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PNNL scientists among most influential in the world

Six researchers named in top one percent of citations

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November 23, 2016 Share This!

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RICHLAND, Wash. — Six researchers with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are among the most highly cited scientists in the world.

The PNNL researchers are included on the 2016 Highly Cited Researcher list from Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), which analyzed publication and citation statistics between 2004-2014. The list features scientists from around the world whose citations rank in the top one percent within 22 subject areas. Citations accrue when newly published scientific papers refer back to previously published research findings.

Atmospheric Science

Three of the PNNL scientists were recognized in the geosciences category. Richard Easter, Steven Ghan, and Philip Rasch are developing new ways to understand a very important climate issue that currently poses a lot of uncertainty: What is the impact of clouds and small particles in the atmosphere as the climate changes. The particles can be natural, such as from a volcano or from waves breaking on the ocean, or they can come from processes such as energy production. The particles form the nucleus of clouds, which have a huge influence on the Earth's energy balance; the chemistry and physics involved in understanding the process are formidable. At PNNL, Easter, Ghan and Rasch are part of one of the world's top teams studying these processes.

Chemistry, materials science, and microbiology

The other three researchers were recognized for important contributions in chemistry, materials science, and microbiology.

  • Janet Jansson, microbiology: Jansson focuses on the use of molecular approaches (omics) to study complex microbial communities, such as those residing in soil, sediments, and the human gut. Specific contributions include using an array of technologies to show the versatility of microbes that live in permafrost, which is a reservoir for a huge amount of carbon. The fate of that carbon as the climate warms and permafrost thaws is a huge issue for scientists trying to understand the planet's future. The work, published in Nature, yielded one of the most detailed looks ever at the microbes active in permafrost.
  • Jun Liu, chemistry, materials science: Liu was recognized in both chemistry and materials science related to materials synthesis, characterization and applications, including energy storage — batteries that are smaller, more efficient, less expensive, and even fundamentally different than current technologies. Developing better batteries is key not only for common devices like laptops and cell phones; it's central to the world's ability to move away from traditional fossil fuels and to renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar energy,.
  • Yuehe Lin, chemistry: Lin is a Washington State University professor with a joint appointment to PNNL. He studies nanotechnology, particularly the development of new nanobioelectronic devices and nanomaterials for biomedical diagnosis and drug delivery. His other research activities include developing integrated microanalytical systems for environmental and biomedical analysis, and synthesizing functional nanomaterials for energy and environmental applications.

This year's list includes 3,100 researchers with global and scientific impact. The complete list can be viewed on Clarivate Analytics' website.

Tags: Awards and Honors

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