Three agriculture researchers named among world’s top 1 per cent

Professors Michael Goddard, Jizheng (Jim) He and Pablo Zarco-Tejada have been named as among the world's most influential researchers in their fields in 2019 by analytics company Web of Science.

The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple papers, highly cited by their peers, during the last decade.

Three researchers from the Faculty’s School of Agriculture and Food ranked in the top 1 per cent in their fields:

  • Animal geneticist Professor Michael Goddard (Cross-Field category)
  • Soil microbiologist Professor Jizheng (Jim) He (Molecular Biology and Genetics category)
  • Remote sensing and precision agriculture expert Professor Pablo Zarco-Tejada (Cross-Field category)

Read more about each researcher below.

Professor Michael Goddard

Professor Michael Goddard
Professor Michael Goddard

Professor Michael Goddard is distinguished for his research into quantitative genetics and the genetic improvement of livestock, in particular by incorporation of molecular genetic data. He co-proposed and developed 'genomic selection' in which dense molecular markers are fitted to quantitative data, enabling more accurate selection decisions, including among animals without phenotypic records.

Within a decade, it was in worldwide use in animal improvement programs and has potential in plant breeding and prediction of risk of genetic disease in humans. Professor Goddard has made other major contributions to understanding the genetic basis of quantitative genetic variation, showing that common SNPs can collectively account for much of the heritability, and to inferences on population history.

Professor Jizheng (Jim) He

Professor Jim He
Professor Jim He

Professor Jim He joined the University as Professor of Molecular Soil Ecology in the Research at Melbourne Accelerator Program (RAMAP) in December 2013.  His research interests focus on the soil microbial biogeography and biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil ecosystems. His research employs advanced bio-molecular and physicochemical approaches to understand the distribution and diversity of microbial communities in soils, and the processes and mechanisms of microbes-mediated C, N and other elemental cycling.

Before joining the University of Melbourne, he was Professor and Head of Department of Environmental Soil Science in the Research Centre for Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing.

Professor Pablo Zarco-Tejada

Professor Pablo Zarco-Tejada
Professor Pablo Zarco-Tejada

Professor Pablo Zarco-Tejada is the Team Leader in Remote Sensing and Precision Agriculture – HyperSens Laboratory, jointly appointed between the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences (FVAS) and the Melbourne School of Engineering (MSE).

His focus lies on remote sensing technology and methods, precision agriculture and vegetation stress detection using hyperspectral and thermal imagery acquired by manned and unmanned aircraft systems; in particular, assessing the physiological condition of crops through physical modelling. These include the early detection of diseases, water and nutrient stress using advanced airborne imaging spectroscopy and fluorescence retrievals through radiative transfer modelling.