Sydney researchers ranked among global elite

16 November 2022
Academics named as world-leading in their fields
Around 400 academics from the University of Sydney have been recognised among the best in the world in their fields, from renewable energies and chronic disease prevention to space science.

The prestigious 2022 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher List, released yesterday, named 24 Sydney experts among the top one percent in their fields, while a Stanford University study, published earlier this month, ranked 393 Sydney academics among the global top two percent in their fields. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said the results reflect the significant contribution Sydney scholars are making to science.

These distinguished researchers are at the very top of their fields; seeking new knowledge, pushing boundaries and spurring innovation.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston

“Their important work is making significant contributions to understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases, melanoma, mental health issues and obesity, as well as creating a more sustainable future, with work on the role of soil to manage climate change and the development of next-generation solar technology," Professor Johnston said.

Artificial intelligence expert Professor Dacheng Tao was among a small group of academics to be named in the top one percent of academics in two separate fields (computer science and engineering).  

His ground-breaking research is improving the safety of driverless cars and teaching robots to mimic a human’s actions from videos.

Professor Glenda Halliday in the lab

Professor Glenda Halliday (pictured above), who was recently named NSW Scientist of the Year, was also ranked in the top one percent of her field globally.  

Professor Halliday has dedicated her career to investigating how our brain is affected both structurally and biochemically by neurodegenerative diseases.

Her work has had a profound contribution to improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. 

Academics in top one percent in their fields

According to the 2022 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher List, which identifies papers that rank in the top one percent by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index over the past decade.

For more than 30 years Professor Adrian Bauman has been a world leader in the study of chronic disease prevention and the development and assessment of prevention research methods. He has worked extensively in the fields of physical activity, obesity, smoking and cardiovascular disease prevention and is currently the co-director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity.  He is also a member of the University's Charles Perkins Centre.

Associate Professor Matteo Carlino specialises in melanoma, complex non melanoma skin cancer and gastrointestinal cancers. He is a Medical Oncologist at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. He has been a principal investigator in over 50 clinical trials.

Professor PJ Cullen is a chemical and biomolecular engineer. He works with plasma and the ultimate goal of his research is the adoption of plasma technologies to move away from the current reliance on traditional chemicals towards more targeted and environmentally friendly solutions to a range of global social, environmental and industrial challenges including food, water and climate issues.

Professor Jacob George is a renowned hepatologist and liver research scientist who studies the causes of and mechanisms for the development of liver disease and liver cancer. Professor George’s work has made significant contributions to clinical practice. His team first identified the role of interferon lambda 3 gene polymorphisms for predicting treatment response in chronic hepatitis C, and a second gene polymorphism that interacts with interferon lambda 3. These discoveries are considered major advances in the field and the finest examples of ‘personalised medicine’.

Associate Professo Arne Geschke is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Sydney with a focus on environmental-economic assessment, renewable energy systems, sustainability, and impacts on biodiversity. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) team working on global environmental assessment, identification and quantification of the social impacts of international trade, and input-output analysis.

Professor Glenda Halliday is one of the world’s leading experts on neurodegeneration, having dedicated her career to research critical to improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Her research has directly influenced clinical practice by providing the evidence base for understanding the pathologies underlying neurodegenerative diseases, clarifying the trajectory of the diseases over time and exploring any potential variability. She was awarded the 2021 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson's Research by the Michael J Fox foundation, which recognises scientists who make an exceptional research contribution to improve treatments for Parkinson's patients. In 2022, she was named NSW Scientist of the Year. She is a member of the University's Brain and Mind Centre.

Professor David Hensher is recognised globally for his research in transport economics, strategy and policy, including logistics and supply chain management and digital disruption in transport services (including autonomous vehicles and drones). He is the Founding Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney and has developed an equation to value business travel time savings.

Professor Ian Hickie is co-director of the University's Brain and Mind Centre. He is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry, with particular reference to medical aspects of common mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder in young people, early intervention, use of new and emerging technologies and suicide prevention. He is a dual winner of the 2021 Australian Mental Health Prize, recognising his contributions to the mental health sector.


Professor Anita Ho-Baillie is the John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience at the University of Sydney and is a member of Sydney Nano. Her research interest is to engineer materials and devices at nanoscale for integrating solar cells onto all kinds of surfaces generating clean energy. She has been identified as one of the leaders in advancing perovskite solar cells. Her achievements in setting solar cell energy efficiency world records in various categories have placed her research at the forefront internationally.

Professor Eddie Holmes is a recognised leader in the study of viral evolution. He was awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his transformative role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with international collaborators at Fudan University in Shanghai, Professor Holmes was the first person to publicly share the entire genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. As well as his work on coronaviruses, he has pioneered the study of how viruses evolve and jump between species, including to humans, to spread and cause disease. His work has laid the foundations for the study of virus evolution, ecology and emergence. He is also a member of the University's Charles Perkins Centre

Dr Raghava Reddy Kakarla was affiliated with the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. He was recognised in the chemistry category of the Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers List.

