Seven CASNR faculty members rank among top 2% of global researchers
By: Norman Martin
Last year Stanford University published the results of a meta-analysis of the world's nearly 7 million working scientists, identifying the top 2 percent of global researchers based on the frequency with which their published works were cited.
In October, global information and analytics leader Elsevier released an updated version of the list. Of the more than 100,000 scientists listed, seven are current faculty members of Texas Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. They are:
Noureddine Abidi, Leidigh Professor, Department of Plant & Soil Science. A world leader in fiber biochemistry and cotton textile manufacturing research, his research focuses on the physical and chemical characteristics of biopolymers and their functionalization and transformation, which leads to practical, advanced applications. One of those applications involves chemical functionalization to impart potential antimicrobial properties. Abidi was presented the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative Innovation Award (2020). His current duties include serving as director of Tech's Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute. His doctorate in theoretical, physical and analytical chemistry is from the University of Montpellier 2 in France.
Michael Ballou, Chair, Department of Veterinary Sciences. A nationally-recognized nutritional biologist, his research program broadly focuses on understanding the immunological basis for diseases in high-risk populations of livestock. In the past his research has centered on understanding how the innate immune responses of animals at various physiological states are involved in resistance to diseases and modulation of innate immune responses through management and nutrition practices. Ballou received the American Dairy Science Association for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Teaching & Service Award (2017) and the Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award (2016). His doctorate in nutritional biology is from the University of California-Davis.
Luis Herrera-Estrella, President's Distinguished Professor of Plant Genomics; Department of Plant & Soil Science. Considered one of the top plant molecular biologists in the world, he serves as director of Tech's Center for Functional Genomics of Abiotic Stress, where he and other researchers are using cotton as a model to develop technologies that will help other crops thrive under extreme conditions. In the past his research focused on the molecular mechanisms that allow plants to cope with a continuously changing environment. In particular, he has studied the two fundamental processes of molecular responses to light as a source of energy and a developmental signal, and nutrient availability. His doctorate in genetics from the State University of Ghent, Belgium.
Michael Galyean, Professor, Department of Veterinary Sciences. He has an established reputation as a world-class scholar, while demonstrating exceptional administrative skills and service. His research has centered on animal health and nutrition interactions; feed intake prediction and management; nutritional effects on growth and carcass merit of beef cattle; metabolic disorders of finishing beef cattle and digestive physiology of ruminants. He was named a Fellow in the American Society of Animal Science (2010). He is a Texas Tech Horn Professor, and served as CASNR Dean and Texas Tech Provost & Sr Vice President of Academic Affairs. His doctorate in animal nutrition is from Oklahoma State University.
John McGlone, Professor of Animal Behavior, Physiology & Welfare; Department of Animal and Food Sciences. He has made significant international contributions to animal welfare, received over millions of dollars in research support and developed several companies to address animal welfare needs and support animal health in livestock production and among companion animals. His patents include the use of novel molecules to stimulate litter size, to improve reproductive success in pigs, to reduce stress and he developed an image analysis system to estimate pig body weight without touching the pig. He was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2020). His doctorate in animal science is from the University of Illinois.
Mark Miller, San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Chair in Meat Science, Food Processing and Preservation; Department of Animal & Food Sciences. His experience in the meat industry has made him a leader in food safety and meat quality research. Specifically, he's been actively involved in research with collaborators at the USDA, Cargill, Tyson, Merck, Nebraska Beef, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He has been instrumental in helping develop consumer thresholds for beef and holds two patents for processes that improve beef tenderness and muscle color with electrical stimulation. He was one of the first to investigate many food safety interventions to reduce the level of pathogens in meat products. His doctorate in meat science is from Texas A&M University.
Son Phan Lam Tran, Professor; Department of Plant and Soil Science. He is recognized worldwide as an expert in plant signaling and resilience to plant stress. His research focuses on regulatory network and crosstalk among signaling molecules in plant responses to environmental stresses, as well as translational genomics for improvement of crop productivity. His is posted in CASNR's new Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance. One of his goals is to further promote the research on plant functional genomics and regulatory roles of signaling molecules, leading to development of crop cultivars with enhanced environmental stress resistance. His doctorate in biological science is from Szent Istvan University-Hungary.
CASNR Interim Dean Cindy Akers noted that the Elsevier listing also included two professors who served in CASNR and later retired from the university. They were the Department of Plant and Soil Science's Vivien Allen (retired as Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages in 2011), and the Department of Natural Resources Management's Gene Wilde (retired 1995).
“I am proud of the accomplishments of all of my colleagues, and congratulate those named in this study,” said Joseph Heppert, Texas Tech's Vice President for Research and Innovation.
CONTACT: Cindy Akers, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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