.

“My research career has benefitted hugely from opportunities created by being part of the CIB. The Centres of Excellence model paves the way for productive collaboration nationally and internationally. Most of my research has been the result of such collaboration involving numerous colleagues from around the world and a wonderful succession of students and post-docs.”

Commenting on Richardson’s latest accomplishment, Prof Louise Warnich, Dean of the Faculty of Science at SU, says the Faculty takes immense pride in his continuous and remarkable contributions and achievements in both national and global contexts, significantly enhancing the fields of ecology and environmental management, and upholding the esteemed reputation of excellent research within their faculty and the University.

“While Prof Richardson has made impressive contributions to advancing academic knowledge in science, he has also dedicated considerable time and effort to formulating practical guidelines for enhancing the improved management of invasive species.”

Each year, Clarivate™ identifies the small fraction of the global research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant and broad influence in their field(s) of research. This select group contributes disproportionately to extending the frontiers of knowledge and gaining for society innovations that make the world healthier, more sustainable and more secure.​