Professor Manfred Lenzen is a physicist and renewable energies expert. He has contributed major methodological advances and applications in the areas of embodied energy, greenhouse gas emissions, input-output analysis and life-cycle assessment. Professor Lenzen is an international leader in economic Input-Output Analysis and Life-Cycle Assessment, is Associate Editor for the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Economic Systems Research.

Professor Qing Li’s recent research is focused on computational design and multidisciplinary optimisation of nonlinear and time-dependent multifunctional and lightweight structures and materials with applications in aerospace, automotive, mechanical, manufacturing and biomedical engineering. His research expertise covers the areas of data science, computational mechanics, structural crashworthiness, additive manufacturing, biomechanics, scaffold tissue engineering and biofabrication. Professor Li has collaborated with domestic and global industry including Cochlear, Stryker, Allegra, SDI, Sirona, 360 Med Care, Optimize Ortho and Corin.

Professor Georgina Long is co-director of Melanoma Institute Australia. She leads an extensive clinical trials team and laboratory, with a focus on targeted therapies and immuno-oncology in melanoma. Professor Long was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (2020) and has received several awards, including the prestigious Ramaciotti Medal for Biomedical Research (2021) and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence Award for Outstanding Research (2021). In November 2022, she was ranked the world’s number one melanoma expert in all fields and discipline.

Associate Professor Macia's research is focused on the role of diet to modulate gut microbiota and improve inflammatory diseases, such as MS. She is the Academic Director at Sydney Cytometry and runs the University’s Nutritional Immunometabolism Lab.

Director of the Sydney Institute of AgricultureProfessor Alex McBratney is a world-leading soil scientist. He has made major contributions to soil science and agriculture through the development of the concepts of Pedometrics, Digital Soil Mapping and Precision Agriculture. He was awarded the VV Dokuchaev medal by the International Union of Soil Sciences, the highest honour in the soil science discipline. 

Soil scientist Professor Baudiman Minasny is passionate about the role of soil in managing climate change, food, water, energy security and maintaining biodiversity. He is the theme leader of Soil, Carbon, and Water at Sydney Institute of Agriculture. He has won numerous awards and is recognised as the leader in digital soil mapping and modelling. He is a member of the Sydney Institute of Agriculture and Sydney Southeast Asia Centre.

A geophysicist, Professor Dietmar Muller leads the University's EarthByte research group. He has received numerous awards, including an NSW Premier’s Prize, for his lifelong dedication to, and innovations in, building a deep time travel machine, a virtual laboratory to see deep into the Earth in four dimensions, through space and time. By modelling the Earth's history we are better able to predict its future - for example, how it will respond to climate change. 

Dr Zengxia Pei's research interests include elecrocatalysis, aqueous batteries, and hydrogel electrolytes. He was recognised as one of the Australian Research Top 40 Rising Stars in 2019 and 2020, and as a Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher in 2020. Currently he works on functional materials for sustainable energy conversion and storage.

Co-director of Melanoma Institute Australia, Professor Richard Scolyer is a world-leading expert in melanoma diagnosis and research. He consults on more than 2000 cases annually which are difficult to diagnose. According to Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Knowledge, he is the highest-ever published scientist in the world in the field of melanoma pathology and he also has the highest H index in this field. In September 2019, he was ranked as the leading Australian Pathologist in the entire field of pathology by League of Scholars. He is a member of the University's Charles Perkins Centre.

Dr Nicholas Scott was a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy. His research interests include various aspects of extra-galactic astrophysics including: galaxy dynamics, stellar populations and the role of supermassive black holes.

Prfoessor Dacheng Tao has made ground-breaking contributions in artificial intelligence, computer vision image processing and machine learning. In 2017 he was awarded an ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship and in 2018 he was named a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He has won many prizes for his research contributions including a prestigious Eureka Prize. He is a member of the University's  Brain and Mind Centre, and is among a select few academics to be named in the highly cited list in two fields – computer science and engineering.

Dr Shenlong Zhao's research focuses on porous carbon nanomaterials and their sustainable energy and catalysis applications, including photo/electrocatalysts and biofuel cells, and batteries. His research aims at providing a solution to the global energy challenge by transforming innovative ideas/materials into practical technology through high-quality research and development.

Professor Albert Zomaya is world-renowned for his significant contributions to the field of parallel and distributed systems. In a career spanning nearly three decades, he has authored over 700 published scientific papers and articles, and has served as either author, co-author or editor of more than 30 books. He is the Director of the Centre for Distributed and High-Performance Computing in the School of Computer Science, and a member of the University of Sydney’s Nano Institute.

Academics in top two percent in their fields

According to a Stanford University study, published by Elsevier in early November, which is based on a snapshot of data sourced from Scopus.

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